Johnville 1 St Saviour’s 0
League leaders Johnville made it six wins from six games on Saturday night in St Martin’s Park when they got the better of second placed St Saviour’s (who had played two more games).
Both clubs were locked together on 15 points prior to kick-off so this was a major win for Paul Westwood’s outfit. The home side dominated the first half and scored what proved to be the only goal of the game.
St Saviour’s ruled the roost in the second period but could not score and that fact proved the difference between the two sides.
Walter Croke had a glorious chance to put Johnville in front after only two minutes but he shot wide from close range after meeting a cross from Jamie Walsh.Four minutes later the Saints had an opportunity to take the lead when Stephen Dalton played in Shane Daly but he dragged his effort across an empty goal.
Johnville got a real grip on proceedings after that fright and Jamie Walsh went close with a rasping shot from 30 yards on 25 minutes. What proved to be the golden goal arrived after 33 minutes.
Sean Power played the ball forward to the Johnville skipper Dean Kennedy who in turn slipped the ball forward to Walter Croke and he beat the offside trap and cracked the ball past the helpless Graham Cleary.
Five minutes later the home side almost doubled their lead. Aaron Kennedy picked out Paul Quilty with a fine free kick. The ace striker controlled the ball on his chest before shooting but Graham Cleary produced a fine save in the St Saviour’s goal.
That would prove to be the last effort the hosts would have at goal. Just before the break Stephen Dalton played a wonderful pass to James Coad who let from the edge of the box but he missed the target by inches.
Following the change of ends St Saviour’s camped inside the Johnville half of the pitch and Brian O’Donoghue should have scored on 57 minutes but, after controlling a pass from Ben Arrigan, he shot wide with only Jamie Chadwick to beat. Stephen Hayes was the next visiting player to go close. A corner kick taken by Shane Daly was not properly cleared and the ball fell to Hayes but he cracked it over the crossbar.
The pressure continued to mount on the home defenders and Stephen Dalton went close with a superb free kick after 71 minutes.Substitutes Brandon Mylett and Jerry Connors both went close during the final minutes but they could not find the net either. This was a vital victory for the home side and it could prove a costly defeat for St Saviour’s.