Gavin Crotty is taken down by Jimmy Barden in the box to win a vital penalty.

Gavin Crotty is taken down by Jimmy Barden in the box to win a vital penalty.

Dungarvan United 2; Waterford Crystal 2
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This game played in Kilrush Park last Wednesday was a massive one for both clubs. The visitors knew that if they won they would take over at the top of the table for the first time this season and give themselves a big hope of retaining the title.

Dungarvan on the other hand went into the game rock bottom, with a total of 10 points, three behind Johnville and four behind Bohemians. With time almost up and referee Anthony Walsh ready to blow his full-time whistle, the Dungarvan player Nicky Donnelly popped up with a dramatic injury-time equaliser and it would be fair to say that both sides were unhappy with the result.

With Johnville winning away against the Villa, Dungarvan could have done with all of the three points on offer. The late equaliser meant that Tramore remained top of the pile and Crystal had to remain content with second place.

Butler on mark

Waterford Crystal got off to a dream start by scoring as early as the sixth minute. Joe Watson fed Paul Quilty who crossed from the right to the far post where Robbie Butler was waiting unmarked to head past goalkeeper Alan Landers.

The home side should have levelled four minutes later. Gavin Crotty went on a run down the left flank before picking out Shane Kelly but he lost his composure in front of goal and shot high over the crossbar.

Back came Crystal and they went close on 11 minutes. Paul Quilty cut in brilliantly from the right and tried his luck with his favoured left foot only for Alan Landers to produce a brilliant save.

The visitors were well on top at this stage and they could have increased their advantage on 20 minutes. Robbie Butler did well to get a cross in from the left but when the ball fell nicely for Mitchell Casey he was caught by surprise and he shot tamely at Alan Landers.

Dungarvan equalised against the run of play on 39 minutes. Jimmy Barden was found guilty of fouling Gavin Crotty inside the penalty area and Tommy Butler gave the Crystal goalkeeper Derek Hearne no chance from the penalty spot.

Crystal came roaring back and they regained their lead two minutes later. Dean Rochford knocked the ball down to Joe Watson who in turn placed the ball into the path of Paul Quilty and he cracked the ball past a helpless Landers.

Late drama

The second half did not produce the same excitment as the first period due to the fact that Crystal appeared happy to sit on their lead and Dungavan were unable to make any impression in the final third.

Alan Landers did produce a save from a Dean Rochford free-kick after Martin Tynan was fouled 25 yards from goal. It looked as if the game would finish in favour of Waterford Crystal but then came the dramatic conclusion.

The visiting defence knocked the ball out for a throw-in near the corner flag. Shane Kelly somehow managed to get his head to the ball when it came back into play and his flick on was headed home by Nicky Donnelly with the help of an upright.

It is too early to tell just how important goal it will prove to be come the end of the season. With Dungarvan dropping two more home points on Sunday against Southend will it be enough to save them.

Will that goal also prove costly for Crystal ? Only time will tell.

Dungarvan United: Alan Landers, David Condon, Tommy Butler, Tony Fitzgerald, Christy Ross-Power, Shane Kelly, Gavin Crotty, Pat Quinn, Aidan Landers, Gary Collins, Nicky Donnelly. Subs: Trevor Crotty for Collins (68 mins), Mark Crotty for Condon (h-t).

Waterford Crystal: Derek Hearne, Mitchell Casey, Jimmy Barden, Conor Fell, Pat Dobbyn, Dean Rochford, Martin Tynan, Keith Sheridan, Paul Quilty, Joe Watson, Robbie Butler. Subs: Jason Halloran for Rochford (82 mins), Andrew Power for Watson (82 mins).

Referee: Anthony Walsh.