Myers proves master against St Mary’s
A highly impressive all-round performance from three times footballer of the year Johnny Myers helped champions St George’s gain a vital Canada Life Premier League victory over title rivals St Mary’s at the Bowl on Saturday.
Myers returned to form by opening the scoring early on, before playing an important role in helping to deny the home side any clear-cut goal scoring opportunities during a competitive second period.
Much of the post-match debate, however, surrounded the two sendings off, one from each side, which in truth though had little real impact on the result of the contest.
As so often happens on such occasions, the performance of referee David Murphy was called into question but, to be fair, most of his decisions appeared to be correct which included a series of bookings.
During the match the visitors got off to a cracking start and were in front after just three minutes when Myers rose superbly to powerfully convert Chris Bass Jr’s cleverly flighted free-kick.
Minutes later it could well have been two but the home defence managed to scramble away a well-placed Bass corner.
The opening half was certainly a hard-fought affair but the number of clear-cut scoring opportunities for both were few and far between.
The skills of local favourite Brian Crellin allowed him a couple of shooting opportunities but on both occasions he failed to test Geordies’ keeper Grant Dawson.
After, 25 minutes, the visitors added a second when a fired up Calum Morrissey fashioned a clever ball into the box which Golden Boot holder Ciaran McNulty acrobatically headed home.
Then shortly before the interval Steve Whitley received his marching orders after a challenge on Geordies’ skipper Sean Quaye that referee Murphy considered deserved a straight red card.
The second half was only minutes old when the visitors were also reduced to 10 men as a forceful challenge by James McStay on Brian Crellin was also greeted with a red card.
The dismissal appeared to inspire Sam Kenny’s men and the impressive Karl Clark was a little unfortunate to see a header dip over the Geordies’ crossbar.
With their tails up the home side probed for an opening but with a back four of Cowin, Myers, Quaye and Ringham the visitors provided a barrier that was difficult to breech.
Then in the closing moments Chris Bass’s side made it three when Bass Jr played in Gary Quirk and his cleverly placed chip left even the talented Max Thomas stranded.
St Mary’s Max Thomas, Harry Weatherill, Martin Reilly,(Danny Hutton) Dominic McGreevy, Karl Clark, Tom Weir, Steve Whitley, James Murphy (Connor Gorman) Steven Priestnal, Brian Crellin, Marc Priestnal.
St George’s Grant Dawson, Liam Cowin, Sean Quaye, Johnny Myers, Julian Ringham, Sam Caine (Reece Thompson), James McStay, Frank Jones, Chris Bass Jr, Calum Morrissey (Gary Quirk), Ciaran McNulty.
Referee: David Murphy - handled a difficult game well and was brave when he had to be
Assistants: Huw Matthews and Alan Cowin
Man of the Match: Johnny Myers (St George’s) Island international was back to his best.
Match Rating: 5*
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