Super Saints grab second spot in league
Hugely ambitious St John’s United got their new Canada Life Premier League campaign off to a winning 4-0 start at Mullen y Cloie on Saturday at the expense of a lively Ramsey outfit.
The Tynwald Hill side ended the day in second place with club director Malcolm Blackburn no doubt eyeing a Railway Cup semi-final spot, which could well be within their reach.
The Saints, however, struggled during the initial half to capitalise on Nick Hurt’sopener after just six minutes, one of the quickest goals of the season.
The player manager, who looked sharp from the off, fired the home side ahead with a sweetly-struck drive from the edge of the box. The fact that the lead remained unchanged at the interval was down to a combination of poor finishing and impressive defending from the visitors’ trio of John Roberts, Lewis Qualtrough and Robbie Collister.
The Saints, though, looked much more effective from the start of the second period and two quick strikes put the contest well beyond the reach of the visiting side.
The busy Andy Glover made up for missing a couple of excellent first half chances by slotting home a perfect finish six minutes after the restart.
The home side, in fact, paraded two new strikers, one of which - John Hagerdon - had previously appeared for Everton, Preston and Tranmere reserves. A serious knee injury brought his career in England to a close and, although he showed some nice touches, he will require time to regain his fitness.
Former Ramsey striker Jamie Moffatt, also made a slow start for the Saints, but his sweetly struck finish for the third goal provided the home fans with real hope for the new season ahead. The northerners, however, were in no mood to capitulate and their best effort from talented Kris Halsall produced an equally fine save from new Saints’ keeper Dayman Petrov.
Both sides fielded Bulgarian keepers, surely a first for Manx football, and both produced a fine display of goalkeeping.
There was, however, little that Ramsey keeper Kiril Velev could do to prevent Michael Peace from rounding off the scoreline right at the death as he converted a well-judged through ball from promising full-back Eric Kelly.
St John’s: Dayman Petrov, Eric Kelly, Sam Ingham, Nick Leung, Andy Glover(Krasmir Stoev) Tony Duggan, Nick Hurt, Michael Peace, John Hagerdon (Nicky Sloan) Jamie Moffatt, Callum Taggart
Ramsey: Kiril Velev, Lewis Qualtrough, John Roberts, Robbie Collister, Daniel Tate, Matthew Montgomery, Alex Yates (Robbie Campbell) Jabrane Moutiq, Kris Halsall, Michael Fernandes, Mark Slinger (Alex Curphey)
Referee: Alan Cowin - a steady all-round performance from an impressive official
Assistants: Huw Matthews and Simon Hull
Man of the Match: A close call, Andy Glover takes the award just ahead of manager Nick Hurt who had an equally influential game.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 29 mph
Wind direction: South