Whites dent Old Boys’ championship bid

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CAN lightning strike in the same place twice? Almost if you are Corinthians.

The Whites were victors in the reverse Canada Life Premier League fixture with DHSOB and were 14 minutes away from completing a league double over the Blackberry Lane outfit on Saturday until the hosts struck a much-needed equaliser.

Old Boys should have won comfortably thanks to their dominant first-half performance, but were looking to score the perfect goal, almost trying to walk the ball into the back of the net at times, only to be thwarted by an excellent Corinthians’ rearguard led by defenders Chris Cannell and Darren Cain and some top goalkeeping from Joe Kelly.

Chances repeatedly fell for the hosts but they couldn’t apply the lethal touch.

Shots went wide off target, Mark Burman drove a fearsome shot at Kelly’s body and Callum Stewart’s effort aimed at the bottom-left corner was tipped away by Kelly’s finger-tips.

When the Whites did get out of their half and muster their first clear-cut opportunity of the match in the 33rd minute, they scored.

A DHSOB free-kick was blasted into the defensive wall which the visitors countered. Cain dinked it behind the opposing backline and Kane Ridings got goal-side to guide his effort just inside the far post for the opening goal.

Old Boys looked for a response - Robbie Ward side-stepped his way past two defenders, but his shot was repelled by the diving Kelly. Gary Quirk too had a shot that was parried, before Cain made another goal-line clearance, as remarkably the Whites’ goal remained intact come half-time.

Kelly was called into action again after the oranges, tipping away a long-range effort, but it was only a matter of time before the Whites finally buckled under the relentless pressure.

On 51 minutes, Robbie Ward swung in a corner that eluded the Corinthians’ goalkeeper and Liam Buckley came charging in to level the scoreline.

Corinthians didn’t stay on level terms for long. Ridings turned provider on another counter-attack slipping a pass to Slattery. He struck a sweet shot that flew into the net for a peach of a goal.

DHSOB came again and this time they equalised. Ward bent in a corner that evaded Kelly and found its way into the back of the net.

Both teams had chances to clinch victory but neither side could find a way through, meaning Corinthians walked off the pitch the happier after the final whistle, having wrestled away four points from the DHSOB this season.

Team Check

DHSOB: Sam Holliday, Martin King, Liam Buckley, Iain Ramsay, Drew Ward (Callum Stewart 61m), Michael Hooper (Dean France 83m), Robbie Ward, John Quirk, Gary Quirk (Sean Gavin 61m), Mark Burman, Craig Stewart

Corinthians: Joe Kelly, Matthew Palmer, Darren Cain, Chris Cannell, Cameron Lee, Sam Black, Kane Ridings (Max Neale 77m), Louis Thornton, Blane Slattery (Lewis Griffiths 82m), Josh Ridings, Ruairi Mooney. Sub not used: Stephen Corran

Referee: Andy Lodge

Man of the Match: Cannell (Corinthians)

Match rating: HHHHH

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