Sept 2nd, 2012
New season, new division, same old familiar opposition yesterday morning at Neil O'Sullivan Park, as Utd got their Division 1 campaign under way against cross town rivals Shamrock Rovers. With both squads unsure what the season will hold, it was possibly the best fixture for them to begin.
It was unbelievably warm as Utd kicked off the season, and was going to prove a real test of each sides conditioning. It was a very careful start, both sides tight and strong in the challenge, but for the first half hour Utd were definitely on top. They were passing the ball well from back to front and in the 8th minute, the first chance came. Dessy Kenny linked well with Darren Walsh down the right and he delivered a good cross, met well by Glenn Fortune, but his header was too high and sailed over Rovers bar.
A couple of good blocks in the Rovers box, a correctly disallowed goal, and a strong penalty claim followed, as Utd remained in the ascendency. But no breakthrough came, and it was only a matter of time before Rovers had their best spell. For the last 12 minutes of the half Utd were on the back foot. Christy Mckeown miscued with perhaps the best chance of the half, but other than a speculative David Kearney effort, chances were minimised, both defences looking strong and the sides went in scoreless.
Rovers started the second half as they'd finished the first, and on 55 minutes they were ahead. Damien Tobin, in Utd's goal, unfortunately giving away a penalty which was calmly slotted home. Damien didn't have to wait long to redeem himself, making two excellent stops in a ragged 6 minute spell for the Blues as the game threatened to get away.
Utd made three changes in or around the 65 minute mark, Barry Nolan, Mick Rigley and John Dobbs coming in for the tiring or injured Glenn Fortune, Darren Walsh and Dessy Kenny, and the fresh legs certainly helped Utd re establish their ascendency, and on 70 minutes, Utd were level. Joe Kenny won a great header from a Rovers goal kick, and the ball was moved through John Dobbs out wide right to John Whelan, who played a one-two with Nigel Fortune, drove to the byline, and pulled a great low ball across, where Barry Nolan slid home Utd's first of the season.
The last 15 saw both sides still looking to win, but Utd had the best chances. Mick Rigley saw a nice improvised back heeled effort partially saved by Richie Miller and then hooked clear off the line. John Whelan didn't connect cleanly from a knock-down and Joe Kenny fired a good chance over,before very late on Miller again saved well from a driven Tony Kenny effort. At the other end, Rovers appealed for a penalty, and Christy Mckeown was very close to a late David Kearney cross.
All in all, a fair result, and a tough start, especially in the heat. Utd can be positive about their strong finish, the back four looked good, and some new players, Fenwick O'Shea, Damien Tobin, John Dobbs, and returning first team players Darren Walsh and Dessy Kenny all made an impact.
Man of the Match: Aidan Canavan Excellent all day in a new role at centre back, read the game well, and strong in the air...Richard Dunne in blue!!
After a great pre season, Utd's B team approached their season opener at home to Gorey Rangers yesterday afternoon full of confidence, and looking to make a real impact in Division 3A this term.
And they got a dream start. Less than 3 minutes were on the clock, when after Oisin Murphy's initial cross was blocked down, James Hutchison delivered a perfect cross, for the unmarked Hasane Smyth to head powerfully home, 1 nil Utd.
For the next twenty, Utd controlled the game. Both Keith Casey and Oisin Murphy were having great joy down the wings, and with the ball Utd looked dangerous. Gorey Rangers looked nervous, and were slow to settle, and it was up to the home side to push this advantage on.
On twenty minutes , they duly did. Utd won a free kick about 10 yards into the Rangers half, Martin Farrell delivered a straight ball into the area, and it was never dealt with, bouncing around before Hasane Smyth again got in, and lifted the ball into the corner , for his, and his sides second.
Utd dropped a little deeper, became a little less forceful, and the away side finally started to get into the game.Without unduly troubling the Utd defence, Gorey were getting on the ball more and starting to push Utd's midfield back. About 7 minutes before half time, Gorey cut Utd's lead. the ball was worked around the final third, and from about 20 yards, a low firm shot just evaded Mick O'Toole and nestled in the corner, and it was 2-1. Utd got to half time ahead, but knew that the game was far from won.
The second half started badly. Utd were not holding possession well, always looking to play, but some poor decisions, getting caught on the ball, and some untidy work were all giving Gorey an edge. The equliser was shockingly straight forward. From a goal kick, the ball was flicked on, and a Rangers player got onto it , and drove it into Utd's top corner.
Utd responded, but were not creating a huge amount. Dan Lawlor, Noel Dwyer and Barry Byrne were brought on for Oisin Murphy, Jimmy Tobin and James Redmond. For 15 minutes, the game was even, and could have gone either way, but with 20 to go, Utd were unlucky as a cleared header deflected and bounced about the box, where a Gorey player struck it beautifully into the far corner. Nothing Mick O'Toole could do.
As they always do, Utd came back strongly, pinning Rangers back, and again doing well , getting the ball through Keith Casey and Hasane Smythe. Barry Byrne went very close with a header, and Pa Carty had one half chance, but time was not with Utd, and when Rangers broke out, and scored their fourth, there was just time for the kick off, before the game was blown up.
Not the start that Stephen or Jackser would have wanted, but there's lots of games, and they, and this side will definitely get it right
Man of the Match: Hasane Smyth Took his two goals really well,shame it was in a losing cause...
United fielded a C team for the first time in 4 seasons yesterday afternoon, and they made their debut away to Shelburne. A collection of experienced heads, some younger talent and a few returning players saw Utd as the better side in the first half. Dean Ryan, playing his first game in months looked strong and composed in the middle, and the front pair of Andre Lopes and Patrick O'Sullivan were giving the home side all they could handle. With the defence, marshalled by Shane Murphy, looking organisied, John Fieldings lone goal was enough to send Utd in 1 up at the break.
In the second half, Utd still looked the better side, and despite giving Shelburne an equaliser, they continued to press. The second away goal came direct from a Gary O'Rourke free kick, but with the lead, and some tiring legs, we started to drop deeper, and unfortunately couldn't hold out, Shelburne pinching a point. All in all, a good promising start for the C Team. By it's nature, personnel will change in this squad more than any, but their was enough on show at Shelburne to encourage, and this bunch could have a lot of good days through the season.
Man of the Match: Andre Lopes Led his team from the front, and gave the home defence all the problems they could handle. A goal would have been well deserved.
Sept 9th, 2012
Utd's A team suffered their first away league defeat in a year this morning down at St. Leonards. Despite starting the game well and dominating the second half Utd came away empty handed.
Barry Nolan and Trevor Breen came into the side and Utd began the game in a very positive manner, the ball being moved quickly and accurately and space being found, particularly down the Utd right. On 8 minutes, the good start was rewarded as Utd took the lead. Darren Walsh dropped short to receive the ball and released Tony Kenny behind the left back. Tony got to the byline and his cut back found Barry Nolan who calmly side footed home from about 10 yards. Utd would have hoped to settle and build on this but the good work was undone as St Leonards were allowed into the game just 6 minutes later. With their first attack they forced a corner and the resulting ball was not properly cleared and finally was turned in from a few yards out. Worse was to follow as just two minutes later a cross from Utd's left was glanced home by Leonards' centre forward. Having not been in the game for 15 minutes Leonards' were 2-1 up.
Utd failed to re-establish their early rhythm for the remainder of the half, possession was given away too easily and chances were hard to come by. Nigel Fortune was replaced by John Dobbs after 23 minutes having taken a very heavy and late hit and the nearest Utd came to squaring the game was courtesy of Darren Walshs' inswinging free kick which was just missed by a couple of Utd players before being held by the goalkeeper. 2-1 to Leonards' at the half.
The second half saw Utd playing into a blustery wind and from the start it was they who were on the front foot. John Dobbs headed just over from Tony Kenny's free kick early in the half and Utd looked to press forward. The ball was worked into some good areas but sometimes the final ball was loose or at other times defended well by the home side. The really clear opening Utd were looking for never really came despite the territorial dominance. Darren Walsh pulled a shot wide, Tony Kenny couldn't quite get enough on Darren's driven cross and John Whelan shot over from about 20 yards. Tony's cross from a nicely worked move was just inches too high for Darren.
Des Kenny and Mick Rigley were introduced for Tony Kenny and Darren Walsh and Utd continued to look for a route back into the game. St Leonard's had provided little threat in the half but sealed the game with 12 minutes to go. Too much time and space were afforded in the final third and Utd were opened up down the middle as Damian Tobin was beaten one on one by the centre forward. As ever, Utd kept going. Mick Rigley's shot was held before Fenwick O'Shea's low strike from 14 yards was gathered by the keeper. The resulting kick out heralded the final whistle.
As with last week, some decent play and good passages in the game. However, lapses are costly and Utd will look to put together a solid 90 minutes next time out at home to Rosslare Rangers in what will undoubtedly be another difficult game.
Man of the Match: Pa Kearney. Very solid and steady in the centre of Utd's back four.
A great start in last weeks game was ultimately not enough to secure the points, and so, for Utd, it was important that they bounced back well, but it was going to be tough, against a strong and organised Boolavogue side.
The game got under way after a minutes silence for Shay Byrne, grandfather of Utd player Barry Byrne, who sadly passed midweek. In cloudy, but otherwise good football conditions, Utd started brightly, their setup with Keith Casey and Hasane Smyth wide, showing clear attacking intent. Without unduly troubling the Boolavogue keeper, Utd were pressing, and forced a succession of corners, but had no breakthrough.
The best chance of the half fell to Glenn Fortune, who worked himself through after some nice passing, but the keeper got enough on Glenn's shot and it just spun wide of the post. At the other end, Utd were looking very comfortable, with John Fielding looking especially commanding at the back, and Boolavogue had no real impact, being forced into hopeful long range efforts. At half time, with the home side clearly on top, the score remained even 0-0.
The second half started the same way, Utd pushing, but the final ball was not there, and Boolavogue were holding well. On 55 minutes, a long Boolavogue free kick was launched toward the Utd area. After an aerial challenge, and a wild swing from an attacking player, the ball squirmed through Mick O'Toole in the Utd goal, and very much against the run of play, Utd were behind.
Back came the Blues, and within a few minutes, Keith Casey had got behind the defence dangerously, but was snuffed out, and on 62, Hasane Smyth was worked clear in the right corner of the box, but his touch was slightly heavy, and the keeper gathered. With Utd pushing there was always the risk of a second, and after a defensive lapse, Boolavogue doubled their lead, and Utd had big problems.
To their credit, the home side kept pushing, and put for a goal line clearance, and two good saves from the visiting keeper, might still have taken something from the game, but like last week, it wasn't to be, and the game finished 2-0.
Utd 's play has a lot of positives, and they just need to stick at it, and results will surely come, and no better time than next week, when Crossabeg come visiting.
Man of the Match: John Fielding. Especially in the first half, strong and in command at the back..
Utd C team approached their division 4A fixture with the added pressure of knowing that the clubs other sides had lost in the morning, and it was up to them to salvage the day. However, after a good point at Shelburne last week, hopes were high.
The game kicked off in windy conditions, and the rain just starting, and with both squads stretched thin, it looked like a tough ninety minutes ahead. Utd started calmly, and were comfortably holding there own. Play was scrappy, and neither side looked a threat early. On 7 minutes, Cormacs got behind the Utd defence, and the winger cut back well, for an incoming home player, but his shot was well saved by Aaron Kirwan in Utd's goal. From his long kick out, Martin O'Connor did really well to hassle the centre half, then get on the ball, beat the keeper, and drive home, to give the visitors the lead.
A lead which only lasted 6 minutes, as a nicely struck Cormacs free kick levelled the score on 14, and Utd then had a very edgy 15 minute spell, when the game could have gotten away from them. Cormacs were very unlucky when a well struck shot hit the inside of the post and came out, and from a high ball, a Gary O'Rourke back header was just stopped on the line by Aaron Kirwan, and Utd remained at par.
The game changed shortly after. A good Pa O'Sullivan effort, the Cormacs keeper got injured, and had to go off, and Utd introduced Glenn Fortune for Joe Murphy, and with his first contribution, his shot was too good for the back-up keeper, and Utd led 2-1. Within 30 seconds, it was 3-1, as from the kickoff, Glenn stole the ball, drove on and his long shot again found the net.
3-1 at half time was a great return, and Utd started the second half looking to kill the game, and with Pa Carty now on, they were creating lots of chances. With the home side visibly wilting, Utd stretched their lead further, when Glenn Fortune slid Pa Carty in, and he drove low in to the far corner.
The game was no longer a contest, and Utd added two more, both Kevin Monahan and Robert Doran scoring their first goals as Blues. The referee blew it up at 6 -1, all in all, a great performance from the Super C's.
Man of the Match: Kevin Monahan. Excellent early, in the toughest part of the game, and capped a good day with his first goal
Sept 16th, 2012
Utd's A team were looking to bounce back from last weeks defeat at St Leonards, but in what is already looking a very tough division, nothing could be taken for granted, as Rosslare Rangers visited Neil O'Sullivan Park.
The first 20 minutes of the game were very even, and somewhat scrappy. Both sides were hassling well in midfield, ensuring space and time were limited, and this reflected in a lack of any fluent play from either side. On 21, Dessy Kenny worked a good one two with Barry Nolan, and found himself bearing down on goal, but his shot didn't have enough on it, and was dealt with well by the Rosslare keeper.
The visitor's came back, and but for quick reactions from Damien Tobin in the Utd goal, could have taken the lead, the Utd keeper getting out well to smother a shot. Mick Rigley got behind the away defence, but the ball did not behave well, and what seemed a chance was shut down.
From 30 minutes, the visiting team started to get on top, their passing and control, proving of higher quality than the home side on this day, and whilst not breaking through, Utd's defence was having to work harder than it would have liked at home. The home side got to the break relatively trouble free however, and 0-0 at half time was just about fair.
The second half saw Rosslare take a good grip on possession, and Utd were being pushed deeper and deeper. Possession was not being maintained well, and the visitor's were starting to see some good shooting oppurtunities. In the space of 3 minutes, Damien Tobin made two excellent saves in the Utd goal, as shooters were being given too much room.
Despite not being at their best, Utd steadied a little, and whilst still not showing much attacking threat, were looking solid enough. It was becoming clear that one goal would probably be enough. On 68 minutes, a Rosslare corner was swung across and headed clear by Aidan Canavan. The second ball was returned to the area, and bounced around. Utd had two clear oppurtunites to clear but failed to do so, and on a loose ball Joe Kenny was adjudged to have fouled the away attacker, giving Rosslare a golden chance to go ahead. The penalty was duly slotted, Damien having no chance, and with 21 to go Utd were behind.
This Utd side have great character and will not lie down, and again, the effort was undeniably present. But, on a day when they were clearly below their best, effort was just not enough, some real quality was needed also to grab the game back. Despite pressing, Utd never really created a good opening for an equaliser, and to their credit, the away side did a good job of closing out their win.
A slow start for the A team, but now more than ever, it's not the time to panic, but rally round, re-group, and get back to what this side do best, and no better place to start than at Ajax next week. We earned our spot in this Division, we just have to believe we belong here...
Man of the Match: Damien Tobin. Made a couple of excellent saves, and dealt well with aerial balls in his area. Could do nothing with the penalty..
Utd's B Team went into yesterday afternoons home fixture with Crossabeg, without a point, a poor return for a side with plenty of quality, and ambitions for the season. It was important that they got things moving.
The game started quietly for the home side. The early exchanges were very even, both keepers having a quiet time of it,collecting stray passes, as the wind got up and started to affect both sides. On 19 minutes, Crossabeg worked the ball down their right wing well, and an excellent low cross was steered by Mick O'Toole in the goal, to give the visitors the lead.
Straight from the restart, Utd almost worked an opening, as Glenn Fortune and Hasane Smyth combined, but an alert keeper shut it down. Utd picked up the pace, and started to see reward. Dean Ryan and Keith Casey both had sights of goal, before, in the 29th minute, Utd were awarded a penalty. Keith Casey was first onto his own cleared corner, and a clumsy challenge in the corner of the box gave Martin Farrell the opportunity to level it up, and he duly slotted home from twelve.
Heavy rains came, and Utd were now well on top. Keith casey was unlucky to see his effort hit the outside of the post, and John Fielding was beaten by a bad bounce after a good break by Glenn Fortune saw him square the ball. It was desperately deflating then, when on 42 minutes,the away side went ahead again, a Crossabeg corner not being dealt with , and a header somehow scrambled over the line, and Utd went to the break under real pressure.
To which they duly responded. The second half was all the home side, and in the end, they would get their rewards. On 49 minutes, James Redmond received theball centrally, 18 yards out, but he'll feel he didn't do enough with his shot, which the keeper saved comfortably. 6 minutes later, he didn't make the same mistake, cutting in from the right wing, to bend the ball in from 15 yards, and again bring Utd level.
Hasane Smyth had a chance to give Utd the lead, but under huge pressure from the onrushing keeper, he lifted over. On 65 minutes, with a bit more time, Hasane coolly slotted home from 12 yards, and Utd were in front. It was all Utd now, and substitutes Oisin Murphy and James Mythen both went close, and some overly intricate play saw another great chance wasted .
Mick O'Toole in the Utd net was called on, getting a good hand on a Crossabeg effort, and turning it on to the post, and almost immediately, Utd broke and released Glenn Fortune who scored and sealed the win. Utd still pushed, and the visiting keeper made a fine save from a Thomas O'Sullivan effort as time ran down.
An excellent second half display saw the real B team stand up, and get their season firmly back on track.
Man of the match: Barry Byrne. Strong and commanding all day at the back, a really dominant display
Utd's C team took their unbeaten start across town to local rival Ajax yesterday afternoon, and looked to build on last weeks impressive win at St Cormacs. Their start has been all the more impressive as they have yet to see a home fixture, but Ajax was always going to be a tough test.
Utd spent the greater part of the first half on the backfoot, the home side pressing at every oppurtunity. In wet and blustery conditions, the visitors were not doing the simple things, and kept seeing the ball return to their danger area throughout the half. Defensively however, they looked ok, with Shane Murphy, and Joe Murphy organising the defence well, Aaron Kirwan was only dealing with long range stuff, and looked comfortable.
With 4 to go in the half, Utd's resistance broke. A corner was not cleared and poked at goal, and despite his efforts, Joe Murphy could not clear, the ball ending up over the line, and Utd would go to the break 1 down.
Utd picked their game up considerably in the second half, and spent a large part of it on the front foot. Pa Carty and Pa O'Sullivan worked hard up front, and Fenwick O'Shea and Kevin Monahan really came into the game, Fenwick especially causing problems for the home team down the left. Ajax were less and less a threat, but were holding out well. David O'Sullivan, Joe Miller and Brian Nolan were introduced, and they gave the blues some impetus.
From a low ball across the line of the box, Pa Carty connected well first time, but Ruairi Fortune in the home goal got down really well to turn around the post. The ball was cleared from the corner, and worked out left to Fenwick O'Shea, who drove at the box, and was caught and tripped by an Ajax defender. Shane Murphy stepped forward, and drove his spot kick low and hard, but it rebounded off the inside of the upright. Utd had two goes at the rebound, but incredibly, the ball went wide, and they stayed behind.
On 79 minutes, the visitor's were awarded a free kick 60 yards from the Ajax goal. Shane Murphy launched a long ball goalwards, and it drifted on the wind right over the Ajax keeper and in to level the game. From the kick off however, a through ball caught Utd flat, and the home player beat the onrushing Aaron Kirwan to the ball, to instantly restore the home sides lead.
10 to go and Utd were now desperate. They pressed hard, and came close, but left themselves open to a counter. Aaron Kirwan in the blues goal made a couple of fine saves to keep his side level, but right on the 90 Ajax doubled their lead, the ball being driven high into the Utd net.
A first defeat for the C team, but they've started well, and need to keep their spirit high as they travel again next week to play Forth Celtic.
Man of the Match: Fenwick O'Shea. Solid first half, but made excellent use of his space in the second, and gave the home side plenty of worries.
Sept 23rd 2012
Utd's A team travelled the short distance to Ajax this morning looking to give their very young season, a vital boost, as pressure of their own expectations kicks in early in the demanding Division 1.
On a perfect morning for football, Utd made a great start. The early exchanges yielded little joy from either defence, but Utd were looking very solid and compact, pressing the ball high and not allowing the home team any time. In the eighth minute, a Tony Kenny free kick was swung in from the right wing, and in an aerial challenge the ball broke to John Dobbs, who moved the ball right to gain space with his first touch, and drove low past Jason Russell with his second to give The Blues a valuable lead.
The remainder of the half played out in familiar Enniscorthy derby fashion - tight, fast & frenetic, fully committed, but with real top quality always coming second to intensity. Utd were looking strong as a unit, and the home side were largely restricted to long range efforts. One of which was a warning however, as Damien Tobin had to be very sharp to turn away. From the resulting corner, Utd had their first real lapse, and were lucky to see a free header from 10 yards sail harmlessly over.
It certainly was not all one way however, with Utd having their own joy wide through Fenwick O'Shea and John Dobbs, and some dangerous crosses were just eluding attacking heads or feet.Utd had one last good sight at goal before the half, Tony Kenny slipping away through the channel between centre half and right back, but with Jason Russell advancing fast, his attempted chip drifted over, and the sides went to the break as was, Utd leading 1 nil.
More of the same required for the away side, and they started the second half brightly enough, but, a little out of nothing , 8 minutes into the half, the home side drew level. An Ajax corner was well cleared, but from a good 22 yards, the ball was driven sweetly into the Enniscorthy net, Damien Tobin rooted on the line.
Edgier and edgier the game got, truly nothing between the sides. Utd sat deeper, possibly a little too much, but had good shape, and were looking like having good numbers on the counter, but numerous times, poor decisions or execution saw some great positions badly squandered. The home side pressed, but their main threat was coming from set plays, with which they looked quite dangerous.
It seemed a certain draw, and a good away point was in the bag, but the gods decreed otherwise, and a 92nd minute penalty was awarded for a push in the Utd box, and despite Damien Tobin saving well, the rebound was turned home, and away despair was ensured for another week.
What else to say, the performance was decent, and much more like the spirit of this bunch, but this week, luck proved evasive. Again, it's a case of rallying around, doing what we know well, and improving our play in the final third. It being that easy, just a bit of luck and a win will come.
Man of the Match: Aidan Canavan. Continuing his fine start to the season, has really stepped up another level. Strong and competitive, and calm with the ball.
United came out on the wrong side of a rather harsh scoreline this afternoon down in Forth, as for the second week in a row, they lost 3 -1.
The first half saw United making the running, and create several chances, Noel Dwyer unlucky to see two efforts come back off the woodwork. Utd kept their forward momentum, and should have led, so just short of half time, it was a real body blow for them to concede.
From a high ball in, a Forth attacker just got in ahead of Aaron Kirwan in the Blues' goal, and steered the ball home, and Utd went to the break feeling aggrieved at the deficit.
The second half saw some more of the same, with Utd pressing, seeing ball and being greatly on the front foot. But with the first half deficit, there was an added desperation, and the away side were always going to get chances on the counter. In the end, Jimmy Tobin's lone away goal was never enough, as the home side grabbed two second half goals, and saw out the win well.
Next week sees an end to the C teams ongoing road trip, and gives them a great opportunity to right the last two weeks, and get back on a winning track.
Man of the Match: Noel Dwyer. Worked hard and looked sharp, and very unlucky not to have bagged at least one goal for his team.
Sept 30th 2012
Utd's struggles continued this morning in what would work out as their worst result so far of this young season. But in a game of fine margins, the home side must cling to the knowledge that they are just a slice of luck away from a positive result.
The game started fairly quietly with the home side pressing the ball well, breaking up the game , and looking to curtail St Leonards space. In wind and driving rain, both sides were struggling to build momentum. In the eighth minute, Utd won a corner, Tony Kenny doing well after Barry Nolan had won the ball in the air. Fenwick O'Shea's delivery was good and John Whelan's goalbound header was hacked clear.
The home side went behind on 19 minutes, when with their first real threat, a Leonards rebound was seized upon by a visiting striker and turned in. For a struggling side, the worst possible thing is to go behind, but the home side got back at it, and certainly held their own.
Goal threat at either end was limited, but Utd were doing the greater pressing. The game changed in a 4 minute spell after the half hour mark. From a corner, Pa Kearney's header was well cleared from on the goal line, and back into the keepers hands. The visitors broke quickly and Utd were caught short at the back. Two passes, and the ball was slid by Damien Tobin, and the home side were in a hole.
They came right back, Mick Rigley, on for the badly injured Barry Nolan was well worked in and had a great chance from 12 yards, but in looking for the corner, his shot stayed straight and drifted wide, and the half time whistle arrived with the visitors nicely ahead.
The second half began with Utd pressing, the next goal being all or nothing. When the Leonards' keeper spilled a ball under challenge, it pinged about the box, before Mick Rigley connected well with an overhead kick, but the away keeper did really well to get a paw on the ball, and sent it wide.
A few minutes later, the game was well and truly done, when after a bad home giveaway, Leonards were incisive, and 3 ahead. Two more strikes followed, not through anything but the home sides desire to try and gain something positive on the board.
From the sidelines, it's hard to reflect well on a 5 nil reverse, but the attitude of players well beaten on the day was nothing short of impressive. This Utd side may lack quality at times, but have character in abundance, and that, and a bit of luck, will see them turn their early season form around.
Man of the Match: Team Spirit. We can moan about the good and bad on display at times from the line, but when you hear players looking to finish strong and show pride in their club, at 5 down, when all they must want is to get the hell off the field, it says everything about the character in the squad...Things will get better!!!!
Another good result for the B team, as they get rolling in their serious quest for promotion from Division 3A, with a hard fought point at league leaders Boolavogue.
Throughout the first half, The blues were the better side, pushing forward at every opportunity, and generally bossing the game. The only surprise was that it took an own goal to give the visitors a well deserved lead at the interval.
Utd started the second half a little sluggishly, not exerting the same pressure on their opponent, and allowing them a foothold in the game. That being said, Utd will still be disappointed that it was errors rather than opposition inspiration that saw them pegged back, and then fall behind.
As they are well known to do, Utd rolled up their sleeves, and set about retrieving something from the game, and finished very strongly. However, time was running short, and things were getting tense when , on 82 minutes, the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on Glenn Fortune. The Blues forward getting up to convert the penalty himself, and even the game.
Utd kept pushing, and with a bit of luck, could have knicked the game in the last minute, but it's a good point, and they should be happy with it. Unbeaten in two, and team spirit coming on nicely.. On to Ballymurn at home next week.
Man of the Match:John Fielding. Excellent, strong performance, and a great asset to the team in his return this season
Utd's C team looked to continue their decent start to the campaign, with their first home fixture, finally, in week 5. Corach ramblers were the visitors.
The game kicked off in a small window in the rain, but it, and a driving wind would return to give both sides difficulty. As the weather worsened, it was hard for either side to show much quality, the ball skidding away quickly off the surface. Noel Dwyer continued his good form, and he looked to get at the away full back at every opportunity, giving Utd some dangerous positions.
Utd's first real chance came on 19minutes , Gary O'Rourkes well struck freekick, turned away by the Corach keeper. Utd were now on the front foot, and 6 minutes later, they were ahead. Some good work saw Pa Carty bearing down on goal. He had good awareness to pull the ball across the box for the onrushing Noel Dwyer to slide the ball home, taking a bang in the process.
Eight minutes later, and The Blues lead was doubled, Gary O'Rourke chasing a through ball, pressed the keeper into clearing off his defender, and rebounding back into the net. Gary probably didn't touch the ball, but the dubious goals panel awarded it to him anyway.
Utd should have gotten to the break 2 up, but gave up a sloppy goal on 40 minutes, giving the visitors vital confidence at the half.
The second half saw Utd regain their two goal lead within 4 minutes, Pa Carty got on the end of aaron Kirwans diverted goal kick, and lofted the ball over the advancing Corach keeper to score.
Utd began to sit deep, the heavy pitch maybe taking it's toll. Corach started to push on and really threaten. Aaron Kirwan was called on 3 times in as many minutes.
First, a routine save from a long free kick. Within a minute, he saved but spilled a long range effort, but got bravely down at the attackers feet, and made a great save, the ball squirting wide. From the corner, again Aaron jabbed out a foot, to clear a goal bound deflection.
Utd did concede one late, the excellent Thomas McCann unlucky to trip, but they also could have had more, as Pa Carty went close a couple of times. Utd saw the game out in the opposition half, and see a mixture of experienced and younger players gelling quite well. It's back away again for them next week, but they'll travel in good spirits.
Man of the Match: Jimmy Tobin.Very strong game, broke up play well, good in the air and very disciplined in the tackle, on a tricky pitch.
Oct 7th 2012
Utd went into Sundays' home game versus Kilmore on the back of their worst defeat in two years, their first objective clearly to show that they were more than capable of competing in this tough Division 1.
Utd, resplendent in new home gear, looked bright and energetic from the off. Mick Rigley and Glenn Fortune both were moving well up top, retaining ball, and enabling the home side to apply presure, especially through the wide areas.
Just gone 20 minutes, Utd worked the ball through Joe Kenny, Willie Sullivan and out right to Dessy Kenny. His cross was agressively attacked by Barry Nolan, who got enough between himself and the keeper to bundle the ball home, giving The Blues the lead.
It lasted for barely five minutes. The home side had just had a let off when Kilmore almost squeezed an error from their back four, but John Whelan had enough to get back and see off the danger. The lesson was not well taken though. With their next posession, the visitors worked the ball down their right, but it was overrun and should have been dealt with. In the defensive mix up, a great first time ball was floated to the back post, and dispatched on the volley past Damien Tobin in the Utd goal
Back came Utd. Glenn Fortune was unlucky to see his goal bound effort deflect just over the bar before, in the 33rd minute, some good interplay got Mick Rigley around the back of the visiting defence, where he was deemed to be fouled, and a penalty awarded. Barry Nolan stepped up, and with not his best penalty ever, did the important job of hitting the net and giving his side the lead again.
The home sides priority had to be to see out the half, so it was deeply frustrating to relinquish the lead on 41 minutes, Damien Tobin's punch being lifted back over his head into an unguarded net, and at the break it was 2-2.
The second half was largely dominated by the home side, who were now playing with an energy and pace not seen this season. Mick Rigley received the ball all alone on the penalty spot but failed to appreciate the time he had and steered wide.
Next, Utd had a header well cleared off the line, and on the hour, Barry Nolan worked himself through and had a golden chance for the hat-trick, but having done all the hard work, he scuffed his effort, and the keeper saved.
Kilmore were offering little threat, but from a well struck free kick, Damien Tobin needed to be sharp and saved well, and the home side were reminded that the game was still in the balance. With 15 left, Glenn Fortune juggled on the edge of the box before working the ball to his left foot, and he struck crisply, the ball looking certain to hit the net, but the visiting keeper got a strong hand out and turned the ball wide.
From the corner, Glenn headed over from 10 yards, and 3 minutes later Darren Walsh saw his goal bound header cleared from the line. The game finished with Utd on the front foot, but unable to find a winner, no matter how hard they pressed. Clearly their best outing of the season, Utd will hope to push on with the same level away to Wexford Celtic next week where more of the same will be tough to beat.
Man of the Match: Joe Kenny. Covered acres of ground, strong and agressive and showed some nice touches on the ball.
Utd's B team were looking to turn two good weeks into three, and begin their push up the table towards loftier goals. With less than 30 seconds on the clock, they had a shot at the perfect start. Mick Walsh got played through, and worked the ball around the keeper giving himself an open net, but his effort rolled across the goal and wide, the visitors getting a huge let off.
Utd continued making all the running, Dean Ryan especially influential, moving play left and right, but Ballymurns physicality was breaking up the game in the final third, and Utd were not creating the chances their dominance deserved.
On 25 minutes, having done nothing all game, Ballymurn got a man down the left, from where he crossed toward the 6 yard box. The ball just eluded Mick O'Toole in Utd's goal and was prodded home, putting the visitors ahead.
Visibly rocked at going behind, Utd lost their rhythm, and 4 minutes later were two down, and in a huge hole. A long ball split the centre backs, and the Ballymurn forward just got to it ahead of Martin Farrell and John Fielding, and drove home low and hard from 20 yards.
Utd were desperate for a response, and just before the break were thrown a lifeline, Mark Morrissey driving home low from a cleared corner, and they went to the break behind, but on the up.
The home side made all the running in the second half, dominating territory and possession, but not penetrating an organised and very physical rearguard. They had some dangerous free kicks but never fully tested the keeper, and with 10 left, the contest was over when John Fielding was adjudged to have brought down the Ballymurn attacker, a tough call on the Utd man.
3-1 down, and the only remaining incident was a red card for a visiting player, after a reckless and unnecessary challenge on James Hutchison. A disappointing result for the Blues, and one which they will look to bounce back from next week in Wexford.
Man of the Match: Dean Ryan. Looked the class of the midfield, good distribution and intelligent movement.
Utd's C team travelled to Cloughbawn for their morning kick off hoping to carry their good form from last weeks win with them. Utd started ok, and were well in the game, Aaron Kirwan having little to do in their goal.
The game was hugely overshadowed by what could well be a career ending injury for Utd stalwart Jimmy Tobin, who broke his leg badly when lunging for the ball. It was a tough ask for Utd's young players to re-group after a 40 minute delay, and resources were further stretched when Shane Murphy and Pa Carty also left injured.
Utd finished the game the stronger, and with a bit more luck or experience, could well have taken the 3 points. They'll take good heart, but a depleted squad in to next weeks' derby game with Ajax.
All at the club wish Jimmy Tobin a full and speedy recovery..
Man of the Match: Thomas McCann. Excellent all game, and a real leader in the team
Oct 14th 2012
It was always going to be a tough season, but at the moment, Utd seem intent on adding to their own challenge, consistently putting themselves in tough positions. It was no different this week away to Wexford Celtic.
After an uneventful opening five, Utd found themselves behind, when the home side somewhat handily got around the back of the defence, and the ball was driven low across Damien Tobin and into the bottom left corner. Six minutes in and one down, but worse was to follow.
The game still lacked any real pattern, but Utd were looking to get a foothold, Tony Kenny and Barry Nolan coming deep to try get on the ball. On twelve minutes, Tony Kenny was released on goal, but with the keeper advancing his effort slid wide of the upright, a let off for the home side. On fifteen, Barry Nolan took possession on the left corner of his box, laid it off, and moved for the return, a home player chasing. There was some contact, and Barry reacted, the referee seeing it as a straight red, and like that, Utd's task grew bigger
With the visitor's 10 men starting to play, all looked far from lost. Tony Kenny was having a strong game, working hard for the team and putting in some dangerous balls, Utd's forwards not gambling, or getting on the end. With twenty six minutes gone, it seemed all over, when against the run of play, Utd were loose at the back, and in similar style to their first, Celtic finished low into the corner, and the visitor's needed snookers..
With four minutes left in the half, Tony Kenny's floated free kick into the box saw Mick Rigley react first and slot home from close range, and give Utd some added belief. At the break however, they were still 2-1, and a man down.
Within two minutes, Utd were level. From a Dessy Kenny throw in, the ball was only half cleared. Aidan Canavan swung on it, without making great connection, but the ball worked toward the back post where Pa Kearney popped up and calmly drove home.
The next twenty saw the ten men in the ascendency, and belief rose that they could go on and win the game. Chances were few though, the home keeper clawing one high ball from under the bar, but it remained even on the scoreboard.
Disaster struck on eighty three minutes, with both sides looking reasonably solid, and a draw looming. From a corner, the ball eluded the grasp of Damien Tobin, and was slid in at the back post, and all Utd's hard work had come undone.
For the final six, Utd huffed and puffed, but did little of threat. In injury time however, they summoned one last effort. First a goalmouth scramble saw several shots blocked, and a panicked clearance for the first of a succession of corners. From the last, the ball pinged about, but somehow didn't cross the line,the home keeper falling on it on the final whistle.
Huge disappointment, and possibly one that got away. Utd must start punishing teams as they themselves are being punished when small errors are made.
Man of the Match: Tony Kenny. A good days work from Tony, huge effort combined with some good quality deliveries, and intelligent play..
Utd's B team entered the game looking to get back on the winning trail, after a very disappointing home defeat last week. They started with a very strong line up, and in only the third minute, had taken the lead. Some nice interplay between Glenn Fortune and Mick Walsh saw Utd's number 11 released down the right side of the box, and his low shot was accurate, nestling in the bottom corner of the Celtic goal.
Utd were making all the running, Dean Ryan and John Dobbs controlling midfield, and the visitors were enjoying most of the possession. But as has been a failing this season, chances were being wasted , with either shots being declined, or sometimes too much being taken from the ball.
Barry Byrne in the Utd goal was a virtual bystander in the first half, the very odd home threat being easily dealt with by the Utd defence. Still chances came and went at the Celtic end. Glenn Fortune, Mark Morrissey and Hasane Smyth all saw shots wide, blocked or saved, and unbelievably at the break, Utd were only a goal up, and the game far from over.
In the first twenty of the second half, the away side took a real grip, and killed the game off, showing better quality and patience with the ball. On fifty one, a Dean Ryan cross was only partially cleared, and John Fielding quickly laid it off to Glenn Fortune. Hasane Smyth called for the ball to the back post, where Glenn beautifully sent it, and Hassy clinically volleyed home, doubling the lead.
Rather than sit on their lead, Utd pressed on, and the home side were clinging on, some last ditch defending, or their keeper keeping them alive. On sixty three, the contest was ended. Martin Farrell sent a long free kick toward the box, and Mark Morrissey challenged in the air. neither he or the defender got a touch, but Mick Walsh reacted quickly, moving on to the hoping ball to volley sharply home, for his second of the game.
For the final twenty, Utd did get a touch slopy, sitting a bit deep, not pushing on with the same level of intensity as before, and through this the home side knicked a consolation. Barry Byrne was then finally called into action , making a good low save. The home side hit the bar at the very end, but for Utd, it was job done.
A very strong performance from Utd, at least for 70 minutes. More of the same for the full 90 next week will see them go well against Castledockrell.
Man of the match: Mick Walsh. Two very good finishes, and involved well up front. Got his team off to a flying start, and sealed the game....
Not a great day for Utd 's C team, as for the second time this season, they came out second best to town rivals Ajax Athletic.
The game was pretty even for the first half, neither side creating too much, and Utd, with a patched up side after last weeks injury list, holding their own, and doing some good things. at the break, it was nil nil..
In the second half, the visitor's started to take a little more grip on the game, and push on with a bit more purpose. Utd worked hard to stay with them, and the game remained in the balance, but in the end, Ajax had greater quality on the day, and ran out worthy 3-0 winners..
On to next week for Billy's boys, as once again they are away, this time St Josephs..
Man Of The Match: Andre Lopes. Despite the scoreline, excellent in the goal for his team, stepping up when needed
Oct 21st 2012
Utd were looking to build on last weeks excellent performance in Wexford, and score a season first, stringing two wins together, but it was going to be a tough ask against the very big and physical Castledockrell.
On the best morning of the season so far, Utd started quite sluggishly, their visitors sitting deep and allowing them possession, but the home side were having real difficulty maintaining ball, their passing accuracy letting them down. neither side had any momentum, but on six minutes, the visitors seized the initiative.
Utd gave the ball away cheaply, and in trying to regain, gave a free kick away in a dangerous position. Damien Tobin in the home goal set his wall, but the ball was nicely floated over it, giving the keeper no chance, and the visitors the lead.
To their credit, the home side raised their level. They started passing more crisply, and where finding some joy down their right. John Dobbs, James Mythen and Glenn Fortune combined well, and worked Glenn into the box, but he could not get his shot away, and the chance went.
After a foul on James Mythen, a John Dobbs free kick floated across, and had everyone beaten, but came back into play off the bar. Shortly after, Hasane Smyth was released but his shot lacked power and was stopped. Utd were well on top now, but still looked uncomfortable to the Castledockrell main weapon, aerial bombardment.
On twenty three minutes, Utd gave away a soft corner. The visitors big men all piled toward the box, and a great flat delivery was well met and guided home, leaving The Blues in real trouble. And again they came back. First, a well struck Darren Walsh free kick was neatly turned away by the visiting keeper, before a long Damien Tobin kick was nearly turned into the net by a defenders glanced back header.
From a quick throw by Mick Walsh, Hasane Smyth put in a great cross to Glenn Fortune, whose firm header was again denied by the away keeper. Finally, a break for the home side, John Dobbs driving into the box was taken down from behind after some nice play, and the home side were awarded a spot kick. Glenn Fortune stepping up to drive home low and half the deficit. At half time, Utd went in 2-1 down and with work to do.
Neither side did much of note for the first fifteen of the second half, Utd's closest effort being a Glenn Fortune free kick, which drifted wide. On 62 minutes, the game looked to be drifting away, when from a quick break, the Castledockrell winger looked to drive for the Utd box but was stopped with minimal contact by James Mythen, who quite surprisingly was red, and not yellow carded.
Ten minutes later, again from a set piece, the away side went 3-1 up when a corner was not cleanly dealt with, and back heeled home, and it really did look like too big a task for the home team.
And yet back they came. A purposeful Dean Ryan run was halted on the crudely on the edge of the box. Glenn Fortune rolled the free kick right to the oncoming Hasane Smyth, whose low shot, whilst well struck hardly looked a threat, until being redirected into the corner by a defenders outstretched foot. Eight minutes left, and Utd were still behind by one.
The home side huffed and puffed , but the visitor's did a good job of keeping them at bay. With time almost up a quick throw went to Glenn Fortune. Some nice interplay between Glenn and Mick Walsh looked to have broken down, but they worked hard to retrieve the ball. There were calls from the defending side that the ball had gone out, but it was clearly kept in play. Mick Walsh rolled the ball to Glenn Fortune again, and he put in a beautiful ball finding the unmarked Pa Kearney, who glanced a gorgeous header into the corner to earn a big point for his team.
There was precious little time left, and the whistle came without further scare for either side. A great point for the home side from the position they were in with 15 to go...
Man of the Match: James Mythen..Despite his tough red card, James was heavily involved in a lot of his sides good play down the right, and was pretty solid defensively...
Utd could not have picked a tougher game with which to bounce back after last weeks home defeat to Ajax, but with some senior players out injured, it was always going to be a hard task away to the always physical St Josephs.
The game started ok for The Blues, slightly on the back foot but containing the home side quite comfortably. With just twenty gone however, the task at hand was even greater, Utd losing both Thomas McCann and James Sheridan to injury, both influential and experienced players.
The home side continued to be the driving force, but Utd were working hard and chances were virtually non existent. Utd got to the break with the game scoreless, and in truth, well worth it.
The second half saw the home side ratchet up their physicality. Pa Carty earned a red card when a fight ensued after he took an elbow in the eye. Stephen Murphy also came off second best to a home elbow, again his face testament to a tough old day.
Utd continued to keep their opponents at bay, but were not really offering much threat at the far end. With four minutes to go, the only small error made by the visiting defence was seized upon by the Josephs forward who beat Aaron Kirwan one on one and stole the game.
A tough loss, in every sense of the word, Utd will look to heal up, and bounce back for next weeks visit of Kilmore.
Man of the Match: Joe Miller. Worked so hard the whole game, and starred in ultimately a losing cause for his team
Oct 28th 2012
Utd's situation in Division 1 gets more serious with each passing winless weekend. Whilst in no way irredeemable, it is not merely good enough to be playing well, testing teams, and coming out on the wrong side of luck. Accountability starts with points won, and not points we probably deserve.
The Blues latest chance to end their winless streak came at Ferns Utd on Sunday, a side flying high and looking to return to the Premier Division. On a bitter morning, Utd started well, and should have been one up on 4 minutes. Glenn Fortune released Darren Walsh who deftly chipped the onrushing John Tarp. It looked a perfectly good goal, but was ruled out by a late whistle, the ruling for offside looking decidedly harsh.
Utd continued to have the upper hand but could not get the first goal. Tony Kenny was having some joy, and got around the back but his shot was saved. Almost inevitably, against the run of play, the home side took the lead, a speculative looping effort clearing Damien Tobin and finding the net to the surprise of everyone on the field. With the lead, Ferns pushed on and got on top using their good pace wide to effect, and stretching Utd. The visitors got to the break well in the game though, just trailing by the single goal.
4 minutes into the second half and Utd were deservedly level. Darren Walsh was played around the back and he squared for Glenn Fortune, who took one touch and drove home. Utd's hope to take this momentum forward floundered on a terribly slack 10 minute period, which would cost them the game. A defensive breakdown from a long ball saw the home side regain the lead, and 2 further quick strikes saw the home side jump out to a 4-1 lead, and virtually kill the game.
Trevor Breen finished excellently with 10 to go to give Utd hope and just 6 minutes later, Mick Rigley's finish made it 4-3, and set up a tense finish. Utd kept pushing and did have that one chance of parity, but Glenn Fortune's header looped safely into the arms of John Tarp, and the game was done.
Utd had created other chances in the game, most notably Aidan Canavan's header bringing the best out of the home keeper, and played some good stuff, but they are being clinically punished for every mistake made, and at present, they are making too many. The solid defensive platform on which the side is built has not been there this season and it needs to be found quickly.
Time to stand up and be counted. We get another chance to get this season rolling against Bunclody on Sunday...
Man of the Match: Willie Sullivan Strong and very solid the whole game. Has found his very best form since coming back into the side..
Utd travelled away to Gorey Celtic this afternoon looking to carry the momentum gained from last weeks late comeback with them, but also looking to take the game on from the start rather than being forced to chase.
But despite that intention, forced to chase they were. A bright start with Utd the better side was undone by the concession of two goals in the opening half hour.Things were starting to look very awkward for the visitors, until Mick Walsh popped up with a vital strike on 40 minutes, halving the defecit and giving the away side renewed belief and real energy for the second half.
It was a shot in the arm for Utd, and they really pushed on from it. A bright start to the second half was capped by Hasane Smyth on 55 minutes, scoring with a header. Barely 10 minutes later, Mick Walsh, in a very impressive vein of form, tore through the home defence and finished well for his second of the game, and his sides first advantage.
With 18 to go, Utd put the cap on the win, Glenn Fortune finishing, and the game was played out in relative comfort. An excellent win for Steve and Jackser's boys and they go in to their game with All Blacks in fine form.
Man of the Match: Mick Walsh. In his best run in a Utd shirt for several seasons, showing his usual pace and threat, and has added a finishing touch.
Utd's C team entertained second from top Kilmore this morning looking to avoid a third successive defeat after a very solid start in the league. On a wet and very cold day, Utd were going to have to play well from minute one to ninety to dig out a positive result.
And they could not have started better. From the kick off, the ball was worked right to Noel Dwyer, who slid it on to James Sheridan. With two men in attendance, James took the ball toward the touchline then dragged it back and bumbled through two weak challenges. He then glided by a third Kilmore player before unleashing a great shot that arrowed into the top corner.19 seconds on the clock, and Utd were ahead. Could it last.. No..
After such a shocking start, the visitors could have crumbled, but they certainly didn't. They began to dominate possession and territory, Utd's midfield getting over run, and with defenders stretched balls were being hooked clear, but coming straight back in a new wave. On thirteen minutes, the sides were level. Utd manfully defending, but a clearance ricocheted back off a Utd man to a visiting attacker in space, and he made no mistake slotting home.
Impressively, Kilmore kept up the pressure, and Utd's defence was really creaking. All defenders were playing well, but only some last ditch tackles or blocks were keeping the away side out. From two successive corners, Shane Murphy was called on, heading excellently clear from right on his line on both occasions. It was really a question of how long Utd could hold out.
And then, things got easier.The midfield started to find it's feet and Utd started to become more an attacking factor. James Sheridan, and Patrick O'Sullivan were working hard, and Kevin Monahan and Robert Doran were winning more midfield possession. It was a blow then, that just as Utd were gaining equality, they fell behind.
Kilmore pressed through the middle, and their left wing was running dangerously at the Utd area. Kevin Monahan nicked the ball clean with a well timed tackle, but the referee blew foul, giving the visitors a great chance from 20 yards. The ball was sweetly struck round the wall, and into the top corner, Andre Lopes having no chance.
Back came Utd, searching for an equaliser before half time. Kevin Monahan had a good sight of goal but shot high and wide, and on 39, his hooked through ball was chased down by James Sheridan, the ball just reaching the keeper ahead of him. From here, the games turning point, and controversy ensued.
James, very alert, saw the keeper present the ball on his palm when going to kick out and quickly stooped to head it free, running on to the ball and slotting into the gaping net. Most expected it to be disallowed, but to great surprise, none more than the visiting team, the whistle blew and the goal stood. Two each at half time.
Kilmore looked to inject a sense of outrage and injustice in their side for the second half, but they were not the same team. the heavy pitch looked to be having a greater effect on their side than Utd, and for most of the second half, whilst still quite even, Utd were the ascendant team.
Chances came and went for Patrick O'Sullivan, James Sheridan and Noel Dwyer, and Utd were now finding lots of room wide to get at their opponent..The game was winding out a little, both sides possibly with an eye on the warmth of the dressing room and a point each, but it was still very much next goal wins.
The ball was worked wide to Noel Dwyer,who had seen plenty of it this half. He bore down on the corner of the box, and hooked a speculative effort on goal, it not looking to have enough to trouble the Kilmore keeper, but he had backed deep into his goal, and when spilling the ball, lost his footing,the ball bouncing back over the line and home, giving Utd the ugliest, and yet most beautiful lead..
Utd had to see off a further twelve minutes, injuries included, and to their credit, did so well. Andre Lopes saw one effort bounce up and over off him, but in general, the side defended well clearing a succession of corners before the whistle..
A great win for the C team, getting them back on track for next weeks trip to Wexford Bohemians.
Man of the Match: James Sheridan.. Excellent from the first minute, always a threat, used the ball well, and a positive influence throughout.. His best in some time...
Nov 4th 2012
Utd went into this mornings game winless this season and looking to turn performances into points. In their way were a Bunclody side only lately of the premier division, and themselves, still seeking best form.
The game started in beautiful conditions and Utd got on the front foot from the off. They were giving the ball plenty of width, both Dessy Kenny and Mick Walsh getting involved early. On 7 minutes, Utd went in front. Mick Walsh's well struck free kick was turned awkwardly onto the bar by the visiting keeper, and came down on the edge of the six yard box. Only Utd players had reacted as both Mick Rigley and John Whelan were there to pounce. It was the Utd captain who drove home left footed, giving his side a vital edge.
Bunclody were making little impact on an assured looking home defence, there one sight at goal coming from a miskick. At the visitors end however, they were being stretched and looking vulnerable. On 14, Mick Walsh was brought down out wide. Glenn Fortune floated in a good ball and it was only partially cleared. Mick Walsh swivelled and turned the ball goalward where John Whelan was again in perfect place to turn the ball in, albeit off the shin this time.
The home side really put their foot down. From a neat inside ball, Mick Rigley spun and drilled a shot off the bar from 16 yards, the rebound volleyed just wide by Mick Walsh. Some neat play then brought a corner on the right. Dessy Kennys ball was well delivered, and John Whelan, in search of a rare hat-trick, challenged. Aidan Canavan won the second header, and sent it back goalwards where it squirted through to Mick Rigley who pushed it home. 3 up in half an hour, Utd were in a great place.
Utd kept pressing and Dessy Kenny put a great ball across the goal that Mick Walsh just could not reach before Glenn Fortune had a shot well blocked as Utd went to kill the game. No further goals came though, as Utd went to the break with a commanding lead.
The second half was a cagier affair, Utd still looking dangerous, but commiting less forward happy to grip the game, and see out their win. Bunclody were looking more stable, but still causing few problems to the Utd rearguard. John Whelans hat-trick chance came, his good downward header well saved by the visiting keeper, and Glenn Fortune,s cross/shot hit the post, but the lead stayed the same.
Dessy Kenny then created an opening for himself, wriggling by two, but his shot was deflected wide by the foot of the keeper. On 66, a slack moment saw Bunclody get a lifeline. Utd were slow responding to a quickly taken free kick, and two passes later, the ball nestled in the corner, and an edgy finish looked in prospect.
But to be fair, it didn't materialise. Utd, whilst a little edgy, were solid and disciplined, the midfield stayed compact, and the central defence looked very strong. Bunclody never got any momentum. Mick Rigley had a couple of looks at goal, but the home side were delighted with the final whistle at 3-1, and a much needed boost.
Man of the Match: Joe Kenny . A good day to have to choose. Lots of big performers around the field, but Joe did a lot of dogwork, and did it very well, was especially strong in the tackle, and worked to the end..
Utd 's B continued as they left off lastweek in Gorey, playing well, and raining in goals. All Blacks visited Neil O'Sullivan Park this afternoon, and Utd got about them from the start. Utd controlled posession, and it was only a matter of when the away defence would break.
It took 6 minutes. Hasane Smyth, looking sharp picked the ball up 25 yards out, moved on and smashed home into the top corner. The home side pushed on, and were two up on 14, Keith Caseys corner being turned in by Hassy for his second. Mark Morrissey was perhaps unlucky to have a nice header ruled out for offside as Utd had an iron grip on the game, All Blacks offering nothing.
On half an hour it was three, Mick Walsh doing a long shift, cut nicely inside and drove low into the keepers right hand corner. There could have and should have been more, but Utd got a little wasteful and the All Blacks keeper was doing well. Shockingly, on 41, Barry Byrne was picking the ball out, All Blacks scoring from a corner, a result of their only meaningful attack of the half, but a warning to the home side that the game was far from over, and they went to the half ahead 3-1.
It was a warning duly heeded, as the home side began the second half with great purpose and really went for the throat. With only 3 gone in the half, Hasane Smyth had his hat trick, latching on to James Redmonds nicely weighted ball and driving low and hard into the net.
From here, the game was up for the visitors, who ceased to be a real force at all. Goals came at steady intervals. Mark Morrissey got his goal on 57, driving home. Less than 10 later, James Redmond got a goal his performance deserved, and on 73, second half sub, Willie O'Sullivan got his name in lights when he headed in from a corner.. The game tapered away, and finished a very comfortable 7-1 for the home side. The visitors struggled for numbers, and it showed, but credit to Utd, they played some good football and scored some excellent goals..
Man of the Match: Hasane Smyth. 3 reasons, in the 6th, 14th and 48th minutes. 3 great goals, and an excellent performance
Nov 11th 2012
Utd s' A team went into their fixture with Wexford Celtic, looking to turn one win into two, and an optimistic result into a run, but knowing that they would need to be every bit as sharp as they had last time out.
And they started anything but. In what was a really poor opening half hour to the game, neither side could claim the upper hand, or find any fluidity. Quality, both on the ball and in execution was not great, the one early positive for the home side was a real look of solidity to the team. The same could be said of the visitors however, with Utd's only worthwhile look at goal being Joe Kennys' 20 yard snapshot, well struck, but straight at the keeper.
From the 30 minute mark however, things did improve. Utd began to push their opponents back maintaining better possession, but also looking more of a threat with it. Mick Rigley got played in down the right, but his shot rose away to the right, before, with only 2 to the break, Mick Walsh chased a John Whelan through ball, and got there ahead of the Celtic keeper. In the challenge he was a little wide and his lofted effort just drifted the wrong side of the post.
A fairly nondescript first half saw the sides reach the break at 0-0.
For the second half, Utd were quick out of the gate, continuing to threaten and now controlling the game. Just 2 minutes after the break, Glenn Fortune brought the best out of the Wexford keeper, his outstretched hand just clawing away the low goal bound effort.
Mick Walsh came into the game more, linking well with Glenn Fortune, Barry Nolan and Trevor Breen down the left, and causing problems. He got around the back of the defence and put in a good ball, but it was just scrambled away.
Utd were now right on top, and had a great chance to take the lead on the hour.Willie Sullivans' long ball found Mick Walsh onside 15 yards out. He shot on target, but too close to the keeper who turned it aside for a corner. From the corner, Mick Walsh again struck at goal, but again, it was a little straight and the keeper gathered.
Wexford were doing little of note, but Utd were looking a little open to the break, and were grateful for a couple of excellent late challenges from Aidan Canavan and Willie Sullivan, a warning of how finely balanced the game remained. Utd pushed again, Barry Nolans' weaving run being denied by a late toe poke, and the home side had two penalty shouts, one for a foul on Glenn Fortune, and a second for hand ball, but both were correctly adjudged just outside the area, and free kicks awarded..
Disaster struck with 13 to go, when on a rare break over halfway, the visitors scored. To be fair they broke quickly and committed men forward, but Utd had numbers back and danger looked low. However, an early struck 22 yard shot saw Damien Tobin beaten to his left.
Utd battled on. From a Glenn Fortune cross, Hasane Smyth, had a reasonable look with a header, but his contact was too fine, and no threat. Utd forced a corner with 7 to go. Glenn Fortune sent a good ball toward the back post, Hasane Smyth headed back goalward, and Darren Walsh, with deft touch, stretched and toe poked over the keepers head for the equaliser.
Utd drove for the winner, but without really creating a good opportunity, and the whistle came to the delight of the visiting team, who were much the happier team with their point. For Utd, another point but a game they should have won, and further evidence that in this division, the importance on finishing their chances is much greater...
Man of the Match: John Whelan. Led the team well all game, excellent defensively, strong and assured in the tackle..
Utd's B team approached a difficult away game with an unpredictable Adamstown side, who can be very good and very bad in equal measure, looking for their third win in a row, and to stretch their unbeaten run to a very tidy five games.
That they ran out very comfortable winners in the end was testament to an exemplary display from the Utd back four, who never put a foot wrong all game, and got their just reward, with their first clean sheet of the season.
Feeding off the solid foundation provided by Martin Farrell, John Fielding, James Hutchison and Brian Nolan, Utd were able to get at their opponent, and goals came in the first half at regular intervals. John Dobbs, Martin Farrell and Keith Casey all helped themselves to goals as they got to the interval with a commanding three nil lead.
The second half saw Utd as solid as before, but with understandably less adventure being shown, solidity and protection of the win being the main priority. Utd did have some chances come and go, before the lid was put on a fine win when Oisin Murphy's superb 35 yard volley flew into the net.
Utd saw the game out comfortably, to record the 4 nil win, and their most complete performance of the season. Five games unbeaten, Utd will take their run home again next week against a physical Ballindaggin outfit.
Man of the Match: Brian Nolan. Difficult pick, but stood out even amongst great all round performances across the team...An excellent game..
Nov 18th 2012
Utd's A teams' troubles continued against Curracloe this weekend. Every weekends game is the biggest of the season, and Utd would have been looking to build on the previous two weeks good performances.
In a lot of ways they did, but in the end, the same old shortcomings came back to haunt them as failure to take chances, some terrible luck, and a bad breakdown in an otherwise excellent defensive display saw another loss go up on the board.
The first half was a generally cagey affair, with neither side creating a lot of openings, and the midfield battle holding very even. Dean Ryan worked the keeper after 5 minutes, but his shot was never going in. Utd were having some joy down the left, and Mark Morrissey released Mick Rigley on 9 minutes, but the angle was acute and his shot was cleaned up before it could reach the goal.
Back the other end and Damien Tobin had to be alert to turn away a snapshot from 20 yards that was going in. From what was largely a stalemate, Utd took a bit of a grip of the last 10 minutes of the half and really started to press, again seeing some real joy down the left. Several corners were forced and from one, Dean Ryan had a shot deflected wide before Barry Nolan got around the back only to see his dangerous low cross turned just over by an outstretched defensive boot.
The second half started the same, with the play largely in Curracloe territory. From a nicely flighted Darren Walsh free kick, John Whelan just failed to turn in Aidan Canavans' flick at the back post, but on 52 minutes, Utd got their reward. Barry Nolan's free kick found Darren Walsh alone on the back post, and his header flew by the Curracloe keeper for a deserved lead for the home side.
It wouldn't last. 4 minutes later a very dubious free kick was awarded about 25 yards out, and it was nicely guided low into the corner by the visiting attacker and Utd 's work was undone. 8 minutes after that, the home side were behind. From a Utd corner, Darren Walsh's header was well cleared off the line, and then there was a loud handball appeal turned down. The visiting side flooded out, looking to catch Utd short manned. There right wing took the ball on and played a neat inside ball to their No 10, who had been 3 yards ahead of the Utd rearguard for 15 yards, and staggeringly was not blown offside. The attacker finished well, and Utd were very harshly behind.
Utd had no one but themselves to blame for the killer third, as a break from deep saw them over committed, and the attacker had acres of room, and time galore to seal the win. The home side played out the 90 on the front foot, but aside from a late cleanly hit Mick Rigley shot that just slid wide, did not really trouble the Curracloe keeper.
Onward to another important game at Bridge for Utd, where they must lift themselves up, dig in and turn this season around, none of which is beyond them.
Man of the Match: Mark Morrissey An excellent outlet all game, linked well and looked dangerous with the ball. A super return to the first team for Moose..
Utd's B team earned their fourth win in a row and their second clean sheet, with another accomplished solid performance, albeit against a dreadfully poor Ballindaggin outfit. Take nothing from the home side however, who were efficient, and ruthless when they needed to be.
Against 10 men Utd started brightly, moving the ball left and right and immediately working the away side hard. Within 2 minutes, Glenn Fortune went close with a header from a corner, and 3 minutes later, Keith Casey had an effort on target. Utd were controlling the game and the only surprise was that it took until the 13th minute for the lead to come.
From a long John Fielding clearance, James Sheridan, in a great run of form showed real strength to out muscle his defender, and opened himself enough to guide the ball past the out rushing keeper and give his side a deserved lead.
After Glenn Fortune had gone close again, Utd doubled their lead on 18, the ball being worked about nicely to find John Dobbs central, 20 yards out, and his well struck shot went back across the static keeper, and high into the corner.
Even this early it was clear the game was won, but Utd kept on their game, and pressed for more. Several chances came and went before a lovely interchange between Brian Nolan and James Sheridan saw the latter crash his shot past the keeper into the roof of the net.
Glenn Fortune got reward for a good half with 2 goals in the last 3 minutes, the first a lovely move down the right and a very unselfish lay off from James Sheridan, saw Glenn drive home from 10 yards, and right on the half, a neat cut in from the left saw the Utd striker drill home low from 16 yards.
The goals started up again right after half time, Keith Casey slotting home from the spot after a softly awarded penalty, and there was little appetite for the game from this point on. It finished a very comfortable 6 nil win and no injuries for the home side, who will expect a stiffer test at Castledockrell next Sunday.
Man of the Match: James Sheridan Led the line well, strong, intelligent and linked the play, combined with two nice finishes of his own.
Yet another away game for Utd's C Team saw them travelling this week to promotion chasing Rosslare Port. As with every week so far, the lads gave a good account of themselves, and were very unlucky to go in at half time two nil down. In what had been quite an even game, Utd handed their opposition two goals from nothing, small mistakes costing them dear.
Other than this, chances for either side had been few and far between, both sides defending well, and having difficulty finding openings. In the second half, the home side started to see more of the ball, as the Utd boys tired, but led well by Shane Murphy and with Kevin Monahan and Robert Doran fighting well in the middle, The Blues stayed competitive, and were at least worth a goal.
In the end the last goal went to the home side, a soft penalty being awarded, as much to the home players surprise as the Utd side. The game finished a very harsh 3-0 against this Utd C team, who continue their long weary travels next week to Fastnet.
Man of the Match: Joe Miller The best man on the field, from first minute to last, working tirelessly for his team in a losing cause...
Nov 25th 2012
Utd's B teams' recent good run came to an end this morning at Castledockrell. Injury and unavailability meant Utd showed a number of changes from the last weeks team and it certainly showed at times as Utd made a slow start and struggled to find any real rhythm throughout the game.
The game started under threatening skies and on a soft pitch, although there was plenty of grass and no surface water. On 4 minutes Utd were opened up and found themselves one down. Utd were struggling to maintain possession and looked a little shaky and out of step all over the pitch and after 14 minutes found themselves 2 behind. Mick O'Toole had made one decent save aleady but could do nothing when from a routine throw in Castledockrells' right winger created space in the area and his low driven cross was turned in by an unmarked striker at the back post. A sloppy goal that summed up Utd to this point.
Finally, Utd started to push on and get a foothold in the game. John Dobbs in particular tried to drive his team forward and Utd started to press. Keith Casey was released round the back but couldn't pick out anyone before a flick on from Martin Farrells' free kick should have been turned in, but players seemed to get in each others way and the chance was lost. James Redmonds' shot was spilled by the keeper but no-one was alive to the rebound before a free kick in a good position was lifted over the top.
Utd were very much in the game now but still looked loose at times. Castledockrell missed one clear opportunity before Mick O'Toole made a really good double save to keep the score at2-0. 11 minutes before the break Utd really came back into the game. James Redmond and sub Glenn Fortune worked some space well from a throw-in before Glenn's pass set Keith Casey free on Utd's left side. Keith cut in to the box and drilled a low cross-shot past the keeper and inside the far post to cut the deficit in half. Just before the break, John Dobbs flicked another good Martin Farrell free kick wide as the half finished 2-1 in favour of the home side.
Fenwick O'Shea was introduced at half time but in truth the second half push never really came. The weather deteriorated with a cold steady rain falling and Utd - for all their efforts - didn't work the home keeper nearly enough. Keith Casey had the best chance when through on goal but was denied. Other than that, a couple of long range efforts and fruitless corners were all Utd could muster. Trevor Breen was introduced after 70 mins as Utd looked to tie the game up.
The home side seemed content enough and looked to hit Utd on the break. Mick O'Toole made one save and one effort hit the side netting before with 13 to go, a good finish, similar to Keiths' but from the right, made it 3-1. Utd came again. On 84, Fenwick O'Shea's driven free-kick was missed by everyone and finished in the bottom right hand corner for 3-2. There would not be a similar end to the 3-3 draw these sides shared last month though. The 6th goal this time killed the game for Utd as another break saw Mick O'Toole left exposed and beaten for a fourth time.
A disappointing morning for the Blues who fell well short of recent performance levels. However, the season is only half way and a strong run in the second half is well within their capability and should see them stay involved at the right end of the table. The aim will be to start that run next week at home to Wexford Celtic.
Man of the Match: John Dobbs. Worked really hard in Utd's midfield and was the one player who consistently looked to get hold of the ball and to get his team passing and moving.
Dec 2nd 2012
Another Sunday of huge frustration and disappointment for Utd's A team down at Kilmore. Losing the game was bad enough, but coupled with the very harsh dismissal of their captain John Whelan with half an hour to go and having just got the game back to 3-2, ultimately it was another fruitless away day for the Blues.
Despite a slow start that saw Kilmore pressing. a really good passing move released Trevor Breen and he finished well to put Utd 1-0 up after 5 minutes. However, all was undone just 3 minutes later when a penalty was conceded, from nothing. Utd may have conceded another penalty just after but then went behind. Kilmore may not be as strong defensively as other teams in this Division, but they have very good players in midfield and up front and after 12 minutes a beautiful through ball split Utd and was well finished for 2-1.
The game finally settled and Utd started to cause problems themselves. A corner was scrambled away from just in front and James Sheridan had two shooting opportunities inside the box, one straight at the keeper, one wide - poor footing meaning neither was probably struck as cleanly as James would wish. Utd were moving the ball well at times but looked a little loose in the midfield area and Kilmore were always a threat, Damien Tobin making a decent save following a break.
Utd were very much in the game though, and only some good defending denied Mick Walsh a one on one opportunity before another couple of corners were seen off before the half.
Kilmore again started the second half better and Utd were being pushed back. 10 mins in and a driven cross was converted at the far post to make it 3-1, although the striker was never behind the ball throughout the build up. Utd came again, James Sheridan hooked a ball across goal but no-one was on hand to turn it in before Darren Walsh's free-kick found its way through everyone and into the corner for 3-2.
Utd back in the game? Well yes, but, despite being laid out with an elbow and never laying a finger or anything else on the Kilmore player, John's justifiably angry reaction was deemed enough to warrant a straight red card. The Kilmore player involved nor their line didn't exactly cover themselves in glory here and may have swayed the decision.
Aidan Canavan and Mick Rigley replaced Barry Nolan and Darren Walsh as Utd went with 3 at the back. The Blues continued to press and Mick Rigley saw a really good strike from 20 yards land on top of the net with the home keeper struggling. Inevitably, Utd looked vulnerable to breaks at times, although overall the back three of William O'Sullivan, Pa Kearney and Trevor Breen did well. Hacene Smyth replaced Tony Kenny with 18 to go as Utd continued to go forward and try to rescue the game.
With 12 to go, Utd were caught out and found themselves 4-2 down. As ever, the Blues kept going and 4 minutes later Mick Walsh placed a lovely free kick by a rooted goalkeeper to give Utd hope again. Two more opportunities came. Hacene was released on the right hand side of the box but went near post and hit the side netting before his dangerous cross was taken off James Sheridan's head and Trevor Breen's follow up strike bravely blocked. Kilmore finished the game holding the ball in the corner and Utd's difficulties go on.
Yes, they could do with a break or two, but, they also need to be smarter and more efficient at both ends of the pitch. This is the 6th time Utd have taken the lead in a game this season, but only 1 has been won and that is not good enough. The failure to stabilise and build on leads has cost Utd possibly as many as 14 points and the most frustrating part is that the goals being conceded are too often as a result of errors being made. No-one is doubting the teams character, evidenced again in bucketfuls yesterday, but the basics must be done properly throughout the game.
Next week, away to fellow strugglers Bunclody, needs to see a more composed Utd. Kilmore are top of Division 1. Utd have taken 1 point from their two games against them, but should have had 4. Little things they may be, but they are making a huge difference to Utd's season.
Man of the Match: Dean Ryan. Did find the going difficult at times in midfield, but stuck at it, put a huge amount of effort in and kept driving Utd forward when things seemed to be stacking up against them.
On a heavy pitch, in horrible conditions, Utd's B Team were looking to bounce back from last weeks defeat at Castledockrell, and despite making things hard for themselves, in the end, they did enough for the points.
Against a side they'd beaten quite well away, Utd started brightly, and got immediately on the front foot. With just a minute on the clock the home side were awarded a free kick, 25 yards out, Martin Farrell stepping forward to drive off the bar, the Celtic keeper getting a touch. From the corner, a scramble ensued, with Wexford players blocking several shots before hacking clear.
Oisin Murphy and James Redmond both had tame shots saved, but with the pitch soft and cutting early, Utd started to lose their advantage, the visitors looking more assured. It was still a surprise however, when against the run, Celtic took the lead, some nice passing releasing their left winger who crossed deep, the attacker arriving to head home.
Things got worse for the home side, when some uncharacteristic errors allowed two attackers a clean run on goal, and they made no mistake. Two down, and now struggling, The Blues were still seeing a large amount of ball but were now creating little, and the visiting side got to the break comfortably enough their 2 nil lead intact.
Utd started the second half as the first, with good purpose, and at the higher level of quality they needed. Six minutes into the half, some good play found James Hutchison 20 yards out, but his shot was deflected wide and 3 minutes later, James Redmond steered a header over the bar when he would have liked to have worked the keeper.
Utd were pushing though, and with his second chance from a free kick, captain Martin Farrell halved the deficit, his well struck free kick perhaps surprisingly beating the Wexford keeper. Celtic were having their moments though, and Mick O'Toole saved well from a break, keeping his side in touch.
The home side pushed to level the scores. James Hutchison had a great chance at the back post, but could not steer home, and several shots were blocked by some dogged defenders. With eight to go, Utd levelled. A corner from the left was headed clear, but was sweetly volleyed home by James Redmond from 20 yards, Celtics keeper having no chance.
Martin Farrell was thrown forward with Utd looking to win the game, and only an outstretched leg saved his goal bound shot with 4 to go.With only 2 left, he was not denied however, ceasing on a moments hesitation from the centre back, stealing the ball and driving low into the net, for the winner.
Not the best performance from Utd, but great character and belief dragged them back from the brink of a very damaging defeat, and they'll travel to Ballymurn in good shape next week.
Man of the Match: Mark Morrissey. Really came to the fore in the second half, involved in everything from the midfield.
Utd's C Team played only once in November, and were keen to get their season moving, and with the opportunity to do the season double over St Cormacs, having won well away in the early season.
But this was a much younger, improved Cormacs side, and for a large part of the first half, Utd had to work hard to create any chances, the visitors looking tidy with the ball, and quite solid.Shane Murphy worked the keeper from distance, his well struck free kick being tipped over, and Noel Dwyer had a good chance when Joe Millers angled cross found him in space 10 yards out, but his header drifted wide.
The visitors were stretching Utd, and but for some good work across the back four, may have had more joy. With both sides almost settled on being even at the break, Cormacs took the lead. A corner from the Cormacs right was flicked on at the near post, and powerfully headed home at the back, giving them a slim lead, that they were probably just worth at the break
Utd started the second half on a much higher level, and had erased the Cormacs lead inside 3 minutes. Joe Millers low shot was well struck, but should have been comfortable for the keeper. To be fair, the worsening surface may not have helped, but he spilled the shot. It still looked no problem, as he was on hand to gather, but over leaned and left the ball behind, leaving Patrick O'Sullivan with a tap in from 3 yards.
Aaron Kirwan recovered a spill to bravely save at a visiting forwards foot, but the away side were a much lesser force in the second half, with Joe Miller and Kevin Monahan really coming to the fore for the home side.
Fifteen minutes into the half, Utd took the lead, nothing fortuitous about this goal. Joe Miller released Patrick O'Sullivan down the right with a lovely weighted ball. Pa's first time cross was right on the head of Noel Dwyer, who stooped to head into the roof of the net, and complete the turnaround in the game.
Utd saw out the last half hour well,seeing little or no scare at the back, and having a few chances on the break, a touch more composure would have seen them grab more. Martin O'Connor, Joe Miller and Noel Dwyer again went close, and Patrick O'Sullivan got put through, but just failed to get his shot away.
Another excellent win for Billy and Terry's boys, who travel to Corach next week looking for a first this season, back to back wins..
Man of the Match: Joe Miller. The back four were all very solid, but Joe continued his excellent season in the C team, hugely influential, and heavily involved.
Dec 9th 2012
People write of must win games, 6 pointers etc, but whatever rubbish cliché you use, it was certainly a big game for Utd at Bunclody yesterday, as two struggling sides looked to gain a distinct advantage before their season turns critical. They would also be missing the hugely influential John Whelan for the first time this season, sitting out with a harsh ban, but were very ably covered at centre back by Aidan Canavan and Pa Kearney.
Utd could have no complaints with the surface, and started confidently pushing the ball neatly about, looking calm. A calmness that was to last less than ten minutes, when from nothing the home side went ahead, a long ball bouncing unluckily off a Utd defender and sitting up beautifully for the home attacker to volley by Damien Tobin.
Yet again, Utd found themselves in a hole, and for ten further minutes they looked a bit shocked. Their execution was sloppy, and there was a worrying gap between defence and midfield that the home side found, but could not exploit, good defending and Bunclody inefficiencies aiding the Blues.
After 20, the game changed for good. From a quick, and decidedly more accurate break, a Mick Walsh cross was turned against his own post by the home defender, and Utd proceeded to have 6 corners in a row and spend 12 minutes camped in the Bunclody half. Vitally, the levelling goal did not come. The home keeper made a fine save from a Mick Walsh free kick and Tony Kenny was robbed when his shot struck the inside of the post and rolled across the face, not going in.
This pattern continued to the break, with Utd totally in charge, but just lacking the quality needed in the final third. When they restarted after the break, it was vital that they raised their level further.
It took less than 5 minutes for Utd to be on terms, and the goal was a thing of real beauty. Some nice calm passing, back and forth saw the ball with right full Willie Sullivan. His deft chip forward was collected by Mick Rigley and laid off to Barry Nolan, Mick spinning down a channel along the right of the area. Barry's low ball was nicely weighted and driven first time across the home keeper and into the far corner, never looking like settling anywhere else.
The visitors were now rampant, and playing football of last seasons vintage, confident, quality passing, intelligent movement and an enjoyment in the game. Chance after chance however, came and went as either the woodwork - on multiple occasions - the keeper, or in one instance the keeper and the woodwork denied the Blues a lead. Mick Rigley again, Mick Walsh, Tony Kenny and others all had chances, but the game stayed even.
Damien Tobin remained a passenger for much of the half, as Utd were in complete control. On 67 minutes, the visitors got a key break. Moving out with the ball, a Bunclody player was tripped by his teammate, and fell on the ball, giving Utd a free kick. Tony Kenny clipped a lovely ball over the wall for Mick Walsh to latch onto and he bore down on the 6 yard box before driving from an angle in off the goalkeeper, for a precious lead.
Leads have not been good to the visitors this season, and all to often, they have given them up almost instantly, so the order of the day was calmness and complete concentration. 2 was enough. Utd were helped by the dismissal of a Bunclody player for a wild tackle on Hacene Smyth after 74 minutes and in large part, they held good with no problems, still playing good football. Hacene Smyth on for James Sheridan, looking dangerous and working hard. Utd wasted some good chances, had one cleared from what seemed behind the line, hit the bar again and certainly did not make things easy for the watching linesman.
With about 10 to go, a shocking breakdown in the middle saw the lighting quick Mutu break free for Bunclody untouched from halfway, and it looked like Utd could blow a vital win that should have been well and truly done, but Damien Tobin got out well, and saved to his right, protecting his sides lead. With 3 minutes to go, another bad challenge on Trevor Breen saw a second Bunclody red, but Trevor's reaction also saw him sent to the dressing rooms.
Bunclody desperation saw some attacks late, but they were well marshalled by the excellent central defensive pairing. With the whistle, a great 3 points for Utd and vitally, a nice jump off the foot of the table.. Lots of work to do, but a forward step no less. The hard work will be not to take a backward one when Ajax visit next Sunday.
Man of the Match: Darren Walsh. Excellent performance in the middle, full of hard work, and some real quality.
Utd s C Team faced Shelburne at home looking to build on last weeks second half performance against St Cormacs, and string together wins for the first time this season.
Due to illness, injury and unavailability, it was a much changed Utd eleven that started the game, with some players filling in at unusual positions. Perhaps unsurprising, Utd, after a long period in the game, had not enough in the tank. They went behind in the first half, Andre Lopes in goal being beaten, but were doing enough at times to be a threat.
Glenn Fortune duly equalised from the spot, but two second half strikes were enough to give the visitors deserved points. Utd will regroup and go again next week at home to Forth, where hopefully a more rounded eleven will take all three points.
Man of the Match: Pa Carty. Stretched at times, but gave his all in unfamiliar centre back role, playing through illness.
Dec 16th 2012
Utd will have wanted to build on last weeks excellent performance, and win at Bunclody, and what better game, than a local derby with Ajax to do it.
A shocking start saw Utd go 2 behind inside 15 minutes, Willie Hudson volleying home from range after 10, before some truly calamitous defending, with several failed attempts to clear before an Ajax forward was given way too much time to sort his feet, and lift home from 10 yards.
Utd responded really well, and started to push Ajax back. The home side were moving the ball well on a difficult surface, and starting to create chances. Mick Walsh saw a shot pushed onto the near post before minutes later just taking too long on a breakaway, and not getting his shot out. Utd needed to turn pressure into goals however, and on 26 minutes, they did.
Some nice interplay saw the ball moved across the Ajax box, Mick Walsh drove on, and then threaded a neat ball to Hacene Smyth, who slotted home low first time, to make a game of it once more. Just 3 minutes later, the visitors got caught on the ball, Tony Kenny releasing Mick Rigley down the right, and he drove the ball home across the Ajax keeper. All square again.
Utd finished the half the stronger, but still all level, and for ten minutes after half-time were very much on top. Mick Rigley had a good shooting chance but drove high, and Barry Nolan was slid through but poked tamely wide.
The visitors re-grouped, and for the next twenty really took over the game, Utd falling deeper and deeper and becoming less of a force, especially in the midfield area. Chances were few though, although Ajax did get behind down the left once but the headed chance was wasted..
Not a second time though. On 75, a high slow and loopy cross was lifted into a danger area between Utd's back pedalling centre back and keeper, and nodded home, giving the visitors a late lead.
The home side responded, and from being outplayed, started to push again. Ajax now dropping deep, and content to punt out, and clear their lines. Utd huffed and puffed, but had little by way of clear chances, until with 2 left, they won a free kick 20 yards out. Mick Walsh got a good effort on target that was well turned away by the Ajax keeper. Utd got a man wide who squared low and hard Utd forwards in deep looking to equalise. Mark Morrissey was on hand to turn home from 3 yards and win a vital point for the home side.
Or so it should have been. From the kick off, and another high and hopeful ball into the box. After the previous goal, it was always going to cause uncertainty in the Utd box, and in the end, the Ajax forward got his head on it before Utds keeper and the ball bobbled home for the win.
A fairly tragic result for the home side, wholly undeserving of defeat, but having put themselves in a huge hole, and dug themselves out, then handed the game to the visitors with some soft goals.
As ever, it's up to the players to step forward, and start grinding out some points, beginning in two weeks at Curracloe..
Man of the Match: John Fielding..Very solid and dependable, in a mixed defensive unit. A welcome return to first team action
With playing resources stretched thin through injury, and other non availabilities, Utd still travelled to high flying Coolgreany with good hope of a positive result, to maintain their challenge at the top end of the table. All the more disappointing then that collectively, they put together their worst outing of the season.
From minute one Utd were on the back foot, and in large part, due to their own sluggishness, and some poor play, came out on the wrong side of a heavy score. Not a lot of positives for The Blues today, who in their own words, had a bit of a shocker.
Whilst there have been defeats, this was a rare off day, in what has been much better recent form, and will just have to be marked up and forgotten. Onward to Crossabeg on the 30th, when the B team will undoubtedly want to show much more of their true selves...
The game that never was. With the pitch tearing badly after the A teams game versus Ajax, the referee inspected, and called the game off, citing his concerns for player safety. Players were duly told, and some left the field, so what happened after, clearly didn't.
A five minute heatwave, possibly caused by nuclear fallout, clearly alleviated all safety concerns, the pitch now in great condition, and worthy of further pounding. Utd's makeshift side went behind in the first minute, and conceded regularly through the half, eventually reaching the break 4 down, and with the game dead.
They re-grouped somewhat in the second period, the visitors also possibly taking their foot off the gas slightly, and in the end, 5 nil reflected the visitors dominance from the start of the game.
Utd have a week off, before heading to Caim, where they will want to add to their points tally.
Man of the Match: The Referee. Clearly a man of extraordinary talent, he can take an unsafe surface of great concern, and in a five minute spell, have it just perfect for football, and with no long lasting effect for the home team who have sunk big money into their field. True genius!
Dec 30th 2012
More of the same for Utd's A Team at Curracloe yesterday. In a season that has been one big struggle so far, The Blues showed some good, some bad, and a couple of ugly moments, and once again came out the wrong side of a one goal game.
In very windy, but dry Curracloe, the game started fairly evenly, neither side showing huge quality on the ball, and frankly, the first 10 minutes or so were quite dull and uneventful. Damien Tobin saved comfortably from long range, before on 14 minutes a scramble from a Curracloe corner saw the home side awarded a penalty, for what looked a soft handball. This was duly dispatched and Utd, yet again, found themselves chasing early.
But not for long. Within 2 minutes, from their own corner, Darren Walsh swung in a great ball on the wind, and it was neatly headed home by Mick Rigley, scoring for the third game in a row. Utd were the better side for the remainder of the half, Mick Walsh causing problems down the left and bringing a save from the home keeper, and from another corner, the visitors were unlucky to see a goal bound effort deflect wide off their own man.
The home side in truth offered little but at half time it was 1-1.
Again, not for long. 23 seconds were on the clock when Utd fell behind, Curracloe getting on top of Damien Tobin, too easily. If this wasn't bad enough, within 2 more minutes, they were 3-1 down, again the result of some unusually weak defending.
Utd will normally roll their sleeves up and fight back, and through the half they did create and squander some very good chances, but for a fair portion of the half they seemed to wilt a little, constant battle taking it's toll on some. The home side were also getting plenty of sight of goal and but for Utd's keeper would have been out of sight.
To their credit, The Blues did raise their game toward the end and Mick Walsh grabbed a nice goal rounding the keeper with 2 left, but it was too little too late, and the home side saw it out comfortably enough.
The task does not get any easier for 2013, but with the New Year, hopefully we'll get our slice of luck, and even still a good run of results could bring reward. Utd get a break from the league next week, The Wexford Cup beginning, away to Wexford Celtic...
Man of the Match: Damien Tobin. Could do nothing with the goals, and yet still had a decent day making some fine saves to keep the game tight.
In a game played on a boggy pitch, water resting from the start, Utd's C Team once again gave a decent account of themselves but ultimately fell short against Caim Utd. The first half was fairly even, if a little short on quality, but Utd were well worth parity as they went in at the break at 1 goal apiece, Pa O'Sullivan scoring for the Blues.
The second half went back and forth, but in the end, despite two goals from Gary O'Rourke, the visiting side just fell short, coming away with no points, despite a big effort. The C team get a week off next week, before starting back in the new year looking for points to move up the table.
Yet another game that probably should not have been played, and yet the question needs to be asked of the League, is the concern for player welfare and maintaining pitches that clubs have sunk big money into less important than the match fee due some referees...
Man of the Match: Gary O'Rourke. Two more goals for the defender who pushed his team on, nearly to a valuable point.
Jan 6th 2013
Different Year, Different Competition, and for Utd, hopefully a different set of results in the second half of the season. First up were familiar opposition, Wexford Celtic, away in the Wexford Cup, Round 1.
Utd started quite brightly, a slight wind behind them in the first half. They were having some joy out wide, both Dean Ryan, and Fenwick O'Shea putting testing balls into the box, but the Celtic defence dealt well enough with them. Joe Kenny went on a great run through the middle, and his well struck low drive was only inches wide. Utd were on top, and when Mick Rigley slid Mick Walsh through, he might of done better, but just shot wide.
Utd got a let off when a ball was let bounce centrally and the home forward found himself in space , and onside, but he lifted the ball to high over Damien Tobin and the bar. On 20, the visiting side took a deserved lead. Mick Walsh got the ball deep and rode some heavy challenges to get free, where he drove the ball home.
Utd remained on top for the bulk of the half, but didn't add to their lead. The home side did little to trouble Damien Tobin in goal, but looked dangerous enough from the odd corner and set play, that The Blues would not be afforded any time to switch off.
Which is exactly what they did only a minute into the second half. Mick Walsh was fouled deep in Celtic territory, but nothing was given. The home side broke out to win a corner. This was played short, Utd leaving to much room and time to men on the edge, and a couple of passes later, the ball was driven low into the corner, and we were level.
Utd had quite a dodgy 10 minute spell. recent history of lost leads perhaps unsettling them, but they soon enough found their rhythm and again began to push. They were denied an absolute stone wall penalty when Mick Rigley was brought down in the box, a free out being awarded, and Barry Nolan was strangely booked for a dive, when he had completely fooled the full back and was taken down.
Mark Morrissey and Darren Walsh came on, and almost immediately linked up, Mark's cross bbeing met with a firm header by Darren, but well saved by the home keeper. John Fielding put Utd ahead with the calmest of finishes with 15 to go. Trevor Breen's deft chip through found John onside and in space. He controlled well, moved the ball once and rolled home past the keeper.
From the kick off, the ball was humped forward, on the ever strengthening wind, and headed clear by Aidan Canavan, only to be sweetly volleyed home from 30 yards, Damien Tobin having no chance in goal. It was never going anywhere but the top corner. A lead for all of 35 seconds.
The home side finished the stronger, or at least on the front foot. They used the wind and their physical strength to bombard Utd with high balls, which in general were well defended. The one chance fell on 90 minutes, a free header from close in being really well turned out by Damien in the Utd goal, saving his side, and bringing us to extra time.
Utd dominated the extra period, and took the lead for good on 95 minutes, Tony Kenny being brought down in the box, got up to calmly slot home the penalty, as he's done so often before. Utd saw out the game very comfortably, the home side being denied any way back for a third time.
Not perfect by any means, but a good performance, and welcome boost for the A team, who remain unbeaten in 2013....
Man of the match: Barry Nolan. Excellent display. As good as we've seen from Barry, who was physically strong, aggressive and creative, and always involved....
Jan 13th 2013
For the first half, this was a tight game. Utd always looking the more accomplished side, but having to come from behind.In the end, a good win with some decent play for Utd, and consecutive wins in any shape for the first time this season.
It was a particularly cold morning, and there was some doubt about the frozen pitch, but in the end we kicked off a few minutes late. Utd welcomed back captain John Whelan after a suspension, as he slotted back in to replace the injured Aidan Canavan. The Blues were immediately seeing the bulk of possession, but for the first 10 or so, nothing of note happened.
Mick Rigley woke the game upon 12 minutes, firing beautifully from 20 off the underside of the bar. Just a few minutes later, the home side were ahead however, when John Whelan was harshly adjudged to have fouled his man. The penalty was converted on rebound, by the original taker despite it coming back off the bar, giving the Town the lead.
They got behind the Utd defence again about a minute later, but Damien Tobin was alert and cut out a dangerous low ball. After that, the home side offered little, and Utd, in large, huffed and puffed without being spectacular. They got a deserved equaliser from their own penalty kick, Barry Nolan converting after a handball was blown. Half time arrived with the scores level.
Utd started the second half, down the hill much better, and continually were getting men in behind the Town defence. The lead eventually came after Mick Rigley, onside was beautifully found by Barry Nolans reverse ball, and he finished nicely over the advancing keeper.
Mark Morrisey made it 3-1 four minutes later, squeezing his shot through the otherwise excellent town keeper, after another lovely Utd break. The visitors were rampant now, and Mick Rigley s second, put the game away. From another quick break, Dean Ryan released Mick down the right edge, and from about 18 yards he drove clinically right into the corner, keeper with no chance.
Sloppiness saw Utd hand back some hope just two minutes later, when from no apparent danger, the Town forward was slotting the ball into an empty net. The home side had a god chance straight away, but the shot from 10 was hurried, and lifted over the bar.
Utd finally killed the game with just under 15 left, Mark Morrissey breaking down the left, and having great awarenes to slide across where Mick Walsh made no mistake, poking into the corner for the best goal of the game. Utd hadone other Mark Morrissey goal ruled out for a tough offside, but saw the game out comfortably enough. Another nice shot of confidence before the serious business of the league continues.
Man of the match: Mick Rigley. Two goals, and tireless work up front from Utd's front man. 2nd goal was a classic Rigley strike...
Cold and very mucky conditions were never going to make for an attractive game, and in the end, only the result would matter. Thankfully, Utd did enough throughout to earn a vital 3 points for their season.
Despite being well on top from the start, Utd found themselves behind after 15 minutes, and with work to do. They were creating chances however, and it was hoped that eventually, the break would come. Keith Casey got the all important equaliser, being released, and tidily lobbing the keeper.
Utd didn't sit back, and saw a few more chances wasted. The half time whistle came with Utd definitely the better side, but the score level at 1 apiece.
The visitors remained well on top in the second half, clearly looking like the side who would win the game. It wasn't until the 70th minute however, that they made their advantage count,when Mick Walsh, in a great run of form took the ball around the Ballindaggin keeper, and slotted home.
For the last 10, Utd sat a bit deeper, and where under pressure from the home side, but one disallowed goal aside, they held out well for a deserved victory, and an excellent start to 2013..
Man of the match : Joe Miller. Having a great season, whatever side he plays in. Solid all day, great tackling and passing.
A brilliant comeback saw Utd advance in the Gwyn Jones Cup yesterday. Utd were 3 nil, and a man down at halftime, after Willie O' Rourke was sent off early. They bounced back brilliantly after the break, with goals coming from Keith Casey 2, David Sullivan 2, and one each from Robert Doran and Noel Dwyer.
A terrific win, will hopefully give the C team confidence to push on, and take this goalscoring form into their league campaign..
Man of the match. David Sullivan. Always solid and steady, played a huge part in dragging his team back into the cup.
Feb 3rd 2013
Feb 10th 2013
Utd's A team met Ajax for the 3rd time this season last Sunday hoping for a change in fortune following to very late league defeats. The game was scheduled for Utd's pitch but as it was unplayable Utd made the short journey and played at the home of their local rivals.
And for 25 mins they may have wished they had just postponed. A poor start saw Utd fail to show any purpose or cohesion and they looked loose and sloppy all over the pitch. Ajax duly capitalised as a shot from 20 yards and a far post header put them two up and looking in complete control. However, as was the case in the last league game Utd suddenly found a lifeline when Mick Rigley scored at the second attempt having been set up by Barry Nolan.
Utd sparked into life, Barry Nolan headed just over, Mick Walsh shot wide and the team really got their teeth into the game. On 39 minutes the game was tied when Barry Nolans' cross was calmly finished by Pa Kearney. A half of two halves ended at 2-2.
Ajax had to replace their goalkeeper at half time and Utd started the second half on the front foot, Mick Walsh just failed to get on to Fenwick O'Sheas' through ball. Utd looked comfortable as the game settled into a quiet period where Ajax had some possession but were not creating anything when on the hour Fenwick O'Sheas' tackle in the area was punished with the award of a penalty. Fenwick felt he had got something on the ball, but it looked a penalty and this was duly converted to give the home side the lead.
Utd needed to raise themselves but were struggling to test Ajax's new keeper. A couple of corners were cleared but no real chances were being created. Darren Walsh and Mark Morrissey were replaced by Hacene Smyth and Dean Ryan with little over 20 to go as Utd looked to put some fresh energy into the team. Utd did start to dominate again and Hacene had two good shooting opportunities that failed to find the target before Mick Rigley pulled an effort wide from about 16 yards. At the other end, John Whelan made a great block on the edge of the area before Damien Tobin reacted well to turn a deflection of John Fielding round the post.
Into the last 5 and Utd pushed again. Another corner was scrambled clear before Utd forced a quick second. Barry Nolan's ball was challenged for by Pa Kearney and the Ajax keeper and bounced loose. An initial effort was blocked but John Whelan hooked home the rebound to make it 3-3. Utd's joy was cut short though as Pa Kearney had to leave the field with a head injury meaning Utd would play out the rest of the 90 and extra-time with 10 players.
And yet they could have won it with practically the last kick. Hacene Smyth was released on Utd's left and bore down on goal. His shot was inches wide of the far post and inches ahead of the onrushing Mick Rigley. Extra-time produced little of note as Ajax failed to make the extra man count and, on what was now a very heavy pitch, Utd dug in and held firm.
To penalties then. Ajax went first and at 4-4 Anthony Russell was the unfortunate player to miss leaving Mick Walsh to score the decisive penalty and send Utd to the quarter finals. Barry Nolan, Fenwick O'Shea, Mick Rigley and Hacene Smyth were the other penalty takers for Utd.
A good win then although Utd have played better. The spirit and character are strong though, and will be needed as Utd look to get away from trouble in the League.
Man of the Match: John Fielding. Settled after the team's poor start and really grew into the game. Moved to right back with Utd down to 10 and was as solid as ever.
In terrible conditions last Sunday, Utd's C team exited the Gwyn Jones Cup. Another example of a game that should not have been played saw Utd go down early as makeshift keeper Joe Murphy was beaten twice. Utd did have a chance to get back into the game but the usually reliable Gary O'Rourke missed his spot kick. Other chances were missed too and a further second half strike killed the game.
The games need to be played but surely starting a game, an hour late, on a pitch already in poor condition and then playing through heavy rain is neither sensible of fair to either side.
Man of the Match: Robert Doran. Has really come on over the last few months and worked tirelessly for his team here.
Feb 17th 2013
Feb 24th 2013
Utd's B team kept right in touch at the top after overcoming Gorey Celtic last Sunday afternoon. Gorey had settled quicker but once Utd hit their stride they controlled the game for long periods and eventually won comfortably.
Two first half goals did the damage. First, Glenn Fortunes' cross was headed home by a Gorey defender under no real pressure and 6 minutes later, Fenwick O'Sheas' nicely weighted through ball was finished by Glenn to put Utd 2 up.
The second half saw Utd keep Gorey at arms length without really threatening to score again. The longer the game went on the more frustrated Gorey got and there were some ugly challenges that went unpunished but Utd kept their discipline and saw the game out well.
Man of the Match: Joe Kenny. Rock solid at centre back and made sure Utd didn't offer any hope to Gorey all afternoon.
Game played at Neil O'Sullivan Park*
Early goals from Patrick O'Sullivan and James Redmond were enough to see a changed Utd gain revenge for last weeks loss to Bohs. Although Bohs pulled one back from the spot before half time Utd stayed strong in a tight second half and took the points.
James Sheridan went close with two headers from fine Keith Casey crosses as Utd looked to kill the game but as the game went on Bohs saw more of the ball and Utd fell a little deep. However, stout defending denied Bohs any clear openings and a couple of waved away penalty appeals were as much as they could offer as Utd held out for a much needed win.
Man of the Match: Thomas McCann. Steady and reliable as Utd saw off Bohs pressure in the second half.
Mar 3rd 2013
Mar 17th 2013
Mar 31st 2013
In the end, how could we be surprised. In a season where very little has gone right for Utd's A Team, it was surely to much to ask to salvage something from the Season in the Neil O'Sullivan Cup. A victory over Taghmon saw a very even semi final with Bridge Rovers on the horizon, but as has been the story all year, Utd failed to get it done.It was a game they should have won, and indeed, some would say they did win twice, only to throw it away on penalties.
A hard bobbling pitch, and a strong wind, that at times approached gale force didn't make it easy for good football, and in the spirit, neither side disappointed. It was a poor poor game, with little or no quality play on show.Effort was there, but precious little else. The first half saw little incident. The away side owned the first twenty minutes, but as the half wore on , Taghmon came into it more and more, and it was they had the one true first half chance, when a long ball caught Utd short. The Taghmon striker got around the back of the defence, but blazed over from a good angle. Even at the break.
Utd pushed again at the start of the second, and from a corner nine minutes in, John Whelan drove a bouncing ball high into the net from twelve yards, the home keeper just unable to keep it out.
The home side offered little but long direct stuff, and rarely threatened, save for the odd dangerous corner on the wind. With about 10 left, Darren Walsh brought a great low save from the home keeper, truly a game saver. Five minutes later, Taghmon were celebrating an equaliser the ball being bundled in from close range.
To extra time, and again the visitors took the lead. Darren Walsh made the best of a ricochet, before volleying home onthe wind from fully 45 yards. Could Utd hold out this time.. No. Mick Walsh went close to sealing it, his beautiful curled effort just clipping the bar, and with 2 minutes left, again in an unbelievably ugly scramble, Taghmon levelled.
The shootout went against the away side, as they easily can, but in truth , it should never have gone so far, and can really be counted as a bad loss. Huge disappointment for all the players, and understandably so, but they need to pull their finger out, and find some form. Four to go in the league, all winnable, but it's up to the players to win them.. Time to step up...
Man of the match : John Fielding.. Played a very disciplined role in front of the back four to great effect, and competed all day in the air and on the floor.
With this defeat, Utd's last remaining thoughts of promotion were probably extinguished.A squad stretched by injury and other fixtures competed well throughout, but a goal either side of the half was enough to give the home side all three points.
Utd were looking to avenge a cup exit only a few weeks ago and started ok, but once they went behind, they just lacked the quality to get it back level, and in pushing, were always open to another goal, which duly came and killed the blues off.
A big game at home for Utd next week, where they can show their true quality, and do damage to a Coolgreany side surely going up..
Little to play for in this fixture, perhaps some local bragging rights. Utd battled hard , butin the end,the better side edged it.Caim went ahead, before Utd, in their best spell equalised before half time, and went to the break probably feeling the better.But two goals in the second half, one quite late as Utd pushed saw the away side home. Utd should have enough points to be well safe, but would like to win their remaining fixtures, and finish well.
April 7th 2013
Utd's B Team's home campaign ended this morning with a hard fought draw against champions in waiting Coolgreany Celtic and with it went any faint hopes of promotion. Two away games remain, one against Crossabeg that could have a bearing on the title so Utd now need to finish the season in the proper manner.
On a hard and very bumpy pitch both sides struggled to pass the ball well but the game was very even and competitive all the way through as both sides defended well and chances were few and far between. The visitors started the game better and forced a few early corners, one of which resulted in a goal-line clearance from Dean Ryan. After 12 minutes Barry Byrne in Utd's goal produced a good tip over to deny Coolgreaney the lead. As the half wore on Utd came into the game themselves and on 18 Willie O'Sullivan was very unlucky to see his attempted lob just go over after Coolgreanys' keeper had come to clear. Utd forced a number of corners and themselves had a goalbound effort cleared before Brian Nolans' great cross from a quick free kick was headed just over by Darren Walsh. For the most part though, the game was a tight midfield battle and we duly reached half-time scoreless.
The second half was a very similar affair. Barry Byrne produced another good save and Coolgreany missed a really good chance after an hour when having got round the back of Utd's defence a good square ball was carelessly hooked wide from around 12 yards with the goal gaping. Utd themselves had spells of pressure and Darren Walsh forced a good save with his header from 8 yards. Aidan Canavan, Willie O'Sullivan, Brian Nolan and Mick Rigley all produced long range efforts on target that were dealt with by the away keeper as the visitors continued to defend strongly and Utd struggled to open them up. Utd themselves stuck to their defensive task well and as the game progressed a goal looked more and more unlikely.
So it proved, the scoreline a fair reflection of the game. Coolgreany look a strong, solid outfit and will surely win the Division. Good luck to them. For Utd, things have petered out a bit but no game is meaningless, and the two remaining fixtures need to be approached with the right attitude.
Man of the Match: John Fielding. In a game dominated by defences, John never put a foot wrong in a really solid display against quick, physical Coolgreany attackers.
April 10th 2013
April 14th 2013
April 21st 2013
Utd's C Team finished their home campaign last Sunday with a well earned point against promoted Rosslare Port. On the first really spring like morning we have had the team recovered 3 times from being behind and having a man less for the majority of the game.
Utd started the game well and after two minutes should have been in front but James Hutchisons low ball across the six yard box went begging. From their first foray into Utd's half Rosslare took the lead. A free kick caused panic at the back and the resulting scramble saw Brian Nolan block a goalbound shot on the line with his hands. Brian was duly red carded and the penalty converted to leave Utd a goal and a man down after 7 minutes.
However, Utd responded well. Mick Walsh shot over having been put through and James Hutchison just failed to reach Noel Dwyers' through ball. James Sheridan also forced a save as Utd were pressing hard. After 23 mins they were rewarded when James Hutchison drilled home from the edge of the box after being set up by James Sheridan. Despite being on top Utd contrived to go in 2-1 down as some loose marking was punished just before the break.
Into the 2nd half and still Utd came. Mick Walsh again failed to beat the keeper when clean through before Gary O'Rourkes' dangerous free kick found it's way in, possibly with help from James Sheridan. Utd were well on top now and looked likely winners. With 30 to go the visitors were reduced to 10 themselves and Utd continued to press. Hasane Smyths' lovely curling effort came back off the post, Aidan Canavan had a decent shot blocked and a number of goalmouth scrambles were survived before Rosslare again took the lead with 6 to go. A long throw wasn't dealt with and the ball was forced home from 2 yards to leave Utd staring at what would have been a totally undeserved defeat.
Utd roused themselves again and having forced a couple of corners got a break when a defenders challenge was deemed clumsy enough to award a penalty with 2 to go. Gary O'Rourke scored from the spot to tie the game again. Utd finished on the front foot with Rosslare defending deep in their own area as the ref blew for time. A decent performance to finish at home on, one to go for the C Team, a trip to Corach next Sunday.
Man of the Match: Noel Dwyer. Had a really good game at right back after Utd went down to 10. Defended well, used the ball well and never stopped running for his team.