Square United’s have endured a difficult league campaign so far 2016 and it’s not getting any easier – after a sixth defeat in ten games left them languishing just one point above the foot of the NEFL O’Neill’s Sportswear Division One.
On Sunday afternoon, Navan Town twice look the lead against the Ardee men, either side of a Derek Minogue equaliser. The second time around. There was no coming back. Bottom side Trim Town weren’t in action this weekend, meaning this 1-3 defeat hasn’t sunk Square to the bottom of the table, for the time being at least.
It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s congested in the bottom half of the table. Just three points separated 7th placed Athboy and basement boys Trim coming into the weekend. One victory could change everything, but it wasn’t to come today for Square.
That is despite Derek Minogue’s 14th minute goal which cancelled out Navan Town’s early opener. Martin Duffy provided the left footed delivery and after a touch from Kian Moran, the ball fell kindly to Minogue who fired past visiting goalkeeper Ben Clarke.
Square had been behind for just seven minutes. There were brief calls for offside against Navan centre forward John Power but they were more in hope than expectation. He centered the ball for Shane Power who slotted the ball past Lee Kilcoyne.
The home side had the better of it in the first half on a bitterly cold afternoon at the Boys School Field. After their equaliser, Brian Corcorcan produced a slaloming run down the left to earn a corner. It was the first time he was really in the game – but it offered a glimpse of what he can do.
The Collon man just failed to get on the end of Kian Moran’s cross before Darren Henry drove a shot wide and Town defender David Gavin was fortunate to see hs clearance of Duffy’s cross go outside the post rather than nestle in the net.
Navan’s best chances came from set-pieces. Mark Power headed Jamie Power’s free-kick onto the bar before James Power hit a free kick just over (there were five players called Power in the Navan side). The best chance to send either side in 2-1 up at the break fell Square’s way just prior to half time. Corcoran delivered a cross after a strong run and when Chris Kelly’s shot was blocked, Andy Rogers’ effort somehow failed to hit the net.
Nine minutes after the interval, Navan had their second. Mick Duke played a ball into the box and Shane Power was on hand to finish. The Square players and coaches were up in arms however, after David Smyth appeared to be fouled in the build-up to the goal on the right flank.
Goalkeeper Clarke was tested by Duffy, Moran and Corcoran as United tried to find a leveller. Adrian Conlon and Mark Rooney made four changes too – some enforced – in attempting to force the issue.
Martin Duffy, now popping up on the right, hit a speculative effort into the side-netting while with five minutes to go, Andy Rogers could get little purchase a header from Duffy’s cross.
With 85 minutes on the clock, Mick Duke latched onto Sammy Odeniyi’s through ball and produced a confident finish to wrap up the 3-1 win and three points for Navan, who despite a managerial change in December, remain in promotion contention.
Square can only dream of keeping company towards the top of the table. They need some points on the board soon to lift confidence and move away from the battle at the bottom.