Kildare failed to take advantage of Coill Dubh’s defeat 24 hours earlier and take over second spot in the Senior Division when they came out on the wrong side of a 4-2 result at Canal Road.
Kildare Started off brightly and after seven minutes they created the first real opportunity when Andrew Sage crossed in from wide on the right for Jason O’Neill to head over from close range. Two minutes later O’Neill again got on the end of a Raymond Kelly Kick out only to see his flick on go out wide.
In the twelfth minute Kildare keeper Jason O’Neill brought a superb save from Rathangan keeper Mark Doyle when a long kick out by Town ‘keeper Raymond Kelly was met on the volley but the keeper managed to tip the ball over for a corner and as Kildare continued to dominate Joe Darcy flicked wide in the twenty-first minute after great work from Robert O’Neill.
Whatever was in the half time refreshments in the home dressing room worked wonder as Rathangan came out a different side, showing far more urgency. The efforts soon paid off as in the 55th minute with a superb goal by Tommy Power who took advantage of great work down the right by Sam O’Loughlin and Eoin Kennedy.
This seemed to be the break Rathangan needed and they pushed on looking for a second. Their efforts were soon awarded when Tommy Maloney was fouled by Johnny Phelan just outside the box. Pauric Kelly stepped up and drilled his free into top right corner leaving Kildare ‘keeper Ray Kelly rooted to the spot.
The home side now rang the changes introducing Richard Kelly for Tommy Maloney and Ned Cullen making way for Mark McCormack. The game was over as a contest in the 57th minute when Sam O’Loughlin took on Ian Murphy who took down the midfielder leaving referee John Dwayne with no option but to point to the spot. Sub McCormack took responsibility for the spot kick and sent Kelly in the Town goals the wrong way, virtually assuring Rathangan of all three points.
Kildare Brought Alan Ray on for Ian Carter and he made an immediate impact creating chances for Andrew Sage and Joe Darcy but both were denied by fine saves fron home ‘keeper Mark Doyle.
The visitors pulled a goal back in the eightieth minute when Robert O’Neill netted a free from the edge of the box after Brian McGannon was fouled.
Rathangan however had no intention of letting this one slip they regained their three-goal advantage in the 85th minute when Sam O’Loughlin burst upfield, skipped past his marker Ian Murphy and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which was too hot for keeper Ray Kelly to handle.
Kildare, to their credit never gave up and they reduced the deficit to two goals with the last play of the game when a Brian McGannon throw was headed in by Alan Ray who timed his run perfectly.
Impressive for the winners were Mark Doyle in goals, Eoin Kennedy, Ray Kelly and Shane Kennedy, while Kildare Town were best served by Jason O’Neill, Colin Scanlon and Robert O’Neill.
Kildare Town: Raymond Kelly, Colin Scanlon, Ian Murphy, Gordon Kelly, Johnny Phelan, Andrew Sage, Brian McGannon, Robert O’Neill, Ian Carter, Joe Darcy, Jason O’Neill. Subs: Alan Ray, Patrick Connolly, Dylan Crampton.
Rathangan AFC: Mark Doyle, Pauric Kelly, Ray Kelly, Emmet Geoghegan, Aidan Kennedy, Shane Kennedy, Sam O’Loughlin, Tommy Power, Owen Kennedy, Tommy Maloney, Edward Cullen. Subs: Mark McCormack, Richard Kelly, John Mulpeter, Mark Cassidy, John Cassidy.
Referee: John Dwane.