De La Salle 1 Southend United 1
There was nothing to separate De La Salle and Southend at Williamstown on a rain soaked Saturday morning last as both sides played out a keenly contested game despite the testing conditions.
Dylan Kearney went close to putting Southend in front on five minutes when he got on the end of a through ball from Daniel Ogemedele. But the winger couldn’t direct his close range effort on target; however the visitors did go in front less than two minutes later.
De La Salle defender Ivan Sinnott cleared a ball into the path of Southend central defender Darragh Fitzpatrick. Powering upfield, Fitzpatrick let fly with a well-struck right-footed shot from 30 yards, that zipped into the net past Shane Burke.
The home side could have been level on nine minutes when Aaron Healy knocked the ball down for Luke Walsh.
However, the striker saw his right-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area flash inches over the crossbar.
It took a brilliant save from Shane Burke to deny Southend a second goal on 20 minutes when Justin Croke played the perfect pass to pick out the unmarked Aaron Flynn 14 yards from goal.
But his shot was superbly kept out, while the rebound was cleared off the line by defender Eoin Tracey.
De La Salle levelled with their first attack of the second period. Eoin Rea played the ball over the top for Eoghan McGrath-Butler, who then got between the Southend keeper Ben Murray and defender Darragh Corcoran.
From there, he calmly slid the ball home, to catalyse wild celebrations on the touchline.
Rea nearly gave the home side the lead on 40 minutes, dragging his right-footed angled shot inches wide of the far post before Justin Croke was just off target for Southend at the other end.
Then the visitors missed a golden opportunity to grab all three points in the final minute. Luke Walsh crossed into the penalty area, which Matthew Grant failed to connect with. The ball broke to Cian Rawson but his shot was well saved by keeper Shane Burke.
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