Kildrum Tigers proved patience is a virtue as they opened the Ulster Senior League with a hard fought 1-0 win at Drumkeen United - on an evening when they missed two penalties.
Drumkeen United 0
Kildrum Tigers 1
Ronan Coyle, who was one of those guilty of missing from the penalty spot along with Johnny McGinty, tucked home the only goal of the game on 70 minutes in an interesting fixture. Kildrum were glad to get away from St Patrick’s Park with the points, while Drumkeen were narrowly beaten, just as they were in their first fixture at Fanad United’s Traialough on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams went into the fixture buoyed by Monday’s draw for the FAI Ford Senior Cup. Drumkeen will take on Airtricity League Premier Division outfit Bohemians at the home of Irish soccer, Dalymount Park, while Kildrum have a home draw against highly-rated Munster Senior League outfit Avondale United from Cork.
However, their more pressing concerns were of a domestic matter on Thursday. Kildrum’s Darren Cassidy, on 20 minutes, put a in devilish corner that Cormac Carlin headed the wrong side of Paul McAuley’s post, while the other end Mark Marley wasn’t far away as he let fly with a half-volley.
Just after the half-hour, Philip Whyte was adjudged to have fouled Kevin Doran in the penalty area. Up stepped full-back Johnny McGinty, who has an exemplary record from the 12-yard marker only to see his kick strike the crossbar.
Kildrum, moments later, passed up on another decent chance when McAuley came from his line to save well from the lively Oisin McMenamin in a one-on-one situation. Drumkeen, though, continued to carry a threat themselves and another optimistic effort from Marley had Mary McGinty in the Kildrum goal concerned for a time before the ball again flew just wide.
Two minutes into the second half, Kildrum were awarded a second penalty when Shaun Gallagher took a tug at Ronan Coyle. The Kildrum frontman dusted himself down but McAuley dived to his right to save well.
At that stage Kildrum manager Raymond McDaid must’ve been pulling his hair out but on 67 minutes he was glad that parity was still restored. Substitute Peter McNamee dipped volley that Marty McGinty did excellent to tip onto the crossbar as he dived backwards and he recovered to make an even better shot with the faintest of touches as Richard Moore blasted the rebound.
After that exceptional bit of goalkeeping, Kildrum forced the breakthrough. McMenamin set Cassidy scampering towards the byline and his pullback was tucked home by Coyle from six yards out. Kildrum had finally got in front and with McGinty again was alert to deny Sean Ferry and the St Johnston side got off to a decent start against a Drumkeen team who will ruffle plenty of feathers this season.
Drumkeen United: Paul McAuley; Chris Kyle (James Ratiff 76), Shaun Gallagher, Ray Quinn, Benny Bonner; Gary Patton (Peter McNamee 34), Philip Whyte (Eunan Doherty 76), Mark Marley, Raymond Sweeney; Sean Ferry, Richard Moore.
Kildrum Tigers: Marty McGinty; Johnny McGinty, Glen Bouvaird, Paddy McLaughlin, Darren Cassidy; Kevin Doran (Darren Dolan 61), Darren McCready, Damian Crossan, Oisin McMenamin; Ronan Coyle (Gavin Doherty 88), Cormac Carlin.
Referee: Tommy McAree.