Border Cup 3rd round.
Venue: The Showgrounds.
Killyleagh YC 2 Abbey Villa 1.
It was the late, late show at The Showgrounds as Jon Joe Sharvin’s dramatic 90th minute winner earned Killyleagh a place in the quarter finals of this year’s Border cup tie writes Chris Hagan.
The visitors from Millisle thought they had pulled the game out of the fire when they equalised in the 88th minute, sparking wild celebrations as the manager and coaches burst onto the pitch.
But there was time for a sting in the tail and Sharvin bravely bundled the ball over the line in a frantic goalmouth scramble in the last minute to complete a fully deserved victory.
Manager Paul Sharvin’s YC were almost a goal up in the first minute with Jack Sharvin firing inches wide of the Villa goal. Three minutes later the visitors had their first effort when from Casey Courtney’s long throw. Christopher McKay headed back to Courtney but his enterprising effort was wide.
Villa should have been ahead in the 11th minute but Aaron Carberry produced an outstanding double save.
The game was being played at a frantic pace with both midfields battling for supremacy with Jon Joe Sharvin and Darren McConnell linking to produce an outstanding pass for Jack Sharvin, but his effort was well blocked.
Soon afterwards there was almost a repeat with McConnell and Barry Walsh linking, and Jack Sharvin flashing the ball across the six yard box. Killyleagh were playing some neat football with Jonny Murray and Jon Joe Sharvin combining for Jamie Sharvin to almost thread it through for Declan McComiskey. There was time for Jamie Sharvin to stride forward and try a long range effort.
The visitors have made an outstanding start to the season, reaching the quarter finals of the Steel and Sons Cup, and they knocked the ball about with confidence as they had their best spell of the game. A free kick from the impressive Arthurs was cleared for a corner in the 28th minute and then, six minutes later, first Jamie Sharvin blocked the effort from McKay’s knock down, and Jonny Murray cleared a clever short corner as Thomas Dickson prepared to strike.
At the opposite end twice before the interval Jack Sharvin went close, first with a free kick on the far left and then he had an effort cleared off the line in the 42nd minute but in truth both teams were very evenly matched in the first half.
Killyleagh took control in the second half with a midfield masterclass from Barry Walsh and Darren McConnell in particular, and McComiskey having a lot of joy down the left side. After 53 minutes they were awarded a penalty when Jack Sharvin was fouled in a clumsy challenge from Courtney in the penalty area. However, Sharvin’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Andy Wallace.
Four minutes later and Wallace produced heroics again, this time a save with his feet from Sam Carson after McComiskey’s pace had again exposed Villa.
The goal was coming, though, and it was a goal of brilliance. Jack Sharvin curled the ball over and round his marker Hylands from the right edge of the box and into the stanchion of the goal in the 59th minute to a rapturous applause from the Killyleagh supporters.
It was a goal worthy of winning any cup tie, at any level. For a long time it looked as if it would. Killyleagh had half chances, after this, with Walsh again winning his midfield tussle with Dickson to set up Jon Joe Sharvin and then Jack Sharvin went even closer from brother Jamie’s free kick.
Villa had half chances too at the opposite end with Jake Wilson going close to an equaliser. It was a game poised on a knifedge.
Then came that dramatic finale. Wilson was presented with a second chance in the box after his initial effort was saved and he produced a stunning finish high into the net from a tight angle. Cue 88th minute pandemonium as tempers flared and it seemed the tie was set for extra time.
But when the game was restarted Killyleagh won a corner and after two blocks at close range the ball was eventually scrambled over the line by a jubilant Jon Joe Sharvin in the 90th minute to set up a quarter final tie against Crumlin United on November 6.