Mighty Shane Settle for Disappointing Draw with Celts
A 40-yard free kick with only minutes left on the clock saw the Celts earn a draw against a superior Shane side in the On Tap Premier League on Sunday.
The 11:00 kickoff at Fujen University saw both teams roasting under the midday sun. Despite the heat, the game began at a frantic pace, with the Mighty Shane bossing proceedings. Winger Jayke Langley went close early on with a one-time shot that was well-saved by the Celts keeper. Moments later, midfielder Zach Paruch stung the palms of the Celts keeper with an effort from distance.
Several other Shaners went close in the opening minutes, but unfortunately neither team could break the deadlock. As the half went on, the pace slowed down, with players on both sides suffering under the East Asian sun. The teams went into the break scoreless, with both lamenting missed chances.
The second half began at a slow pace, as both sides made changes to cope with the overwhelming heat. Shane slowly gained control of the game again, stringing passes together and making dangerous runs into the final third. Wingback Brian McLaughlin was particularly effective with his bombing runs up and down the pitch.
Despite Shane looking dangerous, it was the Celts who broke the deadlock with a well-taken curling effort from outside the box. The goal took the wind out of our boys' sails, but we wouldn't be down for long.
Minutes on from the Celts goal, Shane surged forward in search of an equalizer. A series of one-twos saw winger Jayke receive the ball on the edge of the Celts box, turn a defender and break towards goal. Just as he was about to unleash a shot, he was fouled cynically and knocked to the floor. The referee awarded the penalty, which was duly smashed into the back of the net by the always cool Brian McGuinness.
Galvanized by the goals, both teams pushed on at high pace looking for a winner. After some nice linkup play, it was Shane that thought they had gotten it, as striker Patrick Swandell flicked a header into the path of the onrushing Zach who smacked his shot in off the post. 2-1 Shane.
With only ten or so minutes left, the Celts threw everything forward, including their keeper, in search of an equalizer. The Shane boys held resolutely, clearing away cross after cross and corner after corner. Then, with only a minute or two left on the clock, a free kick was given in the Shane half. The resulting shot was a high, curling effort that snuck just under the bar, consigning the Mighty Shane to another disappointing draw.
The result was a painful one for the boys in white, but positives can again be taken from a strong team effort and some excellent individual performances as well. The Mighty Shane now go into a month long break with a lot to think about and ample time to prepare for their next outing.