Blackpool battle back from two down to draw in AUL League 1

Disappointment for Kilmichael Rovers on the road after leading early on
Blackpool battle back from two down to draw in AUL League 1

The Kilmichael Rovers side that drew 2-2 with Blackpool Celtic in their League 1 encounter at Popham's Road. Picture: Barry Peelo.

Blackpool Celtic 2 Kilmichael Rovers 2

BLACKPOOL Celtic came from 0-2 down before salvaging a point, following their 2-2 draw with Kilmichael in their League 1 encounter at Popham’s Road.

And they have Man of the Match Willie Matthews to be thankful to after bringing off some superb saves in the first 45 minutes as Kilmichael dominated over this period.

But, Blackpool had a much better second half and were rewarded for their resilience with a share of the points in the end.

Kilmichael were very offensive from the off and when James Moynihan helped on to Con Dunne, he blazed over with a decent effort.

Dunne became the provider minutes later when he played it square for Kevin Murphy who narrowly cleared the bar by inches.

And after Galvin fired inches wide, Willie Matthews was smartly off his line to deny Moynihan a goal-scoring chance.

Kilmichael were well on top at this point and Willie Matthews was called upon to stretch before tipping Galvin’s effort around the post.

Then, when Moynihan broke through, he was denied by a point-blank save from Matthews.

Kilmichael continued on the ascendancy and after Moynihan fired over from close range, Luke Hackett helped on for Kevin Murphy who was denied by Matthews who grabbed at the second time of asking.

Paul Pepper (Coak AUL) presents the man of the match award (Sponsored by Gary McCarthy Trophies) to Blackpool Celtic's Willie Matthews. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Paul Pepper (Coak AUL) presents the man of the match award (Sponsored by Gary McCarthy Trophies) to Blackpool Celtic's Willie Matthews. Picture: Barry Peelo.

A lovely ball from Kilmichael’s Con Dunne played in Moynihan, but again, Matthews produced a fine block and when the loose ball fell for Luke Hackett, he too was denied by the Blackpool keeper who was really the reason why Kilmichael were not a few goals in front at this stage.

But, there was nothing Matthews could have done when the inevitable eventually happened as Dunne fed Galvin who found the bottom corner with a neat finish just minutes before the break.

The second half was just two minutes in when after Matthews parried from Luke Hackett, James Moynihan knocked home from the loose ball.

Matthews was in action again soon afterwards, this time palming away from Ciaran Galvin’s header and when it came for James Moynihan, he rifled disappointingly over.

Blackpool had a scare when a cracking effort by Kevin Murphy cannoned off the bar before being cleared to safety.

But, what a lovely finish we saw then from Blackpool’s Dylan Cruise O’Shea when he arrowed his angled effort into the far corner to reduce the arrears on 54.

Kilmichael responded and at the other end, Matthews performed like a sweeper when he came off his line to deny Galvin a certain goal-scoring opportunity, but at the expense of a corner.

From the corner that ensued, Alan Murphy saw his thumping header clear the bar by just inches.

Blackpool kept battling away and seemed to be doing better than the first half, but Kilmichael always looked more of a threat and wasted another chance when Ciaran Galvin fired across the box from a good position.

As the game was heading towards a late stage, Blackpool surged and came to life more as they searched in earnest for an equaliser that looked never on the cards and with just eight minutes left on the clock, fortune favoured the brave as the referee pointed to the spot to award them a penalty following a hand-ball incident in the box.

Then, from the spot, Craig Horgan made no mistake when he blasted high into the net to rescue a point that did not look likely early on.

Blackpool Celtic: Willie Matthews, Stephen Sheehan, Jason Hawthorn, Christopher O’Callaghan, Eoin Moynihan, Clive Greene, Cillian O’Connor, Dylan Cruise O’Shea, Paudie Cosgrove, Ross Murphy and Shane Herlihy.

Subs: Craig Horgan for Cillian O’Connor (37).

Kilmichael Rovers: Mark Healy, Denis Healy, Blake Ring, Patrick Buckley, Mark O’Callaghan, Alan Murphy, Kevin Murphy, Luke Hackett, Ciaran Galvin, James Moynihan and Con Dunne.

Subs: Darragh Ring and Danny O’Connell for Alan Murphy and Con Dunne (75), Jack Murphy for Ciaran Galvin (85).

Referee: Alan Belmajdoub.

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