Philip’s the Main man with the winner for the Reserves

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Rathfriland Rangers Reserves hosted Crewe United Reserves on Saturday and edged a tight game 3-2 at Iveagh Park.

Both sides are languishing around mid-table in the Mid Ulster Reserve Championship and the game had a lethargic feel during a slow first half.

Rathfriland grabbed the game’s first goal after the break when Mark Weir was able to capitalise on a poor mistake by the Crewe goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the empty net with what seemed like a tackle rather than an attempt on goal.

The goal sparked the game into life. Indeed, the visitors got themselves back into the game when a low cross into the penalty area was dispatched beyond the reach of Gracey to make it 1-1.

Rathfriland did not let their heads drop and soon got themselves back in front after Andrew Stewart was fouled in the penalty box and the same player stepped up to score the resultant spot kick.

However, Crewe bizarrely scored almost directly from the restart when the ball broke to their left winger who skipped past Johnston and cut inside to fire a fine effort into the bottom corner.

The home side got themselves back in front after a corner kick was bundled over the line by Phily Main following a goal mouth scramble to make it 3-2 in Rathfriland’s favour.

Rathfriland sent on fresh legs in the shape of Sam Cantley, Rory Mallon and Dean McCabe in order to try and see the game out.

Crewe piled players forward but the Rathfriland defence was resolute and able to deal with any threats posed to them.

Rathfriland had opportunities to kill the game, the best of these falling to Mallon who, after good work from McCabe, blazed over the bar when it seemed easier to score.

However, this did not matter as Rathfriland were able to see the game out.

Rathfriland will aim to carry this momentum into their remaining five fixtures, beginning on Saturday with a derby clash away to Banbridge Rangers.