WILLOW PARK 4 EDENDERRY TOWN 5
Willow Park U19s twice surrendered the lead as a remarkable game at DPD Park last Saturday afternoon ended in victory for Edenderry Town.
A nine-goal thriller saw the hosts ahead at the half time break. The lead was stretched when play resumed but four goals in five minutes had the league leaders in front. Willow reduced the deficit late on but could not grab an equaliser as an inconsistent season continued for Colm Holohan’s team.
With a game in hand, Willow knew that a win would edge them closer to the table toppers but were rocked in the second minute when Edenderry opened the scoring. The ball broke midway inside the home half and was worked out to Cian Daly on the left. The number eleven lashed a shot to the roof of the net.
Willow levelled matters on the quarter hour mark. The Town keeper failed to collect a right-wing cross leaving Cian Molloy with a simple tap in. The home team were on top in the opening half and were rewarded with the lead after 32 minutes. Glen Byrne set up Jordan Simpson and he shot across the goalkeeper into the far corner. The home team had further chances to increase their lead but had to be content with a slender advantage at half time.
An amazing passage of play in the first fifteen minutes of the second half saw the game turned on its head. Willow went further ahead but the advantage was quickly wiped out as Edenderry struck four times without reply. The half had started well for the hosts as they made it three one with ten minutes played. A long ball forward saw the keeper advance to gather but Simpson got around Eric Corcoran to fire home.
What happened next is sure to haunt Holohan and his players as four goals had the away team heading towards another win. The deficit was cut to the bare minimum within sixty seconds of Willow’s third goal. A handball was penalised and Rob O’Connell tucked away the resulting penalty kick past the keeper’s right.
The equaliser followed just before the hour mark when a free kick was played to Alan Harte who fired home. Willow were reeling and two more goals in as many minutes had them on the ropes. The visitors regained the lead with a second goal from Harte. Willow were further punished from the restart when Sean Mustafa drilled a low shot to the net. It completed an amazing comeback from the visitors but Willow were not finished just yet.
Remarkably, goal number nine of the game was scored by Simpson who forced the ball home following a corner kick. The home team still had over twenty minutes remaining but could not force an equaliser. James Keane Flanagan fired over while Molloy had three chances to become the home hero. The number seven was twice denied by the keeper but should have scored from the third opportunity when shooting wide from a good position.