DONEGAL SOCCER

Bonagee United win local derby to get back in league race

DONEGAL YOUTH LEAGUE

Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

Bonagee United win local derby to get back in league race

Bonagee United reignited hopes of interim league title glory when a brace from Deji Bashar in the space of 90 seconds saw them come from behind to defeat Letterkenny Rovers 3-2 at a damp Aura Centre on Saturday morning.
Bonagee move second in the table with two games remaining following the postponements of the other two games scheduled for Saturday.
The derby encounter was highly anticipated and although lacking in quality was highly competitive given the conditions while Rovers boss Anthony Gorman may rue the concession of some soft goals as Paul Higgins men savoured a famous victory against the home side who finished the game with ten men following the late dismissal of James Kernan.
Rovers were on the front foot in the opening exchanges and took the lead on nine minutes when the lively Gavin McGees cross ran across the face of goal before being recycled by Gavin Johnston who fed James Kernan and his delightful chipped lobbed gave visiting goalkeeper Cian Harkin no chance.
Jack Murphy then had a free kick go just wide as Bonagee looked to respond but Rovers should have extended their advantage on 17 minutes but Kernan somehow missed having gone round Harkin after latching onto a sublime throughball from McGee.
That proved to be crucial as Bonagee levelled on 21 minutes when Peter Carr - who had an excellent game - ran unchallenged from distance- before playing a one-two with Bashar and Carr slotted home neatly past Jonathan Pearson in the home goal.
That goal shook Rovers who responded by creating a number of good opportunities which saw Harkin do well to deny Ryan O'Donnell while set pieces from Gavin McGee were causing lots of consternation for the Bonagee defence with the nearest effort coming off the crossbar just before the interval.
It was the home side who got back in front on 49 minutes when Kernan headed home after a McGee cross after an initial centre from Conor O'Donnell was well parried away by Harkin and it looked like Rovers would go and win the game comfortably before two goals in the space of 90 seconds just after the hour mark turned the game on its head.
A Murphy free kick wasn't properly dealt with by sub keeper Aaron Hepburn and the ball fell to Dewi Bashar who showed all his poacherlike qualities to slam home the rebound.
Bonagee were celebrating just 90 seconds later when Bashar slotted home to the bottom corner.
Rovers tried to respond but created very little in the way of clearcut chances against a Bonagee side who were determined not to relinquish their lead and the home sides misery was compounded when Kernan was dismissed for a late challenge on Harkin having received a first caution earlier in the half from referee Marty Quinn.

LETTERKENNY ROVERS: Johnathan Pearson, Conor O'Donnell, Caolan McConnell, Thomas Keys, Ruairi Dennehy, Johnathan Coady, Brandon Manues, Gavin Johnston, Gavin McGee, Ryan O'Donnell, James Kernan. Subs: Aaron Hepburn, Jake Kelly, Sean McGinley, Joseph McGill, Nathan Plumb

BONAGEE UNITED: Cian Harkin,Sergey Alcorn, David Boakye, Taylor Cassidy, Odhran Donnelly, Adam Hannaway, Dekji Bashar, Jack Murphy, Josh Doherty, Peter Carr, Caolan Maltha. Subs used: Luke Doherty, Adam Kartasinski

REFEREE: Marty Quinn