Redeemer’s Dean McConnell (6) and Barry Grimes celebrate with Redeemer goalscorer Andy McDermott. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
NEFL Division Three
Redeemer Celtic 1 Hazel Lane 0
Redeemer Celtic continued their surge up the NEFL Division Two table on Sunday afternoon in Muirhevnamor thanks to a narrow 1-0 victory over Hazel Lane - a result which puts the Gorman Park side firmly in the title race.
In a game which pitted second against third, it was always going to be a tight affair with both sides grabbling with each other in order to get the upper hand, but nothing seemed to give with the sides going in at the break deadlocked.
The Red and Blues centre-back pairing of Paul Gartland and Seán McCourt used their knowhow to curtail any possible attacks from the Drogheda side and Redeemer were also boosted by the performance of Stephen McGuinness in goal who pulled off a number of magnificent saves to keep the sides even going into the last quarter of the game.
With the clock ticking, Redeemer seemed the more likely to score and were certainly more daring in their approach as their attacking prowess began to take centre stage.
Martin Murphy went close on a number of occasions, but with just five-minutes remaining it was that man again, Andy McDermott, who picked the ball up on the left-hand side and curled it beautifully into the far corner to add to his two goal tally from last week and give Redeemer another victory.
The result means the Gorman Park men have seven victories from their first ten league games in their maiden NEFL season and in this form, who would doubt them to win promotion at the first time of asking.
Redeemer Celtic: Stephen McGuinness, Caolan Carroll, Paul Gartland, Sean McCourt, Andy McDermott, Dean McConnell, Wojciech Gladszy, Martin Murphy, Kevin McCormack, Keith Harmon, Chad McEneaney
Subs: Barry Grimes, Colm Bracken, James Clinton