Flood's stunner rescues a point
For both sides this was a real test of character in the windswept conditions, but in the end it was no surprise when Forth Celtic and Wexford Bohemians had to be content with a point apiece from this Division 1 clash in Murrintown on Sunday morning.
Forth Celtic 1 Wexford Bohemians 1
Out of the conditions still came some quality football as both sides pressed for the points to keep them in the promotion race.
The gale that swirled around the pitch made it difficult for control, but with both sides clearly intent on the short passing game, it led to some excellent passages of play.
Against the wind in the first-half, Wexford Bohs had to put up a staunch defence, but with Roy Doyle and Evan Dunbar starring in their central roles, 'keeper Aidan Seaver had only to deal with a couple of long-range speculative attempts on goal which he handled excellently.
Forth Celtic for their part were seeking a breakthrough from an early stage.
Ryan Murphy and Anthony Hayes looked dangerous moving forward in possession, but they were unable to create an opening close to goal.
Murphy had a 25-metre effort well saved by Seaver after 15 minutes, while twelve minutes later, Hayes had a low shot that the 'keeper successfully gathered low down at the right-hand post.
The home side began to show signs of coming more into the game as Gordon Simpson was beginning to make an impact in midfield.
He forced a fine save out of Seaver, while at the opposite end the safe handling of Noel Simpson in the home goal denied Dermot Flood who powered in a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
Neither side, despite enjoying lots of possession up front, was able to break the deadlock so it was no surprise when they went in 0-0 at the interval.
There was quite an amazing start to the second-half. Straight from the re-start, Graham Carty noticed the 'keeper off his line, and lobbed a superb ball from halfway towards the goal, but the retreating Noel Simpson somehow managed to knock the ball over the top for what turned out to be a fruitless corner, and all of this within 30 seconds.
The explosive re-start led to both sides increasing the tempo of their game as play moved from end to end in a search for that elusive opening goal.
Five minutes into the second-half Ryan Murphy broke down the right and sent a great low ball across the face of Seaver's goal, but no one was following through when it only needed the simplest of touches.
Murphy was causing problems with his hard running, forcing a penalty after 61 minutes when he was clearly taken down just inside the area, leaving Anthony Hayes to neatly tuck away the resulting spot kick to the right-hand corner for a 1-0 lead Forth just about deserved.
Prompted by this setback, Bohs now began to move forward, showing greater pace and working the ball into the danger zone.
Only desperate defending from the home side denied them with a couple of attempts, but the 85th-minute levelling goal was a real beauty, as Dermot Flood steered an excellent 25-metre left-footed shot into the top right-hand corner of the net, making it 1-1, and leaving the teams to share a point apiece.
Forth Celitc: Gordon Simpson, Paul Cowman, Shane Sinnott, Kevin Price, Mark Doyle, Lee Donohoe, Gordon Simpson, Michael O'Brien, Ryan Murphy, Robert Coakley, Anthony Hayes. Subs. - Darragh Kenny, Darragh Rossiter, Mark Hayes, Jake Firman.
Wexford Bohs: Aidan Seaver, Seán Grayson, Aaron Goldsmith, Roy Doyle, Evan Dunbar, Graham Carty, Mick Walker, Aaron Lambert, Jason Goodison, Dermot Flood, Shane McGrath. Subs. - Cormac Bates, Cormac Jones, Stephen Flood, Eoin Healy.
Referee: Derek Campion.