Kelly grabs a last-gasp win­ner for the lead­ers

Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN At Bal­ly­waltrim

TOMMY KELLY was the toast of Fin­lay Park last Wed­nes­day night as his 95th minute win­ner helped Wick­low Town to open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier Divi­sion.

Wick­low looked set to drop points for the first time since Jan­uary un­til David O’Con­nor sprayed the ball for­ward for Kelly to run onto and the striker charged to­wards the penalty area be­fore lash­ing a shot across the face of Craig Wil­liams’ goal and into the bot­tom cor­ner of the net.

A last minute win­ner would have been the last thing on Wick­low Town’s minds mid­way through the sec­ond half when Kelly added to Rikki Quinn’s 25th minute opener to give his side a com­mand­ing and de­served 0-2 lead.

But Rich­mond Rovers weren’t go­ing down with­out a fight. In the 80th minute, Richie Golden drove home a close-range vol­ley to give his side some hope. And three min­utes later hope turned to delerium when David Hughes found the net af­ter some good work by Golden.

But that delerium gave way to de­spair in the 95th minute when Kelly struck.

Af­ter a slug­gish open­ing, Wick­low threat­ened first. Mark De­laney beat Dan Doyle to a loose ball and he slipped in Quinn, but the winger fluffed his shot from a good area un­der great pres­sure from Bryan Dunne.

Quinn had an­other chance in the 22nd minute when the ball fell to him af­ter John O’Lough­lin’s free-kick led to a bout of head ten­nis in the Rovers penalty area but his ef­fort was well kept out by Wil­liams.

Some quick-think­ing by Kelly led to Town’s next op­por­tu­nity. He was fouled mid­way in­side the Rovers half and elected to take the free-kick quickly; pass­ing out wide to skip­per An­thony Do­ran. The right back swung over a de­li­cious cross that Mark De­laney met at the back post but the mid­fielder’s strike was blocked out for a cor­ner.

And from that cor­ner, Town broke the dead­lock when Quinn blasted home past Wil­liams from 12 yards.

Rich­mond al­most hit back im­miedi­ately in for­tu­itious fa­sion. Keith McNamee floated over a left-wing cross and it would have crept in had it not been for the quick re­ac­tions of Lar New­some who clawed the ball away from un­der his cross­bar.

The Rich­mond Rovers off­side trap failed in the 33rd minute, al­low­ing Danny Byrne to hare into their half un­op­posed but the for­mer Ash­ford Rovers star had too much time al­most and smashed his ef­fort straight at Wil­liams who blocked with his legs.

Kelly went close to dou­bling the lead five min­utes be­fore the break but his glanc­ing header from a John O’Lough­lin cor­ner skid­ded just wide of the far post.

The home side also en­joyed a fi­nal foray into the op­po­si­tion half be­fore half-time when Trevor Conaty curled in a wicked cross and Jonny Meehan beat New­some to the ball but couldn’t di­vert his header goal­wards.

Town looked cer­tain to add a sec­ond two min­utes af­ter the restart. A cross was met by De­laney but he was un­able to force it in from point-blank range. Mau­rice Dunne then had a pop from the re­bound and his ef­fort ap­peared to be blocked by the arm of Dan Doyle but ref­eree Dave Jame­son waved away the penalty claims.

Jame­son was point­ing to the cen­tre cirle in the 68th minute though when Town net­ted their sec­ond.

Min­utes af­ter Dunne had shaved the post, a sim­ple ball over the top sent Kelly rac­ing clear and the striker took it round Wil­liams be­fore slot­ting home into the empty net. Game over. Well, not quite. With ten min­utes left on the clock, a long ball from the back was nod­ded down by McNamee to his strike parn­ter Golden and the striker blasted a text­book vol­ley into the bot­tom cor­ner.

And three min­utes later Golden was de­nied an equal­izer by a fine save from New­some but Golden got the re­bound and turned it back into the mid­dle where Hughes was on hand to ham­mer home.

But lit­tle did we know there was to be a sting in the tail for Rovers when Kelly latched onto O’Con­nor’s through ball and slammed home the late, late win­ner.

Top Form: Tommy Kelly (Wick­low Town): Solid work-rate and popped up with the all-im­por­tant win­ner.

RICH­MOND ROVERS

1. Craig Wil­liams, 2. Bryan Dunne, 24. Dan Doyle (Booked), 5. Frankie Cowan, 3. Ben Mc­Nulty (Booked), 4. Jay McLaugh­lin, 6. Trev Conaty (Booked), 8. David Hughes, 11. Jonny Meehan, 9. Keith McNamee, 10. Richie Golden (Booked). SUBS: Dar­ren Lyons for McLaugh­lin (70); Seán Ty­nan for McNamee (82). Not used: Graham O’Sullivan, Colm De­vitt, Damo Breen.

WICK­LOW TOWN

1. Lar New­some, 2. An­thony Do­ran, 3. John O’Lough­lin, 4. Matty Byrne, 5. De­nis Vick­ers, 6. David Dug­gan, 7. Mark De­laney, 8. Danny Byrne, 9. Mau­rice Dunne, 10. Tommy Kelly (Booked), 11. Rikki Quinn. SUBS: David O’Con­nor for Quinn (77); Richard Mur­phy for Dunne (81). Not used: War­ren Gorm­ley, John O’Neill, Steven Morris. VENUE: Bal­ly­waltrim Recre­ational Park, Bray. REF­EREE: Dave Jame­son.

David Hughes of Rich­mond Rovers strides for­ward af­ter An­thony Do­ran takes a tum­ble.

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