Langy strikes to seal another Braddan win
BRADDAN clinched their fourth successive league victory thanks to Peter Langridge’s second-half strike against Pulrose at Victoria Road in JCK Division Two on Saturday afternoon.
The Swans went into the match having soared up the league table courtesy of wins against Douglas and District, Douglas Athletic and Onchan.
It proved to be a game of two halves on Saturday, with a goalless opening 45 before the game burst into life with three goals in as many minutes at the start of the second period.
The sides traded half chances in the game’s opening throes, with Pulrose skipper Barry English heading over from a corner before Braddan midfielder Sean Shimmin tried his luck from range, forcing visiting goalkeeper John Stephens to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar.
Having left St Mary’s in the summer, Langridge has mainly been plying his trade in the combination side but netted the winner for the first team against Douglas Athletic last time out and was rewarded with another start at the weekend.
He very nearly opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Geoff Murphy was the architect as he escaped his marker down the right wing before crossing to the lurking Langridge who directed a low header goalwards but Stephens was equal to it and managed to impressively tip the ball around the post.
Braddan winger Lee Currer also saw an effort well blocked inside the box but the best chance of the half fell to the visitors when Michael Skillen sent Kenny Cowin racing through with a superb pass but goalkeeper Craig Hardie was quick off his line and saved well.
Skillen then released Matt Cowin in the area but his goal-bound effort was deflected onto the angle of the woodwork and the danger passed before the same player curled an effort into the side netting soon after.
The visitors were very nearly made to pay for those missed chances when Braddan full-back Steven Roberston linked up well with Murphy who in turn cut the ball back to Paul Ramsden on the edge of the box but his curling effort grazed the wrong side of the crossbar.
On the stroke of half-time the Swans created two more good chances to open the scoring. First Murphy lifted a superb ball over the top to Langridge who fired a half-volley narrowly over before the latter returned the favour by chipping the ball forward to Murphy but Pully keeper Stephens stood tall and saved superbly.
The hosts almost got off to a perfect start in the second half when the ball was played to Ramsden who cut into the area before unleashing a shot goalwards, only to see it crash off the woodwork and away to safety.
However, they did not have to wait long until the deadlock was finally broken. Robertson linked up with Currer on the left and the latter surged to the byline before swinging in a deep cross which deceived Stephens and cannoned in off the far post for 1-0.
Braddan’s lead, however, was short-lived as Pulrose responded instantly through Kenny Cowin who cut in from the left wing before drilling a shot across the face of goal and into the bottom right corner of the goal past Hardie to restore match parity.
Amazingly, though, the hosts went straight up the other end of the pitch and netted the third goal of the game in the space of just a few minutes. Again Robertson and Currer combined to good effect down the left before the latter curled in a teasing cross to Langridge who timed his run to perfection and slotted past Stephens for 2-1.
Despite the excellent start to the second half, the game unfortunately developed into a somewhat scrappy affair with chances few and far between. Currer went close to scoring his second when he fired into the side netting while at the other end Aaron Raby went close.
The latter’s team-mate also went close with a curling effort with the outside of his boot but it went just the wrong side of the post while Braddan skipper Will Smith wasted a golden chance to put the game beyond doubt when a cross went all the way through to the midfielder but, from point blank range, he sent his effort off-target, possibly with the aid of a deflection off a defender.
Despite stepping up their search for an equaliser, Pulrose were left susceptible at the back and almost conceded again in the last minute when a clearance fell straight to Currer one-on-one with Stephens but the keeper blocked brilliantly.
However, it proved to be in vain as Braddan were able to see out the victory which leaves them flying high in third place in the league.
Braddan: Craig Hardie, John McMullen, Steven Robertson (Dean Corlett 61m), Andrew Dosser, Michael Hegarty, Paul Ramsden, Sean Shimmin, Will Smith (c), Geoff Murphy (Andy Barbour 77m), Peter Langridge, Lee Currer. Sub not used: B. Harcourt
Pulrose: John Stephens, Peter Cain, Chris Cowin, JP Joyce (Ben Cowin 55m), John Goodall, Aaron Raby, Kenny Cowin, David Hardinge, Barry English (c), Matt Cowin, Michael Skillen. Sub not used: Will Cain
Referee: Graham Quilliam
Man of the Match: Currer (Braddan) - caused the Pulrose defence problems throughout. Also scored one and set up the other
Match rating: HHHII
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