There was ever only going to be one winner in this game. That fact was clear from the opening minutes because Carrick United had the home side on the back foot straight from the kick-off. In fairness Johnville did battle hard all through and they gave their all but the class of Carrick was clear for all to see during the course of the 90 minutes.
Slowly but surely the former champions are getting their act together and for the first time this season they are now in the top three. Tramore and Villa will be looking over their shoulders as the FAI Junior Cup holders begin to make their promised charge.
Ian Cleary, the Carrick striker warmed the hands of the Johnville goalkeeper as early as the 2nd minute. The same player ran on to a knock down from Barry Murphy on 11 minutes but he shot over the bar. Left full-back Brian Barry rattled the crossbar with an angled strike a couple of minutes later before defender Dan Murphy cleared the danger. John Kennedy then came to the rescue of the home side on 20 minutes, heading a shot from Ian Cleary off the line with goalkeeper Joe Grant beaten.
Johnville did have a chance when Mark Brown fed Valdo Bulvas out on the right but the big striker hit the side netting when a goal looked on. The opener arrived on 36 minutes. Anthony Power got in a good cross from the right. Goalkeeper Joe Grant rose high with Barry Murphy and punched the ball up into the air but when it fell to Adam McSharry he blasted the ball to the net from 6 yards range.
Wayne Fitzgerald played a big part in Carrick’s second goal 5 minutes later by picking out Barry Murphy from the left. Murphy flicked the ball on to the far post where Adam McSharry was waiting to send a diving header to the back of the net.
Joe Grant did well to save for Johnville 3 minutes into the second half following good work by Wayne Fitzgerald and Barry Murphy. Anthony Power took off down the left wing after 66 minutes but his cross was just missed by Barry Murphy in front of goal. Murphy then passed to Eoin Burke shortly afterwards but his blistering shot went inches wide of Joe Grant’s left upright.
Barry Murphy had a glorious chance to get his name on the goal sheet 15 minutes from full time when he was set up by Wayne Fitzgerald but he shot wide in front of an open goal.
Johnville: Joe Grant, John Kennedy, Dan Murphy, Declan Phelan, John Butler, Alan Ryan, Mark Brown, Gavin Phelan, Dermot Atkins, Gary Kelly, Valdo Bulvas. Subs: John Wall for Ryan (70 mins), James Starmer for Butler (82 mins).
Carrick United: Adrian Walsh, Alan Redmond, Brian Barry, Anthony O’Donnell, John Walsh, Eoin Burke, Anthony Power, Wayne Fitzgerald, Adam McSharry, Ian Cleary, Barry Murphy. Subs: Damien McCarthy for McSharry (72 mins), Stephen Hahessy for Burke (82 mins).
Referee: Andrew Mullally.