Clane United 1 Newbridge Hotspurs FC 4
Newbridge Hotspurs FC moved to joint top of the Noel Recruitment Premier Division on Sunday by virtue of this victory over Clane United FC. After last week’s enthralling 2-2 draw with Arlington, Hotspurs were looking to get back to winning ways against a well organised Clane Utd side on this rain soaked Sunday morning at Doctors road.
Newbridge Hotspurs started the game brightly and with intent, going close on a number of occasions. It was however on the ninth minute when Hotspurs took the lead. A fantastic team move culminated in Diarmuid Hartley playing a neat pass to Shane Smith who calmly slotted past the Clane keeper. Following the goal, Hotspurs kicked up a gear and in the inclement conditions played some fantastic football. A very lively Eoin McGrath was unlucky not to score when he had three chances in quick succession, hitting the post and two shots well saved by the Clane keeper. On the fortieth minute, Ciaran Glynn almost scored when his bending shot narrowly went wide. The fantastic football that Hotspurs were playing didn’t produce another goal until just before half time and what a goal it was (45mins). Once again, quick thinking from Conor McLoughlin who gave a lovely pass to Greg Kelly in midfield, Kelly, calm and intuitive, played a clever pass to Shane Smith who provided the most delicate and the most sublime pass to Diarmuid Hartley. Hartley took one touch, composed himself and curled a shot past the keeper to make it 2-0. The game went in at half time 2-0 to Hotspurs.
With the weather conditions remaining rather atrocious, it didn’t stop this game from producing some good football from both sides. The second half was as lively as the first half.
Clane Utd started the second half well and moved further up the pitch. They had a couple of chances which were dealt with well by Sean Higgins in goal and the Hotspurs defensive quartet of Scott O’Connor, Barry Doyle, Conor McLoughlin and Robbie Higgins. Hotspurs had chances too with Smith and Tomas Hennessy being involved in the action. However, on the 57th minute, Clane managed to get one back when Higgins made a good first save but was unable to keep the shot out on rebound. On the fifty seventh minute, Newbridge Hotspurs introduced Mikey Murphy and Scoot O’Donoghue to the fold. An almost instant impact was made when both were involved in Hotspurs third goal. It was the sixieth minute when Mikey Murphy after some fine footwork crossed to Scott O’Donoghue who shot from close range to to make it 3-1. Newbridge Hotspurs upped the tempo again after this goal with a succession of chances. Smith went close on the 62nd minute when he shot just wide. On the sixty third minute, Greg Kelly nearly made it 4 when his shot struck the crossbar. On the sevenieth minute, Mikey Murphy went close when the Clane keeper pulled off a fantastic save. Immediately after this, Smith went close again when his shot struck the post. On the seventy third minute, Mikey Murphy and Greg Kelly went close when the keeper pulled off a good double save. On the eightieth minute Ciaran Glynn had another shot that went narrowly wide. On the eighty seventh minute, Hotspurs had a flurry of chances when Mikey Murphy and Scott O’Donoghue had shots blocked and saved. With two minutes remaining Greg Kelly struck the bar for the second time in the game. On the stroke of full time Hotspurs made it 4-1. Scott O’Donoghue was taken down in the box and Hotspurs were awarded a penalty. Smith stepped up and scored from the spot. Best for the winners were Greg Kelly, Ciaran Glynn, Tomas Hennessy and their man of the match was Shane Smith.