This was as badly needed a win as badly needed wins can be. Having not won a match since November – and with only two victories all season under their belt – Square needed this desperately.
A hat-trick from Chris Kelly and another strike from Jamie McKenny secured a 1-4 win against Trim Town this afternoon, ensuring all three points for the men from Ardee – and much more. This was the definition of a relegation six pointer and the victory means they are now outside of the bottom three.
Going into the game, United sat second from bottom in the NEFL O’Neill’s Sportswear Division One – with only a solitary point separating them from Trim and the foot of the table. This win will provide Adrian Conlon and Mark Rooney’s men with a much needed filip going into the latter stages of the campaign.
It will also cap a memorable week for player-coach Rooney who became a father on Thursday when wife Laura gave birth to baby Dylan.
Whilst it by no means alleviates their relegation woes just yet, it just goes to show that the ability to put teams in this league to the sword is within the Square ranks. Remarkably, all three of Square’s league victories this season have come away from home – against Torro United, Woodview Celtic and now Trim Town.
In fact, just one of Square’s 11 points this season in the league have come on home soil. That came in their 2-2 draw with Kenstown Rovers back in August.
On Sunday morning, the visitors ran riot against their hosts and will be glad to see striker Chris Kelly back on form. Going into the final straight of the campaign, his goalgetting ability is sure to prove vital if Square are to navigate their way out of trouble.
The win is all the more impressive considering some key players were missing. Andy Rogers, Martin Duffy, Emmett Farrell, Lee Kilcoyne and Andrew Egan were amongst the absentees – meaning rare first team starts for McKenny, Pearce Callan and teeanger Cian Halpenny.
The visitors hit the front 10 minutes into the game through Kelly before Trim got one back soon after. The 24-year-old affectionately known as ‘Gizzy’ struck his second of the afternoon shortly before the break before his hat-trick goal gave United a two-goal cushion. Winger McKenny added a fourth to put the result beyond any doubt and ease Square through the final stages.
Today’s win also avenges the 2-3 reverse that Square suffered at the hands of Trim before Christmas. That day, goals in each half from Jonny Sheridan and Alan Kirk weren’t enough.
SQUARE UNITED: Vincent Clinton, Pearce Callan, Stefan Halpenny, Darren Henry, Cian Halpenny, Jamie McKenny, Kian Moran, Jonny Sheridan, Chris Kelly, Derek Minogue, Brian Corcoran.
Susbtitutes: Eolann Aiken, Liam Farrell, Benny Curtis.