St Saviour’s 1; Southend United 1
(Match abandoned at half-time)
Lashing rain and a very strong wind brought proceedings to a premature halt in Ballybeg on Sunday morning last. The pitch was in pristine condition prior to the game and the weather was reasonable but minutes after the kick off the heavens opened and the wind began to blow up a storm and as a result the match referee Paul O’Keeffe had no option but to call a halt to the game following 45 minutes.
Needless to say the players and indeed the large crowd who turned up to watch the eagerly awaited contest were disappointed but things had got extremely dangerous and the pitch was cutting up badly.
Title-chasing St Saviour’s knew that they required a victory to remain on the heels of Bohemians and Waterford Crystal. They remain in third position on the league table despite this game being abandoned and now they have a game in hand of the top two.
St Saviour’s played with the advantage of the wind and they went very close to opening the scoring after 6 minutes. John Keane sent over a corner-kick from the right which was met by Stephen Dalton but his header was tipped on to the crossbar by the Southend goalkeeper Sean Walsh.
It was Southend United however who took the lead after 14 minutes of play. David Croke took a quick free-kick by playing the ball to Colin Fanning who whipped the ball into the penalty area from the left and Lee Hayes blasted the ball past the Saints goalkeeper Graham Cleary from 15 yards.
Lee Hayes went close once again on 18 minutes but on this occasion Graham Cleary spread himself to save. United almost increased their advantage on 40 minutes when David Croke was left unmarked to meet a cross from Paul Quilty but he headed straight at Cleary from a good position.
St Saviour’s who defeated Southend 2-1 away in the first league game equalised on 45 minutes through Joe Twoomey who connected with a left wing cross from Jamie Swift.
His shot beat the visiting goalkeeper Sean Walsh. The keeper did get a hand to the ball but Twomey’s effort from the edge of the box carried too much power. Second later Paul O’Keeffe abandoned the game, and rightly so.
St Saviour’s: Graham Cleary, Phil Penkert, John Keane, Trevor O’Regan, Kenny McLawrence, John Paul Jacob, Brian O’Donoghue, Jamie Swift, Billy Barron, Stephen Dalton, Joe Twomey. Sub.: Wayne Dunne for Keane (44 mins).
Southend United: Sean Walsh, Michael Farrell, Colin Fanning, Michael Caulfield, Steven Forsey, Paul Carey, Kristian Walsh, David Croke, Gavin McLawrence, Lee Hayes, Paul Quilty.
Referee: Paul O’Keeffe.