Prior to this match, which was played in St Martin’s Park last week, Park Rangers had defeated Kilmacthomas and Johnville had lost to the same opposition – so the outcome of this exciting clash could be described as a minor shock.
The visitors from Faithlegg went into the game as slight favourites but sport has a wonderful habit of producing upsets and that what makes games like this so thrilling.
Johnville almost took the lead with their first attack but Raveli Kilonda was just off target with a shot on the run from the right side of the 18-yard box.
Following a concerted spell of pressure, the hosts took the lead on 14 minutes. Raveli Kilonda split the Rangers defence with a peach of a pass and Lee Mythen finished brilliantly with a shot on the run from 16 yards.
Park Rangers were spurred into action by that goal and they went close to restoring parity six minutes later when Ciaran O’Neill let fly from 20 yards but Luke Fanning in the Johnville goal produced a wonderful save.
Adam O’Neill then picked out Ciaran O’Neill with a cross from the left but on this occasion Luke Fanning tipped a header from O’Neill over his crossbar.
The pressure on the home goal was intense at this stage and Luke Fanning did well once again on 30 minutes when he clawed away an effort from Adam O’Brien who had been put clear by Matthew Doherty.
Adam O’Brien was in the thick of action once again two minutes later he took another fine delivery from Matthew Doherty but this time the flying left winger had to watch his low strike from the edge of the penalty area go agonisingly wide of the far upright.
Under-15 League games are now played over 70 minutes and Park Rangers grabbed a well deserved equaliser one minute before the half-time break.
Jack Nolan got past two tackles before releasing Matthew Doherty who in turn hammered the ball past Luke Fanning from 18 yards.
It was a goal the visitors certainly deserved and indeed needed. David Byrne almost regained Johnville’s lead on 40 minutes but Keelan Doherty in the Rangers goal held the ball with confidence underneath his crossbar.
Lee Mythen almost scored his second goal of the game two minutes later but after been put clear by Scot Grey he shot wide from a good position.
The hosts did, however, get their noses back in front once again on 55 minutes. David Byrne sprayed the ball out wide right to Jack Stickel who skipped around two tackles before he unleashed a low angled shot past the diving Keelan Doherty.
Ciaran O’Neill, who had a terrific game for Park Rangers in the middle of the park, went close on two occasions following Stickel’s strike but the last goal of the contest was scored by Lee Mythen who bagged his brace with class following superb work out on the right by Raveli Kilonda.
That goal arrived on 69 minutes and there was no coming back at that stage by the brave Rangers outfit.
Johnville: Luke Fanning; Jack O’Shea, Dylan Cowie, Jack Stickel, Anthony Browne; David Byrne, Kian Egan, Scot Grey, Lorcan Power; Raveli Kilonda, Lee Mythen.
Substitutes: Cameron Cheasty, Kilavoia Kuzmiez, Mark Dalton, Philip Myler and Giri Pembele.
Park Rangers: Keelan Doherty; Jack Kingston, Cormac Walsh, Patrick Leahy, John Walsh; Ciaran O’Neill, Ciaran Power, Craig Kavanagh, Alex Doherty; Matthew Doherty, Adam O’Brien.
Substitutes: Killian Lynch, Jack McBrinn and Harry Nolan.
Referee: Noel Lavery.