KDFL Senior Division Team Focus.
League Actions !
Coill Dubh AFC 1 Naas United FC 3
A fantastic result for Naas United as they traveled the short distance to face a Coill Dubh who are hard beaten on their own pitch and came away with all three points. The home side definitely started better with two early shots from Sean and Dillon Hannon giving Keith Higgins some early catching practice on his return from a two game suspension. Naas were clear in on goal, but dealt a blow after twelve minutes when Harmony pulled up and had to come off with a muscle injury that is not quite healed after it flared up again. His replacement Adam Colton took just two minutes to get himself into the action with a strike from a narrow angle forcing a good save after Nolan’s quick throw.
Coill Dubh were looking dangerous on the break and on twenty minutes a ball over the top ran to Sean Hannon who tried to take the ball around the keeper, the keepers momentum saw him bring the player down for a penalty. Keeper Higgins made up for it though with an outstanding save low to his left before quickly getting up to bravely save the rebound as his defender Jamie Dunne was also sliding in with an attempted block.
Naas got themselves back on top, Ver Nolan and Dunphy started to look sprightly in midfield areas as Heavey and Abdel Karim showed great work rate. Abdel very unlucky to have a shot cleared off the line after some lovely skill by Colton on the edge of the box to set him free on twenty six minutes. The same player had another shot blocked on the line moments later as he got on the end of Nolan’s corner. Two further corners for Naas saw them go close again as Nolan’s delivery was pin point again as John Paul Higgins had a header saved and Paul Ometeso had another effort frustratingly cleared off the line.
Coill Dubh had weathered the storm and broke away to win a corner of their own on forty one minutes and another dangerous delivery saw the ball glance off Jamie Dunne’s head and into his own net for an unfortunate own goal as Dunne was have a brilliant game at left back.
The second half saw Coill Dubh awarded another penalty in the forty eight minute when Liam O’Shea was beaten for pace by the lightening quick Billy McNamee for the home side, he cut across O’Shea and a coming together of bodies saw Dubh’s player brought down. Murran blasted over from the spot. This boosted Naas and they began to play with real courage now, Ometeso having another shot blocked on fifty five minutes. The away side utilized the bench just after that as they brought on Owen Moran, a fan’s favorite since re signing for the club, Samson Ometeso also entered the fray on the wing and both of these players really added a spark. Moran and Abdel forced a corner on sixty sixth minutes, swung in by Nolan, up rose Moran and his header flew past the home keeper to level the scores at 1-1.
Naas were definitely on top now as Samson and Nolan linked well to win a corner on 72 minutes and yet another excellent delivery from Nolan hung perfectly in the air for captain John Paul Higgins to leap like a salmon and power home a header to give United the lead. Moments like this show just how far Naas have come this season as the passion in the celebrations all round showed the incredible comradery that is developing amongst this side. They rallied together for the final twenty minutes or so now and youngster Joe Murray added further fresh legs, Samson and Moran really worked their socks off and the energy of Jamie Dunne to get up and down the left side was incredible as he displayed a man of the match performance. Another hard working player for United in every game is Paul Ometeso and it was he who made it 3-1 with an emphatic finish from distance as the home keeper tried to spray a pass out to midfield, Ometeso showed great awareness late on to intercept and he curled a shot up and around the keeper into the empty net. Eoin Giblin came off the bench to replace John Paul Higgins in the dying minutes to help United over the line as Naas come away with the three points on what could very easily have been a tricky game on a very warm evening in the cauldron of Cusack Park. Stephen Burkes side now go into the Lumsden Cup next Saturday with another away trip to Newbridge Town who will certainly be no push overs. So expect another test next time out.
The highlight of the evening for Coill Dubh was the introduction of Cian McMahon making his senior debut for Coill Dubh. Best of the rest were Aeneas Murphy, Billy McNamee, Sean Hannon and Dillon Hannon.
Athy Town AFC 1 Kilcullen AFC 0
A warm Friday evening saw another big crowd descend on Aldridge Park for this clash between two very well organised teams. Kilcullen travelled to Athy knowing a win was a must to keep any league aspirations alive. The game was a tense affair with very few clear cut chances. Athy let Kilcullen have the ball for large portions of the first half and backed their defence to repel the Kilcullen attack. Kilcullen created a few half chances through Mark Wolfe and Eamon Doyle and Steven French had Athy’s best effort with a free header that sailed over the bar, but the game was scoreless at halftime despite another good effort from Athy’s Eoin Molloy late on.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Luke Kerins and Colin Scanlon going closest for the visitors. Both teams made changes midway through the second half and the substitutes for Athy, Alex Whelan and club captain Aaron Meade had a very positive impact for the home side. The breakthrough finally came five minutes before the end with Meade floating in an excellent corner which was met by Stephen French at the back post to make the all important breakthrough. A one nil win for Athy Town in a game where Kilcullen certainly played their part. Best for Athy were Michael Walsh and Andy Coughlan who were as mean and solid as ever at the back while the experienced Martin Brennan got the best of a very tough midfield battle.
For KIlcullen Scanlon, Paul Clifford and Alan Crowe stood out.
Rathangan AFC 0 Clonmullion AFC 2
Canal road Rathangan set the scene for this Clash of last years Senior League Play off Clubs Rathangan AFC and Conmullion AFC play in very warm conditions it was the visitors who showed the advantage early on when Danny Thompson came close after only a few minutes when Michael Lawless picked out Cody Mulhall who laid it off to Lee Doyle who’s first time cross was fired over by Danny Thompson. Lee Doyle was again the provider for the next attack by the Athy side when he received the ball from brother Nathan Doyle and whipped in a cross which Mulhall volleyed over from close range. The home side got a sight of goal on the quarter hour mark after great work by Arun Doyle put Alex Conlon through but Mark Hughes took the ball off his toe just as he lined up his shot. On twenty minutes some patient build up play by the visitors in the middle of the park saw Hughes hit a lovely diagonal pass to Thompson but he was again wasteful and hit his shot straight at keeper Craig Shannon.
Dominating possession in the middle Clonmullion’s Jody Dillon played a great ball out to Johnny Fennell who put Thompson through and he looked destined to score but for a superb last ditch tackle by centre half James Brennan to avert the danger.. Just before the half hour mark Clonmullion took the lead after Dillon and Thompson played a quick one two with the latter passing to Lee Doyle to side foot home to put Clonmullion 1-0 up.
Five minutes later the visitors should have doubled their lead when Mulhall whipped in a curling corner and Timmy Doyle should have hit the target. With a few minutes left in the first half substitute Dean Fennessy, on for the injured Fennell put Thompson in behind the defence and he squared to Mulhall who’s left footed effort was blocked by the other centre half Stefan Lawlor on this occasion. Rathangan had a great chance a minute form half time when Iain Doyle flicked a ball over the top but Doyle dragged his effort wide of the post.
The second half was only three minutes old when Rathangan keeper Shannon played a long ball over the top of the Clonmullion defence and the dangerous Doyle latched onto it and with only the keeper to beat pulled his effort just wide. Doyle was again the threat when he fired a well struck free kick from just outside the box but Lawless was equal to it. With ten minutes gone in the second half a Nathan Doyle throw in was volley on by Nathan Robinson to Mulhall who’s clever hooked pass over his shoulder was met by the head of Lee Doyle but he failed to generate the power needed to beat Shannon. Winger Doyle was again guilty of a missed opportunity when he failed to convert after intricate build up play involving Timmy Doyle, Mulhall and Dillon. However Lee Doyle turned provider a few minutes later when he crossed for Thompson who’s first effort was well blocked by Brennan but it rebounded into his path and he dinked the ball over a stranded Craig Shannon to make it 2 – 0 to the visitors.
Rathangan were not going to go down without a fight and had two great headed chances in the following few minutes with Brennan heading just over from a Dan Mulpeter corner and Iain Doyle again headed over from Conlon cross. Then came the move of the match when Nathan Doyle who was having an outstanding game at right full passed to Dillon who in turn found Mulhall who slid in Lee Doyle but Shannon saved well from his side footed effort. With fifteen minutes remaining the home side thought they had pulled one back when Lee Moore rose highest to power home another Mulpeter corner but the referee ruled it out for a foul on Timmy Doyle. Clonmullion controlled the final quarter by keeping the ball and moving the Rathangan players around and the introduction of Jay Connell for the injured Thompson ensured more solidity at the back.
Best for Rathangan were keeper Shannon, Brennan and Mulpeter in defence while the Arun and Iain Doyle, Conlon and Moore were always a threat going forward. Best for the winners were Timmy Doyle and Mark Hughes at the heart of the defence, Nathan Doyle at full back. Lee Day was excellent in midfield and when asked to play full back for the injured Fennell was equally impressive. Scorers Lee Doyle and Thompson worked their socks off while Mulhall and Dillon were always dangerous.
Suncroft AFC 4 Clane United FC 3
Suncroft came out on top in an action packed game played in perfect conditions at the Suncroft community grounds on Sunday morning. The home side took an early lead when Keith Kinsella, making his first start for the club, finished smartly after being played through by Dylan Connolly with only seven minutes played. Kinsella came very close to doubling his and Suncroft's tally moments later with a left footed strike from the edge of the area looking destined for the top corner but the Clane 'keeper John Ball pulled off an excellent save to tip the ball wide. Clane got themselves level with eighteen minutes on the clock, a looping corner caused some trouble in the Suncroft box, with Craig Durney clearing off the line only to see the ball fall kindly to Cathal Geoghegan to tap home. The home side hit back immediately, Eoin Doyle making space to cross from the left wing and finding Niall Costigan whose left footed finish gave the Clane 'keeper Ball no chance. Both 'keepers were called upon before the half was out, 'Croft 'keeper Colin Farrell making two excellent stops from close range efforts and the Clane 'keeper recovering to stop what looked like a certain goal after initially being beaten by Costigan .
The home side extended their lead in the opening minutes of the second half when Liam Knight expertly took control of an attempted clearance from corner and laid the ball into the path of Dylan Connolly, Connolly took one touch to make space to shoot and fired the ball home from just inside the box. Suncroft looked like they would have their fourth in the sixtieth minute when the tricky Costigan beat two players on his way into the box but was pulled back when attempting to shoot, the ball did break kindly for Connolly but the Clane defender made an excellent goal line block to keep the score at 3-1.
With it being such a warm day Suncroft were glad to have the majority of their squad available and could make all five substitutes throughout the game with Kieron Morris impressing after coming on early for the injured Kieran Sheedy and Cathal Mahon providing energy in midfield when introduced on the hour mark. The fresh legs of the three Suncroft attackers, Josh Lee, Ben McInerney and Ben Kinsella that entered the game looked sure to add their side's fourth goal. McInerney came close first when just failing to get enough purchase on a Lee's cross. Lee then forced two excellent saves from the Clane 'keeper next, the first after being played through on goal by Eoin Doyle the second with a curling free-kick that was clawed out of the top corner. All three would combine to get, what proved to be the crucial, fourth goal. McInerney intercepted a pass on the half way line, his perfectly weighted pass set Lee free on the left wing, Lee cut inside and unselfishly squared the ball for Ben Kinsella who took one touch and applied a deft finish past the on-rushing 'keeper in the eightieth minute. Clane rallied late managing to score two goals in injury time through Ciaran Kelly but the home side held on to take all three points.
Suncroft had excellent performances across the team with some standouts in Ryan Farrell, Colin Farrell, Craig Durney and Eoin Doyle. Best for the visitors were Stephen Dunne and Ciaran Kelly.
Kilcock Celtic 3 Kildare Town AFC 1
No reports received.
MIDWEEK ACTION !
SPWFC 2 Naas United FC 4
A Dean Bowers Hat Trick secured Naas United of the 3 points in this one, as Stephen Burkes side travelled to Clongorey to face Sean Casey’s Saint Patricks Well FC. Naas lost by the same score line themselves last time out away to Clane when they only had 11 players, but tonight the squad was back to a bit of normality. Keith Higgins was serving the second of his two game suspension so it meant Eoin Giblin again standing in in his absence, but Nolan, Dennan, Dunphy, Finnegan And Paul Ometeso all returned along with new signing Owen Moran being unveiled to the adoring travelling supporters. Both sides had early long range efforts, but it was Naas who took the lead in the eleventh minute when Rob Heavey swung in a delightful cross, met perfectly by Dean Bowers, who headed back across the keeper brilliantly. The away side had Casey’s team pinned back and three minutes later Bowers did it again, this time Jamie Dunne was the man delivering the cross from the left, crying out to be put away, and Bowers didn’t disappoint as he showed great strength to hold his position and once again head home brilliantly despite being under pressure from former United captain, Hunters attempts. Aaron Akanji is another former United player facing his old club, and he forced a good save from Giblen on sixteen minutes low to his left. It was 3-0 a few minutes later and what a goal it was as Adam Colton found space having come inside from the left and from thirty five yards out struck a powerful effort that swerved and dipped over the keeper.
Naas were really in command and had excellent displays from Rob Heavey and Nolan in midfield as they passed the ball brilliantly at times. Jamie Dunne swung in another perfect cross on thirty minutes, but Paul Ometeso saw his header crash back out off the post. Saint Pats pulled a goal back somewhat against the run of play on thirty five minutes when Akanji ghosted through and he finished brilliantly to deftly lift the ball past the outrushing Giblen to make it 3-1.
Half time saw Kelvin Dennan introduced in place of Dunne in the back line. Eoin Giblin was forced into a spectacular save low to his right in the forty seven minute when No.6 struck from twenty five yards out. Before Colton saw a header sale just over at the other end. Giblin had already made two outstanding saves, but he now got himself an assist in the fifty five minute when he passed the ball between Isaka and Dennan before spraying a pin point ball over the top of the home defence, it was bouncing perfectly into the path of Bowers who calmy looped the ball up and over the keeper to complete his hat trick in emphatic fashion.
At 4-1 Naas now made use of the bench, making four more subs with one eye now set on Friday nights visit to Coill Dubh. Dunphy, and Samson replacing Nolan and Colton.
Saint Pats did pull another goal back on sixty eight minutes through their No.9 who deserved a goal for his tireless display up front and it was a great strike from twenty five yards out leaving Giblin no chance.
The away side should have stretched the lead further in the final minutes with Ometeso, Isaka and Finnegan all going close, while Debutant Owen Moran almost got on the end of a Dunphy set piece after coming on for the final fifteen minutes. Naas saw out the dying minutes with ten men and now go into a Friday night game back to winning ways after this hard working display. On another day Rob Heavey gets named as man of the match after a great game in midfield, but hat trick hero Bowers takes the accolade tonight after a fantastic display in front of goal. Dunne, Nolan, Isaka and Giblin also deserve mention.
Kilcullen AFC 3 Rathangan AFC 1
Kilcullen and Rathangan met in an important league game on Tuesday evening. Games between these sides are always hard won and the most recent encounter was no different.
There was only four minutes gone when the home side took the lead. Rathangan were indecisive from a long clearance from Kilcullen and Mick Fitzgerald was alert to nip in and pass the ball into an empty net. 1-0
The game was frantic from this point on with neither side really creating much and both defences dealing with a barrage of long balls with quality football rarely breaking out.
Eamon Doyle got in one on one after half an hour but his effort was well smothered by the Rathangan netminder.
On the stroke of half time Rathangan did get the break they’re hard work probably deserved. A free kick from the middle of the field caused confusion in the Kilcullen backline and Jim Brennan was first to react and finished well. 1-1 Halftime.
Kilcullen got the perfect start to the second half when the impressive Paul Clifford played a ball wide right to Tom Healy who cooly stood up the Rathangan left full and sent a perfect cross to Mark Wolfe at the back post who headed back across goal to give the keeper no chance 2-1
The same combo combined again fifteen minutes later. This time Eamon Doyle set Healy free and he again found Wolfe with the perfect cross and again Wolfe made no mistake 3-1
The last half hour was a full blooded affair with no quarter asked or given and Rathangan pushed hard to get back in the game but Kilcullen fought to the end and finished the game 3-1 victors.
Best for Rathangan were Iain Doyle and Jim Brennan Kilcullen were best served by Eamon Doyle, Colin Scanlon and Tom Healy