North End show title credentials
North End United produced a performance befitting their tag of championship favourites, coming from a goal down to take all three points against Gorey Rangers in this excellent Premier Division clash at Belvedere on Sunday morning.
North End United 4 Gorey Rangers 2
The Wexford town side scored four goals before the north county side managed to pull a goal back in a highly impressive performance.
While they allowed the visitors to get somewhat back into the game on the resumption, still their winning margin could have been greater as the excellent goalkeeping of Gavin Griffith denied them on several occasions during periods of total dominance.
Gorey Rangers had opened the game impressively, but it was their lack of consistency when defending the quick counter-attacks of their opponents that was to cost them, particularly after they had taken a first half lead. with four across the back and their midfield four sitting deep they denied the home side for lengthy spells but having failed to clear their lines under pressure they paid a costly penalty.
During the opening half hour both sides were teasing each other out, particularly as they each had hit six goals in their opening league game, so the respective back fours were wary of the attacking instincts of the players up front.
After several near misses at either end, the deadlock was eventually broken after 32 minutes and it was the visitors who struck first.
Both Eric Quinn and Mark Woods were involved in a fast build-up, with Woods getting over an excellent cross across the face of the goal leaving David Behan to pull a left-footed shot across keeper Lee Walker into the opposite corner of the net making it 0-1.
It took just eight minutes for North End to get back level. A low Gary Byrne cross from the left was spilled by keeper Griffith into the path of the inrushing Rovin Dempsey, who sent a left-footed shot low into the bottom right hand corner of the net making it 1-1.
On 44 minutes the home team took the lead when Paul Rossiter drilled a low centre into the goalmouth with Kevin Kennedy only managing to turn the ball high into his own net making it 2-1.
As the game moved into additional time North End struck again.
This time Gary Byrne pulled a pass from the endline back into the path of Jason Murphy who drilled a superb low left-footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net making it 3-1 at the interval.
Within seven minutes of the restart North End well and truly secured the points with Andy Moore scoring, turning a Jason Murphy cross into the net beating keeper Griffith at his near post to make it 4-1.
The North End pace dropped after this goal as they were content to protect their lead, but it cost them a goal as David Behan headed home from close range catching keeper Walker wrong footed leaving it 4-2 after 59 minutes.
While the Gorey side enjoyed more possession with Behan and sub Joe Bolger coming close on a couple of occasions it took superb stops from keeper Griffith to deny Kyle Dempsey and Andy Moore from extending their sides lead, but they still managed to maintain their one hundred per cent start to the league campaign.
Gorey Rangers ended with ten players having Kevin Kennedy red carded for dissent in second half additional time.
North End United: Lee Walker, Warren Broaders, Robin Dempsey, Paul Rossiter, Lee Smith, Lee Wadding, Adam Beary, Kyle Dempsey (Daryl Power 72), Andy Moore (Kieran Walsh 80), Jason Murphy (Robert Dempsey 61), Gary Byrne. Also: Charlie Heffernan.
Gorey Rangers: Gavin Griffith, Ryan Cullen, James Lynch, Dylan Vickers, Kevin Kavanagh, Kevin Kennedy, Gary Murphy (Eoin Kinsella 63), Daniel Brennan, David Behan (Joe Bergin 78), Mark Woods (Conor Casserley 85), Eric Quinn. Also: Jamie Howard, Stephen Hempenstall.
Referee: Darren Ennis.