Saints get title chase back up and running

by Karl Graham
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ST MOCHTA’S got their league campaign back on track last weekend with an impressive 2-0 win over Crumlin United at Armagh Road to move to second position in the LSL Senior Sunday.
Brian McCarthy’s side had lost their previous two league games as Killester United looked to race clear in the league but Mochta’s now sit six points off Killester with a game in hand. The Porterstown club also exited the Metropolitan Cup since the side had last recorded a win.
Both sides looked to get a foothold in the game from the first whistle but chances were at a premium. The first big opening came after 24 minutes when Anthony Murphy popped up at the back post for a header that was blocked.
Keith Dunne almost found the net two minutes later but Crumlin keeper David Meehan pulled off an excellent save to deny him. Mochta’s took the lead from the resulting corner, however, when Dunne flicked on with his head at the near post and David Somers tapped home from close range.
Crumlin have also struggled over their last few games after initially starting the season well with three wins from three, and this tie saw little improvement. They tried to respond to falling behind but they were finding it hard to create any clear-cut chances.
Mochta’s punished them for this by doubling their advantage five minutes before the break. Luke Kelly was the scorer after Dunne was brought down just outside the box and dead centre. Kelly stepped up confidently and smashed the ball towards goal. He was wheeling away in celebration before the ball had even hit the back of the net.
Crumlin upped the tempo in the second half and, on another day, could have seen themselves get back into the match. However, Morgan Cranley was once again found in fine form to pull off a string of excellent saves and frustrate the opponents.
Mochta’s could now afford to sit back and hit the home side on the break and it almost led to a third goal on 62 minutes when David Lacey found himself through on goal but fired just wide.
The striker had another opportunity to seal the win three minutes later after pouncing on a wayward back pass and rounding Meehan before going down. The referee pointed to the spot but changed his mind after consulting with his linesman and awarding a goal kick instead.
Crumlin came close again on a number of occasions but just couldn’t find the net and Kelly almost netted again from a free kick.
Next up for Mochta’s is another tricky encounter, this time a home tie against title rivals Bluebell United on Friday night.

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