Lakewood Athletic 1
Lakewood Athletic and Midleton were forced to settle for a point apiece as they played out a highly entertaining 1-1 draw in their Blackwater Motors under 12 Premier Division clash at Lakewood Park on Sunday morning.
A stunning strike from Josh Carey had given Lakewood the lead in the first half but a neat finish from Daniel Kent in the second period was enough to earn Midleton a share of the spoils.
The result means Midleton missed the chance to climb top of the table heading into the Christmas break as they remain a point behind league leaders Corinthian Boys while Lakewood stay two points further adrift but now in joint third with Carrigaline United, who have two games in hand.
The title race is going to make for fascinating viewing in the new year as Lakewood and Midleton showed their quality throughout here to prove they will remain in the hunt for silverware.
Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges although Alex Wilson looked dangerous at one end for Midleton while Noah O’Callaghan carried a threat for Lakewood at the other end.
The home side soon upped the tempo though and Midleton goalkeeper Caleb Murray was required to make an excellent save to tip Sean Hogan’s fierce drive wide of his far post midway through the first period.
The Magpies almost edged in front moments later as Wilson surged past two of his opponents but his low shot was well stopped by Athletic’s number one Thomas Mullins.
But the deadlock would finally be broken shortly before the half time break and the crucial first goal would go to Lakewood thanks to a thunderous strike from Josh Carey.
A sublime through ball from captain Eoin Hammond sent Carey clear in the box but the midfielder still had a lot of work to do and he did it superbly, firing the ball past the keeper at his near post and into the roof of the net.
They almost doubled their advantage on either side of the interval but Carey saw a shot from a corner denied by Murray before his striker Jack Hayes rolled the ball wide after racing onto a pass over the top of the defence.
And arguably against the run of play, the visitors snatched what could turn out to be a huge equaliser with Daniel Kent doing the honours.
It came following some great work from Wilson though, who charged down the right, took the ball past the advancing shot-stopper before pulling it back to Kent, allowing him to slot his effort past the defenders on the line.
The game now seemed like it could either way as after both Sean Hogan and Jack Hayes went close for Lakewood before Wilson was unfortunate to see his shot clip the top of their crossbar.
In the end, the two teams had to settle for a draw although Midleton almost won it late on but Cian Rooney’s excellent finish was ruled out for offside.
LAKEWOOD ATHLETIC: Thomas Mullins, Olan O’Mahony, Reuben Maher Barry, Eoin Hammond, Evan Stack, Alex Hennessy, Sean Hogan, Josh Carey, Noah O’Callaghan, Jack Hayes, Rian Madden, Michael Hammond.
MIDLETON: Caleb Murray, William Henry, Cathal O’Neill, Rohan Panda, Tomas O’Se, Harry Daly, Alex Wilson, Sam Morris, Cian Rooney, Brayan Wiecek, Daniel Kent, Conor McSharry, Christopher McCarthy, Ryan Barry, Pablo Sanz, Cathal Lynch.
Referee: Denis Morley.