keeper nets late Rathfriland equaliser

Rathfriland Rangers 2

UUJ 2

Goalkeeper Kevin Maguire bagged the equaliser as Rathfriland Rangers came from 2-0 behind to earn a deserved point at home to UUJ on Saturday afternoon.

The home side were still trailing by two goals with 10 minutes remaining but a debut goal from Paul Greenaway and the bizarre late equaliser earned them a valuable draw,

UUJ are up there with the best league teams to visit Rathfriland this season and right from the start they were on the offensive. They took the lead on 15 minutes when they broke down the left side and the impressive number 11 curled a pacey shot into the top corner.

At a wet and blustery Iveagh Park, Rathfriland struggled to get a real flow to their game but they did have chances with Darren McGrath and former Glenavon forward Gerard Rooney both going close. UUJ kept pressing and forced Rangers into a mistake just before the break. The home side lost possession in a dangerous area of the pitch and the visiting numnber nine cleverly lobbed the Rathfriland keeper from 20 yards out to make it 2-0.

On the restart, Rathfriland showed more determination led by captain Stevie Coulter, who was in overdrive at times to push his team on.

With the two goal deficit still facing them with just 10 minutes left on the clock, Rathfriland pulled the first back. Goalkeeper Kieran Maguire fired a long goal-kick up the field causing confusion in the visitors’ defence and allowing debutant Greenaway to nip in and score from close range. Unbelievably, Maguire himself got the equaliser when he punted a free kick into the box from just inside the half and the bouncing ball caught everyone out and nestled into the corner of the net to make it 2 - 2.

Rathfriland could even have won it when Rooney nearly got in behind the UUJ defence but another bouncing ball was this time snatched by the keeper.