Share Of The Spoils At Planters Park As Dollingstown Struggle To A Point

Played on a perfect surface in glorious sunshine in what should have been a targeted home victory DFC produced there most inept performance of the season and in the end were lucky to salvage a key point in the battle ahead over the remaining 6 league games to try to win the Intermediate A title this season.

They got the perfect start in the opening minutes when Harrison played in McConnell who continued where he left off last week with tapping in the opening goal.

DFC went on to create numerous goal scoring chances but all three strikers when in excellent positions simply failed to deliver in the first half.

St Marys were much more competitive in the second half and shortly after Redpath and Harrison were replaced by Adams and Thompson it was St Marys who deservedly drew level when a Ciaran Rooney free kick was deflected into the bottom corner.

Soon after this McCordick was replaced by Keegan but again it was St Mary’s who showed much more desire to win every first ball.

However DFC were presented with a glorious chance on 80 minutes when McConnell pulled the ball back for Thompson who inadvertent fired over the bar from literally 6 yards out.

This miss proved crucial as St Mary’s went in front after a calamitous error by home keeper Croft which duly summed up the overall team performance today and it was his opposite keepers turn to drop a cross for Keegan to tap in the equaliser in the final few minutes.

DFC are away next week to Moneyslane and hoping for a more robust overall team performance as the business end of the season draws nearer.

McConnell Stars As DFC Make It 4 Points Clear At The Top Of Intermediate A

In the only league fixture on Saturday top of the table DFC defeated a spirited bottom of the league Seapatrick 5-1 to go 4 points clear at the top with 7 league games still remaining.

Norton tested the home keeper as early as the second minute when his shot from the edge of the area was superbly tipped over the bar but on 10 minutes Seapatrick went in front when a move down the right left both McConnell and Walker stranded and from the cross Moffett turned the ball into his own net.

Then on 19 minutes a piece of McCordick magic and his effort rattled the bar as DFC pressed hard for the equaliser which duly came a few minutes later when from a Redpath cross from the right found his opposite wing back McConnell at the back post and he tapped in from close range.

Harrison then had a good chance with a free header from the near post but it wasn’t long for the pressure to count when from a McConnell free kick on the left Moffett made amends with a great leap at the back post to put DFC in front finally.

McConnell was again provider with a great through ball for Harrison to calmly round the keeper and steer the ball over the line from a tight angle and it was that man McConnell again who found himself free at the back post to head DFC 4-1 in front and now in full control.

Harrison should have made it 5 before half time when he found himself one on one with the keeper but instead of shooting tried to find Clarke but possession was lost.

On 55 minutes DFC went further in front when that man McConnell was involved again after a free-flowing move involving McCordick and they set up Clarke to score number 5.

Manager Uprichard then rang the changes to give much-needed game time to King and Adams and Keegan who replaced Coleman, Rodgers and Redpath.

Seapatrick kept plugging away in a very spirited team performance but it was Harrison who had the best opportunity but again the home keeper won the one to one battle.

DFC return to planters park next Saturday with a very tough fixture against a rejuvenated St Marys team who have successfully pulled well away from the relegation zone in the last two months.

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DFC Looking To Extend Lead At The Summit Of Intermediate A

This Saturday with only 1 game in Intermediate A due to the holiday weekend DFC will be looking to extend their lead at the summit of Intermediate A as they make the short journey over to Seapatrick FC.

The clubs have met twice already this season with DFC coming out on top on both occasions. Both games where played back in August and DFC won a tight league affair at Planters Park 1-0 with a goal from Captain Aaron Moffett but this scoreline was due to a lot of missed opportunities and some excellent goal keeping from the Seapatrick number 1.

In the 2nd game Seapatrick were the hosts for the Bob Radcliffe Cup encounter as DFC ran out 7-1 winners with Gregg Harrison scoring 4 goals, departed Aaron Duke scoring 2 goals and Josh Norton making up the seven in a very comfortable game, and in which DFC went on to win the Boxing Day spectacular for the 1st time in the clubs history with a win over Coagh United.

So, in this Top vs bottom clash this weekend the eyes of MUFL will be at Havelock Park with very few other games being played and interest will be high to see if DFC can extend their lead while Seapatrick will be looking to give themselves a slim chance of avoiding the inevitable drop

The game will kick off at the usual 2.15pm on Saturday at Havelock Park in Seapatrick.

The Dollybirds Scrape Through To The Semi-Final Stage Of The Marshall Cup

Dollingstown travelled to Mid Ulster Division 2 side Keady Celtic in this Marshall Cup quarter-final tie. Manager Uprichard made two changes with Davy Gray and Greg Harrison starting for Richie Thompson and the unavailable Scott McCordick.

The Dollybirds started well and for the first ten minutes enjoyed plenty of possession but without creating any real chances. The pressure did result in a number of dangerous corner kicks but Dollingstown were unable to convert with Aaron Moffett going closest.

At around the 20 minute mark the home side were unlucky not to be in front when poor marking allowed the Keady Centre Back a free header which fortunately went straight into keeper Crofts hands. The Dollingstown markers didn’t learn from this and fifteen minutes later the same Keady player was presented with another free header from a corner which was converted into the roof of the net. The half-finished at 1-0 to the home side.

Dollingstown started the second half in a similar fashion to how they started the first with high tempo and quick passing and enjoyed early pressure. This paid off when striker Norton was barged to the ground inside the box winning a much-needed penalty for the Dollybirds which Captain Moffett despatched confidently.

The game continued with little incident until Dollingstown brought on Scott Adams and Jake Keegan on the 70 minute mark for Greg Harrison and David Gray. The change immediately made an impact with Keegan finding a lot of space on the left hand side causing problems for Keady right back. Indeed it was from the left hand side that Dollingstown eventually scored the winner when Adams netted a cross from Keegan much to the relief of the Dollingstown team.

The Dollybirds Hit Top Spot After Tough Moneyslane Test

Despite all the rain in the previous 24 hours the pitch was in remarkable condition for this top of the table clash and manager Uprichard shuffled his team formation after dropping points last week away from home.

DFC went about their business in a very efficient manner in the opening period and nearly went in front on 3 minutes when a Coleman free kick found McCordick who turned his marker but fired wide of the far post.

Then on 20 minutes they did open the score when Thompson headed on a cross from McConnell and the defender diverted this into his own net . A few minutes late Norton starting his first game in 2 months fired over when well put through on goal by Clarke.

However on 26 minutes it was 2-0 when McCordick tapped in and on 35 minutes it was 3-0 when Thompson turned provider for McConnell to head home at the back post.

After this DFC went to sleep and only two excellent saves by Croft before half time kept Moneyslane blank when both times a long ball caught out the DFC defence.

Instead of building on this DFC retreated and with Thompson going off at half time to be replaced by Harrison it was Moneyslane who were now in the ascendency and they pulled a goal back on 48 minutes when DFC defence were again caught out with long ball.

McCordick was then replaced by Scott Adams and Norton by Hughes but it was Moneyslane who got a second goal on 82 minutes with a free header from a corner kick.

This made a tense final 10 minutes and DFC were literally on the ropes but held out for three very important points to move them back to the summit of the league table with 8 very important league games still to play against teams still vying for the title.

We would like to Thank McIntyre’s Tools & Equipment for sponsoring today’s game, much appreciated.

 

 

Next week DFC away to Keady Celtic in the 1/4 Final of the Marshall cup.