NEFL | Mando magic gives Woodview all three points against Redeemer
NEFL Division Two | Redeemer Celtic 0–1 Woodview Celtic
Ray McCann rolled back the years with a stunning free kick to give Woodview Celtic a big win over Redeemer Celtic at Noel Gorman Park on Sunday afternoon.
This NEFL Division Two town derby was evenly poised when McCann stood over the dead ball, wide on the left, with 13 minutes to play, but he curled a brilliant effort into Kyle Murphy’s top corner to secure the three points for Conor Macken’s side.
McCann was one of a host of experienced players named in the Woodview starting XI with Tommy O’Hare, Paul McArdle and the evergreen Alan ‘Ducka’ Larkin all surprise starters.
Redeemer set up with a more youthful feel to their side and they were the better team for much of a first half that started at breakneck speed.
Teenager Kevin McCormack saw a drive tipped into the side netting by goalkeeper Padraig Gorham in the five minutes before the offside trap saved Woodview minutes later when McCormack slipped Sean Bailey in with a neat pass.
The fast and furious opening continued with Dean Brown firing a free kick over the Redeemer crossbar and the home side’s goalkeeper, Kyle Murphy, had to parry a drive by the same player who was set up by Kyle Carroll.
Stephen Fisher’s side pushed for an opener before the break with the lively McCormack posing a threat and he almost supplied Simon O’Shaughnessy with a devilish ball across the face of goal but a Woodview player was there to cut the ball out and deny the winger a tap in.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw things continue in the same vein with Woicheck Gladzy hitting the post after Woodview only partially cleared a free-kick.
Bailey then had the ball in the Woodview net after Gorham parried a Martin Murphy strike only to see the effort correctly ruled out for offside.
The introduction of the experienced Shane English in the 57th minute proved to be the catalyst for the pendulum swinging in Woodview’s favour.
With English moving to centre-back, it allowed player-manager Macken to advance into midfield and the visitors looked a different proposition for the final half hour.
Macken had his side’s best chance of the game on the hour mark when he peeled away to the back post to read a McCann free but he couldn’t apply the finish.
With Larkin and McArdle starting to get a grip in the middle, chances continued to appear for the visitors with Redeemer centre-back Sean Kelleher making a brilliant sliding challenge to stop Woodview substitute, Caolan Dines, from bearing down on goal.
It looked like a mistake or a moment of magic would settle the game and it proved to be the latter when McCann picked out the top corner with a fine finish from close to the left touchline.
Redeemer threw men forward in the dying stages but with English marshalling his back four, Woodview saw it out to claim their second win in three league games.
REDEEMER CELTIC: Kyle Murphy, Stephen McGuinness, Paul Gartland, Sean Kelleher, Niall Kelly, Martin Murphy, Simon O’Shaughnessy (Colm Bracken 82), Dean O’Connell (Jordan Gartland 82), Kevin McCormack, Woycheck Gladzy, Sean Bailey. Subs not used: Dion Clohessy, Caolan Carroll, Anto Reilly.
WOODVIEW CELTIC: Padraig Gorham, Shea McArdle, Tommy O’Hare (Ciaran Clinton 73), Dylan Thornton, Conor Macken, Paul McArdle, Alan Larkin, Kyle Carroll, Ray McCann, Jason Myles (Caolan Dines 59), Dean Brown. Subs not used: Gavin Markey, Niall Mackin, Dean Mulligan, Dano Killeen.
REFEREE: Brendan Gillespie.