The Reserves Book 1/4 Final Spot In Wilmor Johnston Memorial Cup

Saturday 8th December 2018

Dollingstown Res 5:1 Oxford Sunnyside Res

Our Reserves continued their decent form with a dominant and comfortable win over an in-form Oxford side in the Wilmor Johnston Cup on Saturday.

On the back of a good win in Kilkeel, but missing serval players, the Reserves were wary of the visitors, unbeaten in their league and in great form.  But Dtown immediately took control of the game, winning the midfield battle with Rea and Wright dictating and the experienced Montgomery providing an excellent link, that allowed for 10 minutes of sustained pressure where the hosts had several half chances to take the lead, twice thwarted by the Oxford keeper.

The breakthrough came on the quarter hour, when the excellent Bennett showed great composure to round the keeper after very neat interchange from Rea, Wright and Montgomery.

This was rewards for what had been an excellent opening period for Dtown, however, just minutes later Oxford were level with their first chance, heading home from a corner, disappointingly. Dtown continued to press and keeper Robinson was left a by-stander for most of the half.  However the game was frequently disrupted by several odd referring decisions which interrupted the momentum Dtown were trying to bring, and striker McCluskey had a goal disallowed for offside, later accepted as an error by the referee, and despite their dominance, the game went in level at the break

Half Time 1:1

The half time message was that patience was pivotal if Dtown were to win the game.  Aware that in periods they were excellent, Dtown were challenged to improve decision making in the final third and increase their tempo, and that the rewards would come, and credit to Dtown, within 10 minutes of the second period, the game was over as a contest.

In the opening minute of the second period, Dtown were awarded a penalty, McCluskey using his pace to nip in front of the Oxford centre half, who upended the striker, and the lethal Wright duly converted to ease any half time nerves.

Just minutes later came the goal of the game, with Allen and Bennett combining on the left hand side, before the latter drilled across, expertly volleyed home by the impressive Montgomery to make it 3.1 just 5 minutes into the second half.

Oxford were rattled by the pace and intent in the opening period, and following a corner, Bennett latched onto a loose ball at the edge of the box, with a neat finish to extend the lead, and again just minutes later, the lively McCluskey got his rewards for an excellent display, when he was released by Rea, calmly finishing under the advancing keeper to seal the victory.

Bennett had an opportunity for his hat-trick with a 20 yard free kick, twice viciously striking the wall.

Dtown continued to dominate the rest of the game, with Walker, Harrison and Forsythe comfortable at the back as the game moved to its finish for what was a comfortable victory in the end.

Our thanks go to Oxford who for 70 minutes competed well, and we wish them continued success in their league campaign

Squad:  Robinson, Harrison, Bennett, Armstrong, Walker, E Rea, Wright, Allen, Forsythe, McCluskey, Montgomery, J Irwin, Branker, E Taylor, R Taylor, D Ewins, A Ewins

MOTM: Bennett

Goals:  Bennett (2), Wright, Montgomery, McCluskey