St George’s and Ramsey play out rare goalless draw

Wednesday 6th April 2022 11:00 am
Ramsey’s Liam Cooper (left) and St Georges’ Josh Cain compete for the ball in the air during Saturday’s goalless draw at Glencrutchery Road (Photo: Paul Hatton)

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Goalless draws are as rare as hen’s teeth in Manx football, but one such result took place at Glencrutchery Road on Saturday afternoon.

The game in question saw fourth-placed St George’s go face-to-face with third-placed Ramsey and, after 90 minutes, neither side could find a way through.

For Geordies it’s a year of transition following on from the Chris Bass Sr era. Considering they only have one senior team at Glencrutchery Road and some of their players ply their trade with FC Isle of Man, they’re still proving a competitive force, also reaching this season’s Railway Cup final.

Ramsey too have recruits involved at FCIoM and the northerners continue to be a team on the ascendency, but on this occasion they were thwarted by some brilliant goalkeeping from Ben Wilkinson.

The match was played under glorious sunshine and the first half saw shots blocked or off target and saved.

Ramsey’s Dylan Pickles created the first chance, making space for himself on the edge of the box but his effort was pushed wide by Wilkinson.

Then, on 14 minutes, the Geordies goalkeeper was called into action again when Nathan Craine latched onto a ball over the top before his half-volley was superbly palmed onto the crossbar.

At the other end of the pitch Steven Priestnal was put clear but goalkeeper James Rice did well saving at the striker’s feet, before moments later the same player had a half-effort collected by the net-minder.

Ramsey kept chipping away and went close again when Chris Duggan worked a one-two only for his shot to once again be superbly saved. Just before half-time, Liam Cooper squared a pass to Pickles whose snapshot was again repelled by the opposing number one.

After the break Ramsey’s Jack Gilbert headed over following a cross from the right, but it was St George’s who started with much more purpose and went close when Ben Wosser’s effort hit the stanchion before Ciaran McNulty side-stepped his marker and drove at shot straight at Rice.

Then Ramsey imposed themselves on the match again and Alex Yates’ cross picked out Pickles whose header was saved by Wilkinson at the feet of an onrushing Craine.

The hosts’ number one was again called into action when Cooper’s cross shot was superbly tipped wide, before the full-back went close again minutes later, pirouetting past his marker and unleashing a shot that was the well-claimed.

The northerners continued to search for the breakthrough as Duggan curled a free-kick just wide before the visitors went close again when another Duggan set piece found Cooper whose glancing header was saved by Wilkinson.

In the closing stages, St George’s launched one final effort when Priestnal broke clear from the left and drove a snapshot that was met by Rice’s raised palms as neither side were able to break the deadlock.

With Ayre United and Rushen United dropping points, neither team could claim any real ground in the higher echelons of the Premier League once the final whistle had blown as the spoils were shared.

l Making his first team debut for Ramsey was Jack Higgins (playing in defence), brother of Charlie and son of twice Division One footballer of the year Chris Higgins.

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