COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES FOOTBALL LEAGUE
CRUCIAL WIN FOR LYIT IN BELFAST
Belfast Metropolitan University 2
Goals from Davitt Walsh, Jordan Duffy and Ryan Curran helped LYIT go joint top of their qualification group after a come from behind victory against Belfast Metropolitan in Belfast Wednesday afternoon.
The win puts the Port Road students in a strong position to make the national play-offs with one game to come against north-west neighbours Magee University in Derry on Wednesday week.
Niall McGonagle’s team have now won two games on the bounce having lost the opening fixture at home to UUJ and then defeating Queen’s before the Halloween break.
Belfast Metropolitan whom work with a full-time academy set-up had come into the match having recorded an impressive 6-4 win against UUJ and they started brightly before taking the lead after 8 minutes when a routine ball over the top caught the LYIT square and while the defence appealed for offside Simon Kelly nipped in and beat Culdaff’s Dara McLaughlin in a one on one situation.
The reaction though from LYIT was impressive and within 4 minutes they not only equalised but also took the lead.
The equaliser from Davitt Walsh was the pick of the afternoon when he came inside onto his left foot while on the right side of the 18 yard box and let fly with a beautiful strike which flew into the top corner on 10 minutes.
And on 12 minutes it was 2-1 to the visitors when from a Luke O Farrell corner Jordan Duffy slipped his man and headed home superbly at the back post.
There were chances a plenty at both ends before the next goal with Dara McLaughlin in the LYIT goals making a terrific save tipping a shot from Steve Potter over the bar on 34 minutes.
LYIT were also let off the hook on 39 minutes when Potter was again sent through on a one on one but he somehow pulled his shot wide as LYIT took a 2-1 lead into half-time.
McLaughlin, making his first start in goals for LYIT had to be at his best again on 57 minutes when he produced a great reaction save to tip a free from Joe Hunt over the top for a corner on 63 minutes.
Davitt Walsh then had a great chance to make it 3-1 to LYIT on 70 mins when a fantastic defence splitting through ball from FAI Cup winner Barry McNamee sent him clear but Walsh could only hit the side netting with just the keeper to beat.
The game was now flowing from end to end with the home side moving the ball swiftly and LYIT looking threatening when they broke.
The next goal was going to be crucial and it came for LYIT.
Anthony Appiah beat the right full back before whipping in a low cross back from the byline to the penalty spot where Ryan Curran duly obliged with the finish side footing home to make it 1-3 on 75 mins.
Much to their credit Belfast Metropolitan refused to lie down and pinned LYIT back to pile on the pressure.
McLaughlin again pulled off a superb save on 81 minutes when he dived at full stretch and held a header from 6 yards when a goal seemed certain.
Belfast Metropolitan’s pressure did pay off on 87 minutes when Potter stabbed the ball home after a goalmouth scramble to make it 2-3 and set up a nervous final few minutes.
However the goal proved to be too little too late as LYIT hung on for the 3 points which see’s them join UUJ on top of the group on 6 points with a game left to play.