Rovers’ under-19s got their fourth win in a row with a fantastic second half turn around to beat St. Pat’s 2-1 away from home.
Having been a goal behind at the break Rovers youngsters turned the game on its head for the second 45 minutes with goals by Liam Flatley and then Jason Hunt giving the win.
Kyle Harrigan and Jason Hunt came in to the team that beat Drogheda 5-1 last weekend to follow-up previous wins against Finn Harps and Letterkenny Rovers.
The first half of the game played in Pearse Park, Crumlin was dominated by the hosts. The first chance fell to them on 12 minutes when Rory Feely had a shot from just outside the box rise over the bar.
A rare attack for Rovers on 19 minutes seen Liam Flatley lob the ball over the defence for the run of Martin Walsh. He lifted the ball over the head of the keeper but defender Mikey Hannigan got back and headed off the line.
A minute later Pat’s took the lead when defender Paul Rooney ran forward from the back and played a good ball through to centre forward Paul Bracken. He made a nice finish across goal into the corner of the net.
The next opportunity was on 33 minutes for the Saints when the ball came to Fuad Sule at the six yard box but he blasted over the crossbar.
Five minutes before the break Flatley shot himself from distance and forced the keeper into a decent save.
Rovers came out a rejuvenated side for the second period and were immediately on the front foot. Captain Ross Taheny won possession in midfield and took on a shot from at least 30 yards that the keeper could only parry out. Cathal Carney chased in but keeper Evan Gaffney was up quickly to stop the rebound as well.
On 52 minutes Flatley went close twice. His initial shot from the left of the box was pushed out and almost to the path of Martin Walsh. Although he couldn’t get a shot he turned and played the ball back across to Flatley but he missed the target this time.
A 58th minute interception by Oisin Connolly started a move for Rovers from the edge of their own box. He took the ball forward and found Hunt on the left, he worked the ball back into the middle for Flatley. His powerful attempt flashed just wide.
Jack Burke made the first of several good saves on 62 to keep out a shot from Stephen Ball who had used his strength to get in behind with his feet.
Burke made another terrific reaction save from a corner on 67 and that led to the equalising goal. Rovers countered on the left side and when the ball came to Flatley in the middle he made no mistake with the finish.
A minute later he almost had another. He drifted out to the right side and then came infield to take a shot on with his left foot with Gaffney needing to be at full stretch to tip the ball around his post.
The turnaround was complete on 72 minutes with an excellent solo effort from Jason Hunt. He took possession of the ball just inside the Pat’s half and ran forward, taking the ball around Rooney and into the box before lashing the ball to the back of the net.
Flatley got the ball in a similar position on 77 minutes but elected to take the long range shot on which missed the target.
Rovers continued to apply the pressure and good work from Carney won the ball on the edge of the box on 79 minutes. He played a short pass to Flatley who was again stopped by the keeper who sent the rebound to the feet of sub Gary Anderson. He hit it low and hard but the keeper gathered.
Hunt almost added to his tally on 82 minutes with a powerful shot forcing the keeper to do well again in getting his fingers to it and put it wide for a corner.
There was another impressive save from Burke in stoppage time with a close range save to again deny Pat’s.
That gave the fourth win in a row for a Rovers side who look secure in sixth place. Two games remain with Derry visiting the Showgrounds in a fortnight and the season ending a week later away to Shelbourne.
Team: Burke, Harrigan, Connolly, Taheny, Borotto, Hannon, Kilcawley, Hunt, Walsh (Anderson 60), Carney (McCallion), Flatley.