Shimmin at the double for Braddan
ONCHAN AFC’S centenary celebrations are currently ongoing, a photo of players past and present in front of the impressive stand at the Nivison Stadium prior to kick-off on Saturday the latest event.
However, there was little to celebrate after their JCK Division Two encounter against Braddan, the visitors winning 0-2. It was far from a classic match between the team third from top versus third from bottom, where form dictated this should have been an Onchan victory.
Clearly missing for the hosts was Paul Davis’s expertise in the centre of the park, directing proceedings with measured passing. Everything was far too rushed in Onchan’s play with passes going far too astray meaning move after move continually broke down.
Braddan were on a mission, desperate to break away from their lowly position, and began the match in determined fashion. Geoff Murphy and Paul Crilly both had shots wide early on before Murphy was again in the thick of the action, forcing goalkeeper Ben Bennett into a save. Collecting the rebound, the striker curled his second attempt off target.
It was left-back Steve McIntosh who had the hosts’ first two best chances, heading over from a corner and chipping an effort straight at goalkeeper Craig Hardie’s palms.
The Onchan captain was also involved in their best move when, given license to overlap on the left, McIntosh squared to Mark Walmsley whose shot was repelled by Hardie before Bunce followed up the rebound but steered his effort wide.
Braddan forced their way back into the match and, when Michael Shimmin wrestled away possession from Onchan, he squared it to Crilly to put him clean through on goal but he sliced his shot well wide.
Just when a drab first half looked like ending goalless, Braddan got the much-needed breakthrough in the 40th minute when Murphy crossed from the left for Shimmin to chip home from close range.
Chances fell to Onchan after the interval but the club were missing a player of manager Robbie Prescott’s ilk and could not muster a single shot on target or force the goalkeeper into a save in the entire second half.
Greg Taylor squared to Walmsley who somehow lifted the ball over an empty net from close range before another well-worked move on the right saw Bunce’s cross met by Taylor, his header just whistled over the crossbar.
The visitors made the hosts pay for their profligacy, netting a second on 80 minutes. Sean Shimmin’s chipped pass released his namesake on the left flank and, with the opposing goalkeeper rooted to the line, the former Gymnasium marksman hooked his angled effort into the top corner of the net.
There was no way back for Onchan and, although Mark Rees had two shots that were off-target, Braddan collected three much-needed points after the final whistle.
Onchan: Ben Bennett, Pail Morris, Steve McIntosh, Mark Rees, Mark Furness, Lee O’Neill (Joe Hughes 80m), Josh Clarke (Dean Gough 59m), Lee Astin, Andrew Bunce, Mark Walmsley, Greg Taylor (Rob Byrne 80m)
Braddan: Craig Hardie, John McMullen, Lee Currer (Ewan MacFarlane 46m), Michael Hegarty, Andrew Dosser, Will Smith, Dean Corlett (Paul Ramsden 68m), Sean Shimmin, Michael Shimmin, Geoff Murphy, Paul Crilly (Jonathan Padi 60m)
Referee: Anthony Quayle
Man of the match: Hegarty (Braddan)
Match rating: HHIII
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Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west