Substitutes play their part as champions stay in touch at top

Champions Woodview Celtic remain five points behind leaders Boyne Harps as goals from Billy Smith and Barry Carr gave them a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Boca Rovers on Friday night.

Champions Woodview Celtic remain five points behind leaders Boyne Harps as goals from Billy Smith and Barry Carr gave them a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Boca Rovers on Friday night.

Played on the astro pitch in Muirhevnamor, the hosts were gifted the opening goal on 10 minutes when a right wing delivery by Derek McCabe was spilled by the Boca goalkeeper and Smith pounced to hammer the loose ball to the net.

The visitors, despite their lowly league position responded immediately and Padraig Gorham was forced to make an excellent stop at the feet of the Navan side’s centre forward.

The game was evenly balanced and Gorham almost undid his good work shortly afterwards when he was guilty of spilling the ball after he had advanced to the edge of his penalty area but, with an open goal beckoning, this time Boca’s striker shot wide.

Five minutes into the second half, Gorham was again called into action when the visitors left winger fired in an angled drive and the keeper made an excellent save with his feet.

Midway through the half, Smith was guilty of a glaring miss after the jet heeled Ger McSorley, having been set free by Nathan Murphy, displayed great awareness when he laid the ball into the big striker’s path but Smith went for power instead of placement and from 10 yards he blazed over the crossbar. Smith was denied a second goal five minutes later with an and upright coming to Boca’s rescue with their goalkeeper stranded.

After the break Woodview joint managers Gavin McKeever and Wayne Conroy introduced new signing Paul Mantando and Barry Carr and almost immediately, they had an impact with Carr, having been set up by Stephen Grimes, being denied by a fantastic save.

With the game entering its final 10 minutes, Grimes and Chris Caulfield combined to break up a Boca attack and set Owen Armstrong racing down the left wing. He skipped past a couple of defenders before squaring the ball to Carr who showed excellent feet before drilling a rocket into the bottom right hand corner to the relief of the home supporters.

WOODVIEW CELTIC: Padraig Gorham, Derek McCabe, Nathan Murphy, Chris Caulfield, Alan McCartney, Colin Finan (Paul Mantando), Billy Smith, Stephen Grimes, Paudie Hearty (Barry Carr), Owen Armstrong, Gerard McSorley.