St Roch’s 0 Rossvale 1: Hard fought derby win for Vale

Gary Giffin slides home Rossvales winner (pic by Helen Templeton @dibsy_)
Gary Giffin slides home Rossvales winner (pic by Helen Templeton @dibsy_)

Rossvale returned from St Roch’s with all three points after a hard fought derby win over their promotion rivals on Saturday.

A Gary Giffin goal on the half hour was enough to settle the outcome as Rabs closed to within three points of leaders Benburb - with a game in hand - at the top of the Central First Division table.

Early on Liam Mcgonigle showed how dangerous he was going to be with one of his mazy runs down the right which ended with a trip by a defender, the first of many fouls on the clever winger.

Undeterred McGonigle went down the right again and fired the ball into the box but Giffin’s stretch to reach was in vain.

Rossvale should have taken the lead in the 28th minute when, from a Liam Crichton through ball, Stephen McGladrigan was pulled down as he tried to round keeper John Paul Stark. But skipper Jamie Hunter’s spot-kick was saved.

However the visitors did make the breakthrough just two minutes later.

A McGonigle through ball found Giffin and he made no mistake, sliding the ball past Stark into the bottom corner.

Rossvale keeper Jamie Donnelly kept his side in front early in the second half with a double save inside the six-yard area which brought applause from both sets of supporters.

The home side were now putting Rossvale under pressure, forcing them back on their heels, but the visitors managed to stem the flow of Roch’s attacks.

Rossvale might have addded a second goal in stoppage time when Greg Fernie cut in from the right and fired a shot at goal which Stark managed to parry away.

But there was no further scoring and Rossvale were able to secure a win from their first league game under new boss Gordon Moffat .

The victory was Rossvale’s fifth in their l ast six league games and - coupled withleaders Benburb’s surprise 4-3 defeat at struggling Forth Wanderers - leaves them in second place just three points adrift.