MONEYSLANE hosted Seagoe last Saturday at Cheney Park, Banbridge in a must win to keep them in with a shout of finishing in the top three come the end of the season and keep the pressure on second place Hanover who were seven points clear of Slane before kickoff.
The game started off in sluggish fashion in the first five minutes with both teams reluctant to go for route one, trying to engineer a way through up the flanks.
Slane were 1-0 up in the seventh minute when John Davenport played the ball inside to the feet of Thomas Lockhart who threaded the ball through for Lee Feeney who slid in with an outstretched leg to slip the ball past the diving keeper and in off the post.
Slane were on top for the first quarter, pushing the visitors back into their own half playing the ball about the park with finesse and perfection.
The lead was doubled when centre back Jonny O’Neill and right back Robbie Weir combined with a 1-2. O’Neill broke up the right wing and crossed deep into the box. It eluded all the defenders and fell to the feet of Slane’s highest goalscorer, Mark Ervine, who made no mistake, half volleying it into the corner of the net past the helpless keeper.
Mark Anderson replaced the injured Cullen Feeney who had to be carried off half way through the half.
Slane sat back with the 2-0 cushion and the visitors came more and more into the game testing Nigel fry on a few occasions with shots from outside the box but he was showing a good safe pair of hands on the day.
With three minutes before the break the visitors could and should have scored only for their striker to hit the side netting from two yards out at the back post when the ball sailed over a huddle of players.
Colin Brown played the ball to midfielder Chris Loney who in turn found Thomas Lockhart who shot just over the bar and right on the whistle Mark Anderson was played up the left by Davenport and he cut inside but had to watch his effort whizz wide of the up right.
Slane almost went three up in the second minute of the second period but Ervine had to watch his effort get cleared off the line.
It was a subdued second half with both teams hitting from distance and the visitors were getting frustrated with Slane keeping the ball with some good passing and they were firing in some hefty tackles.
Slane also had to rely on Boyd when he cleared a goal bound effort of the Slane line on the hour.
Jonny Adair came on and slotted up the right wing. He was putting in some dangerous balls into the danger zone and indeed he played a low hard cross in for Feeney to volley just wide of the post.
With twenty minutes left the visitors were rewarded a free kick twenty yards out and the big defender stepped up and curled it around the wall and it nested just inside the post to make it 2-1.
Ervine and Adair both had efforts go wide for Slane and Slane held onto the final whistle for three vital points.
Overall a good three points for Slane who were below average on the day but grinded out the right result when needed especially when Hannover were beaten by the league leaders
Best on the day for Slane was Robbie Weir at right back - the young player has came on leaps and bounds as the season progresses with his hard hitting tackles and great passing.
Team: N Fry, J O’Neill, C Feeney, D Boyd, C Loney, C Brown, T Lockhart, J Davenport, M Ervine, L Feeney, M Anderson, J Adair, D Cromie.