Newbridge Hotspurs FC 2 Clongorey FC 1
Another home tie for Hotspurs saw Clongorey make the short trip to Snigs Brogan Park on Saturday evening. Hotspurs were looking to continue their recent fine run in form but were up against a tough Clongorey side. The game itself was feisty affair with Clongorey certainly been the better of the sides in the first half with Reece McLaughlin, Cian O'Connor and Sheldon Mbala causing problems for Newbridge in attack. That said, Hotspurs did have a few chances. The first fell to Chris Higgins on the 10th minute when a one two with Shane Smith saw Chris go in on goal but the Clongorey keeper was off his line quickly to intervene. On the 25th minute, Mikey Murphy went close when his free kick was saved by the Clongorey keeper. Arguably Hotspurs best chance of the half came on the 30th minute when good play on the right between Eoin McGrath and Scott O’Connor led to McGrath going to the bye line and crossing into the box, Scott O’Donoghue caught it on the half volley and it went just over the bar.
On the 44th minute, Scott O’Donoghue was unlucky again when his shot from 25 yards was saved by the Clongorey keeper at the near post. During the half, Clongorey themselves had a number of chances but Ryan Harvey, Sean Higgins, Scott O’Connor, Barry Doyle and Robbie Higgins were able to thwart the advances. The game went in half time 0-0.
The second half saw the game open up with Hotspurs making a tweak in their formation. This had the desired effect. Both teams had early chances in the second half with Robbie Higgins being particularly impressive following his change in position. The deadlock was broken on the 68th minute. Scott O’Donoghue skipped past the Clongorey right back and put a great ball across the box, Eoin McGrath made contact from close range but the keeper saved well, from the rebound, Shane Smith chipped the ball over the keeper and McGrath was able to head into an empty net. 1-0 to Hotspurs. Just three minutes later on the 70th minute, Clongorey made it 1-1 when speculative shot hit the crossbar and bounced down on to the line. Despite Hotspurs protestations the ref decided the ball had crossed the line. It was on the 85th minute however when Hotspurs got their second goal of the game. A Long throw into the box from the left touch line by Robbie Higgins found it’s way to the back post where Eoin McGrath was in the right place to head in his second of the game. 2-1 to Hotspurs. Despite a nervy finish to the game, Hotspurs held out and won 2-1. Best for Hotspurs: Sean Higgins, Scott O’Donoghue, Eoin McGrath and Hotspurs man of the match Robbie Higgins. Best for the visitors were Carter, Kenna, Challan, Sheldon, Cian o Connor, Reece MC Loughlin and their man of the match was Cornell .
Clonmullion FC 5 Rathangan AFC 3
Rathangan didn't take long to announce their arrival at a lovely sunny Micheál O Neill Park where it only took them 4 minutes to open the scoring. Iain Doyle was the provider when he swung in a great cross which was missed by the home defence but Lee Moore was alive at the back post and slammed the ball home. Defending with a very high line Rathangan were compacting the space and making it very difficult for the home side to break through. Keane Cully did manage it on the 20th minute when he slid a great ball through to Lee Doyle but Ross Teaman defended it really well and shepherded the winger away from the danger area. 5 minutes later the sides were level when keeper Michael Lawless picked out Nathan Robinson in the centre circle who laid it off to Doyle who played the ball into the area for Garry Comerford to run on to and as he nudged the ball past the advancing keeper Phelim Doyle who had no choice but to take him down and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Robinson stepped up and blasted it home. Rathangan were now playing on the break such was the dominance of the home side and it was on such a break that Jim Brennan fed Conlon who teed up Doyle but he dragged his effort wide from just outside the box. Clonmullion continued to press and on the half hour mark Robinson passed to Jody Dillon whose shot was parried into the path of Dean Fennessy who shot over from close range. A few minutes later Iain Doyle put Lee Moore in one on one with Lawless but the keeper saved with his feet. Up the other end Comerford chased down what looked like a lost cause but managed to hook the ball back into the penalty area to Dillon who flicked it to Fennessy but he lifted the ball over the bar again. On the 35th minute Johnny Fennell played a defence splitting ball to Robinson who's first time effort was saved by Doyle but he made no mistake from the rebound. With 5 minutes left in the first half came a typically spectacular effort from Comerford who hit a volley from 35 yards out which crashed off the crossbar back in to play to Benny Lawlor whose effort was parried by the keeper into the path of Dillon who made no mistake to put his side 3 1 up. Then came the move of the match when the imperious Comerford who was running the show hit an unbelievable through ball to Lee Doyle who squared it first time in to Lawlor who tapped home from close range to make it 4 1 at the interval.
Rathangan came out with all guns blazing in the second half when Conlon picked out Arun Doyle with a quick throw he dragged his shot just wide. At the other end Dillon was fouled centrally just outside the box and substitute Dylan Kennedy stepped up to curl one around the wall but keeper Doyle saved comfortably. The visitors continued to press and Lee Moore corner was headed just over by Teaman. With an hour gone Conlon made a great run down the right wing and whipped in a great ball t the back post but just as Moore looked to just have to nod home Nicky Leonard got across to knock him off balance and avert the danger. 5 minutes later the visitors were awarded a free kick 20 yards out which Colin Scanlon powered over the wall which Lawless did well to save but he could only parry it in to the path of Doyle who tapped home to reduce the deficit to 2. Rathangan continued to push and when another cross was headed clear by Jay Connell it fell to Tone Byrne who fired just wide. Dylan Broderick was next to threaten and he made a great run down the left and crossed into the area where Conlon was alive and fired straight at Lawless but it rebounded back into his path and he reduced it to the minimum with a quarter of an hour remaining. Comerford was driving his team forward and one of his marauding runs led to him crossing dangerously and Teaman just managed to redirect the ball out of play. Comerford delivered a wicked corner just under the crossbar and Jay Connell got on the end of it to head home for a third game in a row and secured the 3 points for his side. Best for the visitors were Keeper Doyle, Scanlon and Lyons in defence, Conlon and Byrne in midfield and Doyle and Moore in attack. Best for the home side were Lawless in goals who's distribution was excellent Leonard, Connell and Cully at the back, Robinson and Doyle in midfield and Dillon and Lawlor were always dangerous up top. But Comerford was again man of the match with an outstanding display of power and passing as he dictated the tempo of the game.
Suncroft AFC 2 Naas United FC 3
Suncroft continued their recent inconsistent form with a home defeat versus Naas Utd. Naas started the game the strongest, racing into a two goal lead within the first 10 mins through Brian Nolan and the second coming after good work by Jordan Martella to set Samson Omoteso in to finish superbly from a tight angle to put the visitors 2-0 up following some lax defending by the home side.
Suncroft gradually worked their way back into the match and enjoyed a large portion of the possession but struggled to break down the resolute defence of the away side. With 30 mins played, the 'Croft pulled a goal back. Paddy Flood was brought down after a mazy run through the Naas backline and Dylan Connolly dispatched the resulting free-kick from 25 yards out. 2-1 to Naas at the break.
The second half began in a similar fashion to how the first had ended with the home side seeing plenty of the ball but unable to turn possession into clear cut chances. Naas continued to look dangerous with counter attacks and it was one such counter that resulted in a third goal for the away side. when Ritchie French broke from the halfway line and fed the ball through to Omoteso who again made no mistake with a very clever finish past the stranded Keggy McDonnell in the home goal. Suncroft gave themselves a lifeline in the 85th minute when Dylan Connolly was brought down in the penalty area and fired home himself from the spot. Even with the late onslaught Suncroft were unable to grab an equalising goal and Naas held on for all 3 points. The home side were served best by Dylan Connolly, Cathal Mahon, Paddy Flood and Shane Higgins. Best for the winners were Brian Nolan, Rox Higgins ,Jamie Dunne ,Martella and man of the match Samson Omoteso.
Ballycane Celtic 0 Arlington FC 7
Arlington made the trip to Naas to face Ballycane Celtic FC after a good recent run of results,
The visiotrs started quickly and found the net after 2 minutes when Daniel Stefanov was played in down the left he squared the ball into Robbie Mc Neills path and without breaking stride Mc Neill smashed the ball home to put Arlington 1-0 up. Arlington kept the tempo high and got a well deserved second when Robbie Mc Neill squared to Shane Nealon who finished it neatly into the corner
Ballycane had a good opportunity to get one back when they tried their luck with a free from the left which Evan Grattan touched over with his finger tips. The water break rather killed Arlington’s momentum and they had a drop off in intensity but they didn't take long to get going again when the dangerous Stefanov played in Jake Nicholl to rifle home from just outside the box ,
The visitors came out strong in the second half and nearly killed the game completely after 50 minutes when Robbie mc Neill struck a long range effort off the crossbar,
On the 55th minute Ballycane where reduced to ten men adding to their woes.
Arlington got their 4th in the 60th minute with good work down the left from Chris Hoskins who whipped a ball across to find Shane Nealon on the edge of the box who without thought hit a rocket of a volley on his seemingly weaker left foot straight into the top corner ,
It was 5 on the 68th minute when McNeill again from range lined one up, the ball travelled through a group of players and Jay Conlan guided the ball into the opposite corner with the Ballycane keeper already committed, Arlington rung the changes and introduced 4 players on the 70th minute,
Ballycane kept trying all game but couldn't break down a well drilled Arlington back line,
The 6th goal came on the 81st minute with good work down the right from Iain Higgins and Stephen Shields putting a lovely ball across the box and found Nealon who under pressure opened his body and slotted home his 3rd. The 7th and final goal came just on the 90th minute mark when a lovely ball over the top found Shane Nealon who lobbed the keeper to wrap up the scoring, 4th for Nealon on the day. Best for Arlington were Daniel Stefanov, Robbie Mc Neill, Jay Conlon, Stephen Flanagan at the back and of course Shane Nealon up top .