Woodview Celtic returned to competitive action to move four points clear at the top of the Nivea For Men MDL Premier Division as they beat OMP United 3-1 at a windswept and bitterly cold Oriel Park on Friday night.
Playing into the biting wind that swept down the pitch from the Carrick end of the ground, the home side dominated the early stages without really testing the visiting goalkeeper.
However Raymond Trimble’s men eventually made the breakthrough on 20 minutes when Billy Smith raced down the left wing before cutting the ball back to the supporting Mickey O’Kane who was left with a simple tap-in.
Within minutes it was 2-0. This time Johnny Lynch was the architect as he latched onto a Tommy O’Hare pass before rounding a defender and unselfishly picking out the unmarked Smith who fired an angled drive inside the far post.
The Navan side almost reduced the arrears midway through the half when their chief striker tested Padraig Gorham twice in succession, firstly with a stinging effort from 20-yards that the goalkeeper parried and then forcing Gorham into an excellent save from the from the follow up.
Woodview made it 3-0 when the skillful Stephen Fisher skipped past his marker before teeing up Owen Armstrong to pick his spot from the edge of the area.
Before the half-time whistle sounded Colin Finan went close to making it 4-0 with a thunderous drive that rattled the crossbar; much to the relief of the visitors the ball rebounded to safety.
The early stages of the second-half saw the visitors come more into the game and Gorham was once again tested on a couple of occasions that kept his hands warm.
OMP were rewarded for their efforts on the hour mark when Armstrong was adjudged to have fouled in the penalty area and consequently a spot-kick was awarded but, once again, Gorham was excellent as he went full length to make a brilliant save.
The Woodview goalkeeper was left stranded minutes later when the OMP left winger cut inside the penalty area before unleashing a rocket to the bottom left hand corner to make it 3-1.
The remainder of the game saw few opportunities created. The pick of them fell to Woodview substitute Paudie Hearty who was put clean through on the visiting goalkeeper but he dragged his effort wide under pressure from the advancing net-minder.
Woodview Celtic: Padraig Gorham, Ray McCann, Alan McKenna, Chris Caulfield, Tommy O’Hare, Colin Finan (Alan Larkin), Owen Armstrong, Johnny Lynch (Eimhin Caldwell), Mickey O’Kane, Billy Smith (Paudie Hearty), Stephen Fisher.