St Brendans Park FC 2 – 0 Shelbourne AFC
The Park under 13 squad progressed to the last 32 in the National Cup after extra time against Shelobourne AFC of Limerick, the visit of Shelbourne provided a step up in class from the previous rounds and required the full squad to deliver a quality performance on the day.
The first half saw us dominate proceedings which stemmed from a very strong defensive performance by Sean McElligott, Ray McGrath and Obina Izehi. This provided Michael Tansley with a platform to run the match from midfield with a fine display of passing both short and long as well as switching the point of attack that caused the opposition huge problems. The selfless running of both fullbacks Luke Casey and Adam McDonagh meant that there was plenty of supply of ball to our two strikers Darragh Cunnane and Venis Jahiri as well as for the late runs into the box of Odhran Ferris and captain Callum O`Sullivan. Richard Healy’s performance in goals was assured which provided great confidence for the outfield players to go and preform. A comment after the match from the Shelbourne management team of ” there must have been a magnet in them goals” summed up the first half but unfortunately we just did not capitalize on this dominance.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with us having the lions share of the position. The second half also saw Shelbourne up their game and this provided a few chances for them which was dealt with by our keeper and defensive unit in a very professional manner. The second half saw the introduction of Cian O`Gara for Michael Tansley, Cian’s introduction was to cause different problems for Shelbourne with his direct running and hard tackling. Jamie O`Shea was introduced for Callum O’Sullivan. Callum at this point had as they say “emptied the tank” for the cause. Jamies work rate provide a lift to the team at this point in the game.With the clock ticking down Noah Townsend was brought in for Darragh Cunnane. Noah`s direct running at the opposition looked as if we could get a result in normal time but Shelbourne stood firm and seemed happy to see the game to extra time.
Extra time saw us break the dead lock, the runs been made in-behind the Shelbourne defense paid off as Noah Townsend’s pace saw him break free from the defensive attention he was getting from Shelbourne but as he bore down on their goal a late tackle from behind stopped him in his tracks on the edge of the box. The resulting free struck by Odhran Ferris gave the team a lead they fully deserved just before half time in extra time.
During the half time break some of the players talked of been in a similar situation last year and they collectively drew on this experience and resolved to see it out this time to the end, this shows a great maturity in lads so young.
Their resolve not alone saw them see the game out to the end but also seen Noah Townsend get our second goal of the game. This goal was well deserved for the team as they had worked tirelessly all day for each other.
Thanks to Shelbourne for been part of a very entertaining game for the supporters and we wish them well in their remaining league games.
To the team behind the team a big thank you for looking after our visitors, with sandwiches, teas, coffees and hot chocolates.
Squad on the day.
Richard Healy, Luke Casey, Darragh Cunnane, Odhran Ferris, Obina Izehi , Venis Jahiri, Adam McDonagh, Sean McElligott, Ray McGrath, Cian O’Gara, Jamie O’Shea, Callum O’Sullivan, Michael Tansley and Noah Townsend.
Man Of The Match; Sean McElligott