Dixon delivers for Gorey Celtic
Danny Dixon's penalty, five minutes from time, gave Gorey Celtic a somewhat fortuitous victory over Skryne-Tara in the O'Neill's LFA Junior Shield first round at Mulaunfin on Sunday.
Gorey Celtic 1 Skyrne-Tara (Meath) 0
With the game heading for extra-time, James Mordaunt cut in from the left wing and attempted to chip the ball past Niall Cleary in the Skryne defence. The ball ricocheted off the defender's arm and after some thought referee James Doyle pointed to the penalty spot.
Faced with the pressure kick, Dixon sent Desmond McAvinney the wrong way, sliding a right-footed effort low to his left for what proved to be the winner for the north Wexford club.
The hosts had to withstand a barrage of attacks in the opening half as the Meath outfit completely dominated with the breeze at their backs. John Dunbar was solid as a rock, keeping Colin Doyle's wicked strike out in the tenth minute.
A strong but not illegal tackle by David Giles on Colm McLoughlin resulted in the Skryne defender being stretchered off with a shin injury. Paddy Carpenter then slipped Jason Fox in but Dunbar was up to the test again.
With Skryne bossing the midfield, James Looby sent Frank Canty away into the Gorey penalty area where he was hacked down by a Giles sliding challenge, and referee James Doyle pointed to the spot. Dunbar's great afternoon continued as he dived full length to his right to save Jason Fox's spot-kick. Celtic had one chance of note in first-half stoppage time when Wayne Murphy got to the byline on the right.
He crossed for Jacob Konkel in the centre but his header flew wide of the post.
Gorey had more of the game after the break but their opponents still created the better chances. Dunbar twice denied Fox after a defensive error before the home side got lucky when Canty was questionably given offside when netting in the 59th minute.
When Mordaunt was hacked down by Cian McAvinney with eleven minutes remaining, Gorey had a free-kick in a dangerous position.
However, the attacker's effort smacked straight into the wall and the chance was gone.
Fox got in again for Skryne a minute later but again Dunbar got out and narrowed the angle, making a fine save.
All those stops proved vital when Dixon slotted home his late penalty, booking a place in the second round for Celtic in the process.
Gorey Celtic: John Dunbar; Conor Travers, David Giles, Seán Feeney, James Cullen; Wayne Murphy, Danny Dixon, Brian McDermott, Prabukar Rawat; Jacob Konkel, James Mordaunt. Subs. - Jordan Synnott for Giles, inj. (40), Jordan Doyle for Konkel (62), Richie Quinn for Murphy (90), also Jordan Davis, Greg O'Brien.
Skryne-Tara: Desmond McAvinney; Colin Doyle, Darren Carty, Niall Cleary, Darren Fox; Paddy Carpenter, James Looby; Luke Thorpe, Jason Fox, Colm McLoughlin; Frank Canty. Subs. - Gavin Sweeney for McLoughlin, inj. (23), Cian McAvinney for Looby (75), John McGovern for Thorpe (82), also Shane Dowling, Michael Carolan.
Referee: James Doyle.