Johnny Kernaghan settles eight goal thriller

Johnny Kernaghan congratulated by manager DJ on scoring  the winning penalty.
Johnny Kernaghan congratulated by manager DJ on scoring the winning penalty.

Moneyslane travelled to Richhill in round 1 of the Bob Radcliffe up in what proved an entertaining game.

For the second game in a row there was a full squad to choose from with the only change to the starting line-up young Neil Taylor making his club debut at left back.

The game could not have started worse for the away team when after only five minutes an inswinging free kick from the right evaded everyone and landed in the bottom corner.

Slane responded forcing a series of corners and attacking throws and it was from a throw then cross by Darragh Peden that Gregg Harrison expertly diverted the ball past the home keeper.

Both teams had chances before slack marking allowed the home team to go in front when a cross from the left side travelled to the back post where an opponent, looking suspiciously offside, tapped home.

Then approaching half time Slane went 3-1 down when a headed clearance struck an opponent and flew into the net past a stranded Stevie White.

Slane rallied before half time when a Johnny Kernaghan cross was headed home by Mark Ervine at the back post.

Ryan Shilliday came on for Ally Quinn as Slane came out much improved in the second half and it wasn’t long before the pressure yielded reward.

Firstly Ritchie Nesibtt played in the skipper Gareth Bingham who drove the ball into the top corner from 16 yards.

Gareth Rees came on for the injured skipper. Soon after Johnny Kernaghan set Gregg Harrison through one on one with the keeper and the in form striker dummied the keeper then slipped the ball home to put Slane 4-3 ahead.

Slane had two good chances to extend the lead but neither Gareth Rees arriving late into the box for a Gregg Harrison cross and Greg Harrison himself beat the keeper with a chip but a defender was on hand to clear.

Then with four minutes to goal a Richhill player broke down the left, wriggled past to defenders and his driven cross hit Ryan Shilliday and diverted past the away keeper.

Into extra time and both teams were pushing for the winner with the only real chance of note was a Johnny Kernaghan strike that just failed to find the top corner. Mark Anderson came on for Neil Taylor on the final whistle.

On to penalties and Gareth Rees and Brian Quilty both scored and when Richhill missed their first three penalties Richard Nesbitt could have won the game but he blasted over the bar.

Mark Anderson then also missed and with Richhill then scoring again it was left to fans favourite Johnny Kernaghan to step up and thump home the winner.

Slane manager DJ commented: “A fantastic cup tie and credit to both sets of players for the effort they put in.

“The game was fiercely contested and the large crowd added to the game that had almost everything. My players showed real character, on a very difficult pitch, to come back from 3-1 down to be leading 4-3 and only a defensive lapse put the game into extra time.

“Overall it was a tight game but I feel we did enough to in the game and we now look forward to a mouth watering clash in Round 2 against Banbridge Town away on Saturday 12th September.

“Gregg Harrison took his goals well and Darragh Peden showed real leadership at the back. A big positive for me was the performance of young Neil Taylor at left back.and he will only get better as he gets fitter. A good nights work.”