06 Nov Div 1-2-3 Shield Semi Final Arlington FC 2 Clane United FC 2 (Arlingotn win 4-3 on penalties AET)
Feature game Herald Newspaper
Arlington progressed to the division 1,2,3 cup final when they overcame an excellent Clane United FC side in a penalty shootout following an exciting 2-2 draw at Castle Park.
The visitors started the better of the two and had plenty of the ball after a sluggish start from the home side. Arlington had to rely on some great defending from Ben Slevin and some smart goalkeeping from Jordan Dunne to keep Clane at bay. Clane should have opened the scoring after twenty minutes when a free from the right by Sean Harnett was headed just wide by the unmarked Alan Casey.
The miss seemed to spark Arlington into life and they went close after a shot from Chris Hoskins whisked post the post. Jack Lennon went close for the home side when his cross come shot almost caught out Foster. Just before the half Dave Thorpe had to be at his best after good play between Harnett and Casey almost put Reynolds in for the visitors but the Arlington defender was in the right place at the right time to keep the game scoreless.
Arlington took the lead on fifty minutes when great skill from Jack Lennon won a free on the right side, Joe Tully whipped in the ball and Adam Kirwin guided the ball in with his head off the far post to give Arlington the lead. Home keeper Jordan Dunne had to be on his toes after Donal O Connor got down the right side and put in a dangerous ball but Dunne gathered the ball at the second time of asking. Dave Thorpe should have doubled Arlington’s advantage after good link up play between Clifford Nolan and Chris Hoskins on the left won a corner which was sent it by Hoskins who found Thorpe unmarked but his free header was just wide of Paddy Foster’s right post.
Clane were pushing on looking for the equalizer but Arlington were always a danger on the break with the pace of Conor McCarthy who missed a glorious opportunity after been put through by Tom Behan but the wide man’s effort was just wide. The Arlington defence was dropping deeper as the minutes went by but were comfortable with everything Clane were throwing at them. Arlington thought they had done enough to win it but in the 95min a ball from the left found Casey who did brilliantly to get there before Dunne and his glancing header found the net to take the game to extra time. Substitute Christopher Higgins thought he’d given Arlington the lead with a neat finish after a one two with Nolan but the linesman had the flag up for offside. Arlington were piling on the pressure and really should of put the game to bed when full back Ben Slevin missed a sitter from 5 yards with the goal at his mercy.
With penalties looking likely Harnett was taken down in the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. With the game going into injury time Casey cooly stepped up and sent Dunne the wrong way to give Clane and lead and almost certain victory. Straight from the tip the home side were awarded a free with the game in injury time, Hoskins delivered the ball onto Behan’s head and his flick with touched by Kirwin to send the ball into the back of the net. It turned out to be the last kick of the game and in truth the home side deserved the chance to take the game into penalties.
Dave Thorpe stepped up first to score for Arlington, Casey who already scored minutes earlier couldn’t repeat the trick as Dunne wonderfully saved. Jack Lennon scored his while O Connor missed and Arlington were 2 up in the shoot out. Nolan and Hoskins both missed there penalties while Harnett and Quinn scored making it two all. Tom Behan and Connor Black both scored making it 3 all in after 5 penaltys each. Christopher Higgins calmly slotted home putting all the pressure on Cian Byrne to keep Clane in the tie. Dunne dived to his right to save, cue massive celebrations from Arlington and their manager Phil Kane who has guided the club into their first final in four years. Arlington now take on Kildare Town AFC who defeated Naas AFC Blue. The final will take place on Sunday 18th November.
Arlington FC – Jordan Dunne, Ben Slevin, Chris Hoskins, Dave Thorpe, Adam Kirwin, Clifford Nolan, Joe Tully, Jack Lennon, Conor McCarthy, Tom Behan, Ian Higgins, Stephen Shiels, Andrea Adam, Tristan Carroll, Chris Higgins, Warren Carroll, Aaron Knight.
Clane United FC – Paddy Foster, Cian Byrne, Conor Black, jack Crowley, David Smyth, Evan Treacy, Michael Reynolds, Donal O Connor, Sean Harnett, Alan Casey, Gary Harnell, Johnny Quinn, Ivan Boscanean, Aaron Seery, James Callen, John O Leary.
Officials – Martin Hickey, John A Kelly, John Brecknell.