Square United will play in the second tier of the North East Football League next season after they beat Navan Town 5-2 on Sunday afternoon to secure their status with one game to spare.
Starting the day in the bottom three, the Ardee men knew that they needed to pick up points in their remaining two games to be absolutely sure of avoiding relegation or even the prospect of a playoff.
On Sunday afternoon, first half goals from Andy Rogers and Kian Moran set them on their way at the Trim Road pitch before top scorer Chris Kelly added another shortly before the break as Square looked to have put the game beyond doubt.
Further goals in the second half from Kelly and then Rogers meant that Square were comfortable – despite two goals in response from mid-table Town.
Coming after a chastening 2-6 defeat to Kentstown Rovers in their last outing, Square came good when it mattered most. The victory was only their second in seven outings. The visitors knew that keeping a second half clean sheet would see them safe but while Navan struck back, the three goal margin was more than enough.
The goalscoring trio have featured prominently for the Ardee side throughout the season – playing in defence, midfield, wing and attack and between them have accounted for over 40% of the team’s goals total. Rogers was last year’s Player of the Season while Moran and Kelly are good bets to win this year’s accolade.
Goals have never been an issue for Square. They scored two or more goals in 11 of their 20 outings this term. The win marked another successful away day – four of their five league wins have come on the road, in addition to a draw away to Ardee Celtic.
There’s still one game to go, but Square are now mathematically safe ahead of the visit of Black Bull on Wednesday. The Drogheda side require a point to secure automatic promotion but if Square were to win at the Boys School Field, Ardee Celtic would be promoted in second place.
The result means that Square will finish the campaign in 8th position in the league – whatever happens on Wednesday.