Last Tuesday evening we welcomed Kesh to Drumad in what was supposed to be our last league game of the season. We knew a win would guarantee safety, and we were sharp out of the blocks forcing the Kesh keeper in to several early saves, the best chance falling to Sam Lindsay after only a few minutes but his shot was straight at the keeper. Stuart Cochrane, Paul McGrath and Ryan O’Keefe also went close and several goal mouth scrambles later, we somehow failed to score in the opening period despite dominating. However, from one of our corners, Kesh broke quickly and it took a fine save from Sam McDonald to tip a strike on to the crossbar. 0-0 at half time and despite our early domination, the game was very much in the balance and the tension was rising.
The second half was much more even for long periods, with Kesh growing in to the game, and they took the lead about half way through the second half. We tried to step up to play offside but the referee waved play on, a very tight call, but the striker scuffed his shot across the box and when it was tapped in by his strike partner at the back post, he looked certain to be offside, but again it wasn’t given and we were now staring relegation in the face. Kesh could have doubled their advantage when Lee Walker nearly latched on to a weak back header, but McDonald was on hand to smother the danger. After this, we threw everything at Kesh. Shane Ingram was introduced and looked lovely upfront and he duly equalised moments later. It was a scrappy goal but we weren’t complaining as the large crowd celebrated his first goal for the club, and what a vital goal it was.
We pressed hard for the winner, but Kesh sat in and defender well in fairness to them. Matthew Woods came within a whisker of scoring, a towering header from an O’Keefe corner went agonisingly wide with time running out. Then, with virtually the last kick of the game, Ingram had a shot superbly saved yet again by the outstanding Kesh goalkeeper. With other results going as they did, it means we finished level on points with Mountjoy United and now face them in a relegation play off on Saturday. A huge game but we’ve been playing well lately so we can go in to the game fully confident and hopefully we see another large crowd down to cheer us on to safety.