KDFL SENIOR LEAGUE FOCUS
Athy Town AFC 2 Suncroft AFC 0
Despite travelling with a depleted squad Suncroft will still be disappointed to slump to a third successive senior league defeat on Friday night. Newly promoted Athy Town have been one of the form teams of the division thus far and carried on that rich vein of form with a deserved 2-0 win. The home side came out of the blocks quickly and had Suncroft under pressure from the first whistle, with the away side fortunate not to concede in the opening fifteen minutes of sustained Athy attacks. Just as Suncroft began to get a foothold in the game Athy took the lead with a swift counter attack. A goalkeeper clearance down to left winger Eoin Molloy went on a mazy run into the box, his deft little through ball found Chris Chanders with more space than the croft should of afforded to the number 9, Chanders turned and finished for his 12th goal of the campaign, his touch and finish from close range left 'Croft 'keeper Colin Farrell no chance with twenty minutes played.
Suncroft came close to equalising soon after when Paddy Flood was played through on goal but former 'Croft played Mark Boland made a great last ditch tackle to deny the Suncroft man from inside the penalty area. Suncroft felt they should have had a penalty soon after when Flood was brought down in the box but their claims were waved away. The closest the away side came to the equaliser before the break was a Dylan Connolly free-kick which had the Athy 'keeper beaten but clipped the outside of the post.
The home side led the charge in the second half as they did in the first and got their second early in the second half, making their significant height advantage when a half clearance from a corner found Stevie French on the edge of box, French hit it on the half volley and the ball rifled into the net.
. The 'Croft tried in vain to find a way back into the game as the half wore on but failed to create any real clear cut openings, with Athy town always looking dangerous on the break. With the game finishing in a deserved 2-0 victory for the hosts, Suncroft had their better performers on the night in Kieron Sheedy, Dylan Connolly, Josh Lee and substitute Cathal Mahon and The 'Croft will hope to kick start their season when they host Kilcock next Saturday night in the 1st round of the Lumsden cup. Best for the winners were debut boy Danny Phillips, Aaron Meade, Stephen French and Chris Chanders.
Kilcullen AFC 3 SPWFC 1
Kilcullen hosted St Patricks Well for their first Friday night game of the season. The sun was shining and the home pitch was in great condition which encouraged both sides to play football in what was a very entertaining game.
Kilcullen took the lead on ten minutes after Jason Keogh sent Mark Wolfe free down the left, Wolfe skipped past two defenders and finished with a cheeky near post effort that gave Hunter in the Well goal no chance.1-0
Kilcullen's tails were up now and they doubled their lead ten minutes later when captain, Daragh Kelly, struck a sweet left foot volley from a lovely Colin Scanlon pass behind the visitors defence 2-0
The home side were dominant now with Luke Kerins, Wolfe, Mark McGinley and Eamon Doyle all winning their individual battles but a combination of good defending and sloppy finishing kept the score at 2-0 heading toward halftime.
On the forty minute Daire Coleman thought he’d scored but his deft header, set up by Eamon Doyle was well stopped by the visitors goalkeeper Gary Hunt.
The away team got the upper hand in midfield with Carter and Headon well on top. Matans on the left started to create problems for the home team.
On the stroke of halftime St Patricks well almost got themselves back into the game when number Carter played number Headon in behind but the ever reliable Steven Doyle rushed out to smother the effort. 2-0 Halftime
St Patrickswell were a different side after the break and put Kilcullen under a lot of pressure and were creating chances but just not converting. Kilcullen were restricted to chances on the break with Wolfe again causing lots of problems. He had a one on one set up by Kerins well saved and on the hour mark struck a brilliant free kick that came back off the upright and crossbar to safety. The visitors kept up the pressure on the home side and the few times Kilcullen did attack O Sullivan and Huben cleaned up anything home team through at them. On sixty seven minutes Marvin scored after a great 4 player move. At this stage only one team looked like scoring but totally against run of play Kilcullen were awarded a free kick was cleverly rolled to Daragh Kelly by Shane Bennett and Kelly hit a rocket that gave the SPWFC keeper Hunt no chance to make it 3-1 to the home side. The third goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and the game finished 3-1. Best for the winners were Luke Kerins, Mark McGinley, Daragh Kelly and Mark Wolfe while for SPWFC keeper Hunt, Carter, Matans, Headon and Walsh impressed.
Kilcock Celtic FC 5 Ballycane Celtic FC 0
After last week’s victory over St. Patrick’s Well, Kilcock came into this game confident of picking up their second win of the season. For the first time this campaign they were able to name the same starting eleven for a consecutive match. They started brightly and created some early chances but the Ballycane keeper was equal to the task.
Midway through the first half, Kilcock broke the deadlock after a brilliant strike from Michael Brown from twenty five yards out. Ballycane were looking dangerous from set pieces and almost scored to level the tie from a corner kick. However the North Kildare side doubled their lead after some great possession, Dan Gilbert’s cross was met by Eoin Hannigan who scored his third goal in two games.
The second half was much the same as Kilcock continued to assert their dominance on the game and every time they advanced they were looking threatening. The deservedly got their third after the ball broke to Matty Harris who found the top corner from the edge of the box. The fourth goal was very similar to their second, after a sustained spell of possession they worked the ball out to the left and after a great cross from Dylan Bradley, Sam O’Mahoney drifted in from the right to volley in their fourth of the game. The icing on the cake was Mike Brown’s second game with an audacious chip from thirty yards out which caught the keeper of his line to seal the win for the Celts. Two games, eight goals scored, and two clean sheets. A fantastic return in their last two outings.
Naas United FC 0 Clonmullion AFC 3
This game was played out in gale force conditions in Jigginstown which made life very difficult for both sides. The visitors started the better and were unlucky not to go ahead as early as the second minute when Lee Day won the ball in the centre circle before laying it off to Cody Mulhall who in turn found debutante Jodie Dillon who's scooped pass dropped lovely for Dean Fennessy and he lobbed the ball just over the advancing keeper Keith Higgins. But his effort went just over.Three minutes later a long pass from Michael Lawless was headed on by Danny Thompson to Johnny Fennell who crossed into the box but Dillon headed over the bar. On the tenth minute Naas keeper Higgins launched a long ball on the wind which was deftly headed on by Ver Nolan to Abdul Karim but Lawless got down well to save. Nolan was again the provider shortly after when he whipped in a ball to the back post but Adam Coltan's headed effort was easily gathered by Lawless.
With twenty five minutes gone Lee Foley launched a long throw into the box which was won by Dillon who nodded into the path of Fennell who in turn picked out the in rushing Fennessy who fired over. Clonmullion were well on top at this stage and again came close after Fennessy picked out Thompson who's run and cross found Mulhall who's volleyed effort was well saved by Higgins. Just before halftime Day again won the ball in midfield and played it into the feet of Dillon who laid the ball out wide to Fennell who crossed into the six yard box and Mulhall tried an audacious back heel but couldn't find the net and both sides went in deadlocked at 0-0 to the break.
Three minutes into the second half The Mull broke the deadlock after Lee Foley clipped a beautiful pass into Dillon who volleyed first time into the corner of the net. Five minutes later centre half Joe Brennan intercepted a pass from Karim and stepped up into the middle of the park where he laid the ball off to Lee Day who in turn picked out Mulhall who played a brilliant curling pass on the wind to Thompson who rounded the advancing keeper to slot home his side's second goal. With fifty five minutes gone Clonmullion made it 3 nil when centre half Timmy Doyle arrived at the back post to head home a Mulhall corner. On the hour mark the visitors introduced Jack Dooley and Mark Hughes who was making his debut for the south Kildare side. And it didn't take him long to get involved when he brought the best out of keeper Higgins when he struck a thunderbolt of a free kick from thirty yards out. However Naas kept plugging away and some great interplay by Paul Ometeso and Rob Heavey saw the latter play the ball out to full back Aaron Dunphy who brought a great save out of Lawless. The other fullback Jamie Dunne then turned provider when he crossed for Stephen Burke but he shot straight at the keeper. With ten minutes remaining Foley was again raiding down the right and his cross to Hughes was controlled beautifully and laid off the substitute Dean Owens but a last ditch tackle by Kelvin Dennen saved the day. Hughes almost marked his debut with a goal after Mulhall and Owens combined to put him through on goals but he clipped the ball just over the bar. In a hard fought game in very blustery conditions Clonmullion got a deserved victory and were well served by Timmy Doyle and Lee Foley at the back, Danny Thompson, Dean Fennessy and Lee Day in midfield while Jodie Dillon and Cody Mulhall looked menacing up top. Best for Naas United were keeper Keith Higgins, Kelvin Dennen and Jamie Dunne in defence, Karim and Nolan in the middle and Adm Coltan and Paul Ometeson up front