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Leinster Leader Feature Game

KDFL Division 1

Castle Villa AFC 3 Naas United FC 7

Naas United took advantage of a below par Castle Villa performance in Mullarney Park on Sunday morning, with a dominant performance that punished every mistake the home team made.

Naas took the lead early on when after good play from Calvin McCoy in the midfield he found Gavin Kelly out on the left who attacked his man and pulled the ball back for Ross O Callaghan who made no mistake from 6 yards out .Villa keeper Peter Cogan made a great save, but the rebound fell to the oncoming Naas player who cooly slotted home to give the visitors the advantage. Villa's sole early reply was when skipper Gaz Doyle had a freekick hit the wall nine minutes in, before the home team were again thankful to their keeper Cogan, who made a quality double save on twenty minutes.

His direct opponent, the Naas keeper was simply immense in the return fixture a few weeks ago, a game which Villa ended up 2-0 victors and he was again called into action when he saved well from Kevin Farrell after some good Villa passing play through the middle of the pitch, and followed that up very soon afterwards when he saved brilliantly from Nick Dzigajevas.

Villa got back level when Doyle followed in on a rasper of a Cian Murphy free kick, bundling the ball over the line after the initial effort was saved. Game well and truly on.

Five Villa corners in quick succession were well dealt with by Naas, and the home team were dealt two hammer blows immediately before half time when first, after Cogan intercepted well, a delicious lob by Gavin kelly ended up in the back of the VIlla net, and within sixty seconds a penalty had been rightly awarded and converted by Ross O Callaghan to put Naas 3-1 up at half time.

Naas were the better team as the second half began, and had a glorious chance to extend their lead, but somehow the #9 managed to scoop the ball over the bar from inside the 6 yard box when it seemed easier to score.

But Naas were not to be denied, and they again scored two goals in three minutes when first Ross O Callaghan scored the goal of the game, a piledriver from thirty yards that drilled into the side netting, and then a tap in by Dan Downey after the naas forward got between the Villa keeper and defender, rounded Cogan, and slotted home to make it 5-1.

A water break gave some respite for the beleaguered young Villa team, and after being asked by their managers to respond and step up a level or two for the remainder of the game, they certainly did so. Villa's Mullarney Park surface has undergone a lot of recent work, and it's again at or near the top of the pile of facilities in Kildare. A pitch that suited good football certainly was producing it, and Villa's Garry Curran found himself in a tight spot at the edge of the Naas box, but a sweet one-two with Farrell gave him half a yard of space, and he produced a super finish with the outside of his right foot, to claim Villa's second. And continuing the theme of the game, 2 minutes later, 17 year old Cian Murphy, playing in the centre of midfield, drilled a beautiful pass in the the feet of Curran, whose first time flick was perfectly weighted into the path of Kevin Farrell, who finished excellently. to make it 5-3 to the visitors, and present some amount of hope to the home team.

That hope was quashed, however, in the 83rd and 85th minute when two further goals for the visitors through Dan Downey and Kevin Murray confirmed an excellent win for them.

An understrength Villa will certainly have better days, and they'll certainly have their part to play in the run in. Naas will be delighted with the deserved three points and can be very happy with a lot of individual performances. Best on the day for the winners were Robbie Garvey Dan Downey and Dara Kavanagh who was just pipped to man of the match hat trick hero Ross O Callaghan .

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