Six goal thriller as Willow Park strike late to salvage well earned league draw


A six-goal thriller saw Willow Park salvage a point last Saturday night in DPD Park against Glenville FC.

The mid-table clash saw the home team fall two goals behind inside the opening 10 minutes, but Mark Sherlock reduced the deficit before the half time break and Cathal Callinan levelled matters before the hour mark. The visitors looked like they had collected full points with a third goal late on but Sherlock rescued Willow with his second goal of the game as the contest approached full time.

The Dublin outfit raced into an early two goal lead with the opener coming after just three minutes, a long-range strike from Sean McGrane slipping past goalkeeper Aidan Browne into the net.

Callinan had the first home chance when seeing his shot blocked before Glenville doubled their lead after 10 minutes play. A through ball was not cut out and Ryan Hughes took full advantage of the slack home play to fire a low shot past the keeper’s left.

Willow were in trouble but were handed a lifeline on 26 minutes. Ryan O’Connor delivered a free kick from the left which was headed back across the goal and Sherlock nodded to the net from close range. Willow might then have levelled matters on the half hour mark but Callinan’s shot was tipped behind by goalkeeper Adam Kenny.

The was a lot less excitement in the second half but a dramatic final five minutes made up for the earlier lack of action. Willow were a lot sharper and the revival continued as Jack Quinn came close when heading over an O’Connor free from the left.

The home team eventually levelled matters after 56 minutes when Niall Scullion’s cross from the right picked out Callinan and his neat turn and shot had Willow back on terms.

Callinan then came close to putting Willow in front but fired narrowly wide just after the hour mark. There was little further action as the half progressed with the game set to end in a stalemate. However, there were a few further twists and turns to follow before the final outcome.

The visitors earned three more corner kicks while Sherlock had a header saved. Glenville had offered little in attack since half time but struck for a third goal with 86 minutes played, substitute Colm Dunne bundling the ball to the net as Willow failed to clear the danger.

It was then left to the oldest player in the Willow ranks to come to the rescue. With just two minutes remaining, Sherlock showed he had lost none of his scoring prowess as he found the net with a neat strike past the keeper’s right.

Willow now sensed that victory was within their grasp as Glenville were hanging on. Two corners were forced in stoppage time and the last goalmouth action in the third additional minute could have seen Willow grab a sensational winner, Scullion again delivered the cross from the right but substitute Benny Magennis directed his headed attempt wide of the target.


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