Tullamore had to settle for a share of the spoils against second placed Greystones as they kept their promotion hopes alive in Leah Victoria Park last Friday.
Leinster Senior League
Tullamore Town 1
Greystones Utd 1
They were first to threaten when Ronan Kelly found Trevor Moylan on the right and he picked out Jason Pohl at the back post, but his effort flew over and then Pohl knocked a Stephen Francis cross down to Michael Hoey but his shot was charged down.
With quarter of an hour gone they nearly hit the front when Arron Hensey’s beautifully measured cross was fired wide by the inrushing Hoey.
With half an hour gone Greystones suddenly burst into life with Shay Brien firing wide from distance and then, following a free kick, Joe Mooney brilliantly tipped Kevin Farrell’s header around the post. As Tullamore hit back, Kelly played the ball through to Hensey but Ian Fowler was quickly off his line to avert the danger while at the other end Mark Gorman did well to get across to clear as Dean Byrne broke free on the left. With Matthew Carragher and Stephen Francis working tirelessly in midfield the home side held firm and, with minutes remaining, Hoey knocked a Mooney clearance on to Pohl who fired over as the referee brought the first half to a conclusion.
On the resumption both teams went all out for the opener. Jason Pohl played in Michael Hoey, but his effort flew past the left post. Tullamore again threatened when Scott Delaney, Ronan Kelly and Trevor Moylan combined down the right before cutting the ball back to Kelly, but his shot was charged down.
As Greystones hit back Shane Thompson broke free on the right but Mooney was out quickly to clear and then Conor O’Donovan weaved his way through the home defence before being crowded out. O’Donovan again created danger on sixty five minutes when he played a great ball through to Shay Brien but Mooney reacted superbly to save at his feet.
As manager Jimmy Green looked to get his side back in the game, he brought on Stephen Duffy in defence and moved Trevor Moylan into the attack and the change brought immediate results. Duffy and Stephen Francis combined to send Moylan clear on the right and, when Fowler could only punch his dangerous cross to safety, Michael Hoey quickly fired the ball back into the area for Arron Hensey to get across the front of the defence and side foot it home from close range.
Within minutes Greystones were back in the game when Paul Molloy sent in a searching cross from the left and Dave Carroll rose unchallenged to head the ball into the roof of the net for a fine equaliser.
With Tullamore still reeling, Kevin Farrell headed narrowly wide from a corner. With minutes remaining, they missed a glorious chance to win the game when Molloy cut through the defence and, when Michael Kenaney charged down his effort, Shay Brien blasted the rebound over when it seemed easier to score.
This was a most entertaining game, but both these fine sides will see this as a missed opportunity. While Tullamore’s promotion hopes are still in their own hands, they have to gain maximum points from their remaining three matches which are all away from home. For the home side there were excellent contributions from Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Stephen Francis and Arron Hensey with Kevin Farrell, Andy Flynn, Conor O’Donovan and Paul Molloy the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding young midfielder, Matthew Carragher.
Tullamore: Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Mark Gorman, Scott Delaney, Michael Kenaney, Ronan Kelly, Stephen Francis, Matthew Carragher, Jason Pohl, Michael Hoey and Arron Hensey. Subs: Stephen Duffy, Brian Francis, Simon Keegan, Mark Goodings and Martin Cunningham.