Fort Rangers 2
Deen Celtic A 1
A FIRST WIN in 2012 gave Fort Rangers some breathing space in the Premier Division, but defeat has left Deen Celtic staring into relegation trouble.
Kenny Morris’s second half goal was vital as Rangers grabbed the three points on Sunday morning which moved them into double figures and earned a first league win in three attempts.
Morris showed bravery to go for a long Jim Nugent ball, challenging the outrushing David Buggy for possession. Morris won the race, sending a looping header over the netminder and into the net, despite the best attempts of the Deen defence.
Anchored to the bottom of the table Deen Celtic have had a wretched run of luck this season. They looked to have turned the corner though, when good fortune saw them go in front after just five minutes.
A diagonal ball from John Mulhall did most of the damage, splitting the hosts apart. Fort’s David Buggy and Jim Nugent got their defensive calls mixed up and a collision between the duo saw the ball spill loose to Graham Lawlor, who strode through unchallenged to add the simple finish.
However, their hopes of recording a first win since August – and only their second of the campaign – took a knock when Fort drew level within five minutes. Tony Moran did the damage, picking up play on the left side of the box before turning and firing an unstoppable shot into the top right corner of Ciaran Stone’s net.
Celtic shrugged off that disappointment and almost restored their lead in fine fashion when Johnny Kavanagh curled a 19th minute free over the Fort wall but David Buggy made a super save, diving full stretch to his right to push the ball over for a corner.
Fort had their fair share of chances too. They thought they had taken the lead when Jim Nugent bundled John Brett’s 43rd minute free past Ciaran Stone, but their celebrations were cut short as the ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside.
Fort were cheering within five minutes of the restart, however, as Morris grabbed what proved to be the winner. They had to hold on at times though, as Deen threw everything in search of a second goal.
The Castlecomer side went as close as any side could to scoring after the hour. Anthony Kavanagh let fly with a thundering free-kick, but his effort beat David Buggy the ball clattered back off the underside of the crossbar.
Deen upped their efforts, but almost got caught on the counter-attack by Jim Nugent’s excellent diagonal ball 19 minutes from time. Tony Moran strode on to the ball, but instead of finding the net he blasted his shot over the bar.
Celtic didn’t give up, but must have known it wasn’t to be their day when netminder Buggy denied them a share of the spoils in the dying minutes.
Johnny Kavanagh must have thought he’d hit the target when he fired in a left-footed free that seemed destined for the top left corner, but the Fort ’keeper made a finger-tip save to push the ball over his crossbar.
Fort Rangers: David Buggy, John Brett, John Cahill, Dermot Ryan, Jim Nugent, Conor Bergin (Padraig Forristal, 72 mins), Davy Forristal, Liam Forristal, Kenny Morris, Tony Moran, Eddie Nugent (Emmet Nugent, 53 mins).
Deen Celtic A: Ciaran Stone, Ronan Phelan, Shane Renwick, Caleb Roche, James Sherwood, Alan Phelan, Anthony Kavanagh, John Mulhall, Graham Lawlor (Andrew Carron, 78 mins), Johnny Kavanagh, Stephen Ruth.
Referee: John Martin.