Magic Mitchell Fires DTown Into Wilmor Johnston Memorial Semi Final

Saturday 26th January 2019

Ballymacash Rangers Res 1:3 Dollingstown Reserves

Dollingstown progressed to the Semi Final of the Wilmor Johnston Cup with a deserved, but at times lackadaisical victory over a stubborn Ballymacash side.

Dtown opened the scoring in the opening minutes when McCluskey reaped the rewards of his own high press and caught the defenders cold before coolly slotting home.

From this point on, Dtown were dominant with keeper Robinson largely a by-stander aside from a few set pieces and created chance after chance as it seemed the tie could be won before the interval.  However, a mixture of fine goalkeeping from Campbell in the ‘Cash goal and poor finishing meant that as half time approached, the game was still in the balance.

Mitchell was guilty of missing a great opening as was McCluskey, whilst Duffy rattled the crossbar and King blasted a close range header over the top as Cash rode their luck to half time.

Half Time 0:1

Despite their dominance, the failure to close out the game and take chances, as well as having to tend with a poor referee, meant that the second half would be a much tighter affair.  Dtown were aware ‘Cash would have opportunities and this was proven the case in the opening minutes of the second half when, after nice trickery on the right hand side, the Cash forward was left an open net to equalise, fortunately for Dtown, puilling his effort wide under pressure from Harrison.  This should have been the catalyst for Dtown to kick into gear, but in fact, in what became an end to end game it was Cash who got a deserved leveller with 20 mins remaining, their substutue pouncing from 10 yards after Dtown failed to deal with a corner correctly.

Dtown continued to spurn chances, which is unlike them this season, this time Duffy lacking composure when clear on goal, and it seemed extra time was looming.

However, credit to the character in the team, from a well won set piece by Wright, Mitchell was able to head home to give Dtown the advantage.  Expectedly, Cash pushed and pressed in the final 10 minutes and only for a fine save and last ditch interception from Bennett, would have once again levelled.

In-form striker Mitchell sealed the game with a few minutes remaining, calmly slotting home when released on the counter attack.

Overall, a largely dominant display, and on another day the game would have been over a as contest by the interval, and as frustrating as it was to let Cash come back into the game, credit must be given for the resolve the young Dtown side showed to see the game out.

Squad:  Robinson, King, Harrison, Duffy, Houston, Wright, Rea, Bennett, Mitchell, McCluskey, R Taylor, A Ewins, D Branker, J Irwin

MOTM: Neil King/David Houston