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Ref steals the show

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‘Keeper Gwilt: Spill led to Goodwick own goal

Goodwick United 5

Carew 1

GOODWICK UNITED took advantage of their league rivals not playing to move top of the Pembrokeshire League Division One, largely thanks to some questionable decisions that went in their favour in a tight contest, in which a draw would’ve been slightly unfair on the visitors, but a 5-1 defeat was bordering on cruel.

The game started off with a real ebb and flow, with Carew enjoying the better of the battles in the middle of the park, but with the hosts getting some joy down the flanks, particularly through the livewire Jonny Horgan.

A tight contest produced no real efforts of note until the 40th minute, when Carew deservedly took the lead, with Dean Morris latching onto a through ball and producing a thunderous effort which keeper James Gwilt could only spill, and with Grant James following up, Goodwick put through their own net.

The goal seemed to force Carew into a retreat, and the visitors invited pressure onto themselves, and with the 45 minutes played, Goodwick equalised to draw level at the interval, as Adam Raymond’s speculative effort deflected over the right hand of Dan James to leave the sides at one apiece.

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Carew emerged for the second half unaffected by the setback and went at the hosts from the first whistle, with Gwilt forced into action on several occasions, with the only outlet for the red and blacks being the irrepressible Horgan, who also drew a fine stop from James.

With 65 minutes played the turning point of the game occurred, with the referee ensuring that he took centre stage.

Carew worked an opening for Dean Morris, but when he was about to side foot home from the penalty spot, a horrendously mistimed tackle from Goodwick’s last man wiped him out.

The referee pointed to the spot, and with a red card imminent, he was surrounded by the home sides players, who somehow managed to get the decision downgraded to a free kick and incredibly, they even persuaded the official not to produce a card of any colour.

This flabbergasted even the Goodwick linesman and supporters, and it was now apparent that the game was being officiated by the home team with the resulting free kick being taken from bang on the line.

Shaun Whitfield stepped up to take the kick and produced a brilliant full length stop from Gwilt, but the keeper could only tip it onto the bar, and with the goal at their mercy, Carew’s Morris and midfielder Alex Bayley got in each other’s way and conspired to put the ball over the bar.

The decision spurred Goodwick on, and with the game ticking into the last fifteen minutes, it was won by a moment of true brilliance from man of the match Horgan.

The winger picked the ball up 30 yards from goal on the left hand side, and turned inside, then out, before coming back inside one last time to produce a thunderous shot across James, which flew in off the inside of the post, sparking scenes of mass celebration among the home players, with both players and management racing to congratulate the home hero.

With Carew now firmly disheartened, Goodwick ran away with the game, scoring a further three goals in the last five minutes.

Horgan grabbed his second and Kieran O’Brien a brace of well taken finishes to move the Phoenix Park side top of the league.