Waterford Junior League, Division 1A
De La Salle 1
Bohemians closed the gap on the leaders Portlaw United to just three points when they came out on top against a battling De La Salle team in Ben Wadding Park on Friday night.
With the game entering the final minute it looked as if Bohs were going to drop two vital points but then Shane Nolan, who had equalised during the first half, popped up with a glorious winner.
It was rough justice on a De La Salle outfit who gave their all during the 90 minutes.
This current DLS team are young and hard-working and title chasing Bohemians will not face a tougher encounter during the remainder of the campaign.
The hosts almost took the lead after four minutes. David Kennedy split the DLS defence with an inch perfect ball to Bryan Power who took a shot on the run from just inside the penalty area but Shane Burke, the DLS goalkeeper, spread himself superbly to save. Stephen Walsh tested Bohs keeper Adam Carroll after 18 minutes with a stinging shot from 20 yards after 18 minutes.
The play was moving from end to end at this stage and David Kennedy floated over a cross on 22 minutes which was met by a Bryan Power header but was well held by Shane Burke. Adam Carroll did remarkably well to keep out a rasping drive from Ray Roche on the half hour mark following super work by Stephen Walsh. De La Salle opened the scoring on 32 minutes. They forced a corner kick out after Adam Carroll had tipped away an effort from Jack Walsh.
Shane O’Neill whipped over the flag kick and Ray Roche headed the ball to the net inside a crowded penalty area.
However, the visitors held their lead for just three minutes. Bryan Power squared the ball to Shane Nolan who was 25 yards from goal. He unleashed a rocket of a half volley and the ball flew into the corner of Shane Burke’s net. Following the change of ends both teams played a rather cagey game and neither side were prepared to concede an inch of space to each other.
With ten minutes remaining on the clock the game became rather stretched as both teams went in search of a winning goal. Brian Nolan, the Bohemians player-manager was just off target with a super effort from 25 yards in 81 minutes.
Shortly afterwards his twin brother Shane went close with an angled strike from the left side of the 18 yards box. A share of the spoils looked odds on with one-minute remaining but there was a sting in the tail which badly stung De La Salle. Substitute Kevin Foskin’s (78th minute) delicious cross took three DLS defenders out of the game and Shane Nolan headed the ball powerfully to the roof of the net. Needless to say the Bohemians bench went crazy with delight because they knew it was a goal which could eventually see them return to the Premier League once again come the end of the season.
The De La Salle players on the other hand left the field crestfallen following their super effort which sadly for them was all in vain.