First taste of defeat as Slane suffer a late blow

Moneyslane's perfect start to the new season has come to an end. Pic: Paul Byrne Photography INBL1429-267PB
Moneyslane's perfect start to the new season has come to an end. Pic: Paul Byrne Photography INBL1429-267PB

After a superb win on Tuesday night away to promotion rivals Valley Rangers, Moneyslane FC had a great chance to take three more league points at home to Tullyvallen on Saturday but it was an opportunity they failed to take.

One goal down at the break, Mark Ervine hauled the hosts level but a late winner for Tullyvallen capped a disappointing day for Slane.

A win would have made it three from three for the locals, who beat Laurelvale 2-1 on the first day of the campaign.

With club captain Gareth Bingham still injured, Shilliday and opening-day double goal-scorer Gregg Harrison were on holiday while Kerr was still feeling the effects of a knock on Tuesday night.

Tullyvallen had the wind in their backs in the first half and started the brighter of the two sides.

The wind assisted goalkeeper’s kicks were causing problems for the home defence early on with the visiting numbers nine and 11 looking lively. The away team took the lead after 20 minutes when a long clearance was not dealt with by Steen or Quinn and the striker picked his spot from 18 yards past a flat-footed Blevins.

The final ball let the home team down on occasions and what chances came their way, they squandered. Brown, Ervine and Fairley all had good chances before the half-time break but none of those were taken.

Moneyslane took the game to their opponents and looked to have more goal threat in the second half. Brown lobbed the keeper but his shot fell just wide, Ervine broke through 1-1 but the keeper saved, Fairley fired a good chance over the bar and Brown went one-on-one with the keeper but tried to pass when well placed and the breakthrough did not come.

Blevins was a virtual spectator as the home team pushed for an equaliser which eventually arrived on 74 minutes. A cross from the right was met perfectly by a volley from Ervine and the ball rifled home.

Moments later. Ervine and Steen were replaced by Downey and Kerr as the home team pushed for the winner.

However, when the winner did come it went to the away team. Whitten gave possession away on the half way line and Quinn failed to deal with his opponent, who toe-poked the ball past Blevins with a bobble taking the ball over the keeper’s hands.

Try as they may, the hosts failed to find an equaliser.