Week 1: 1st September 2013
A really horrible start to Utd's new Season in Division 2. From pretty much the first minute, the home side were on top, and Utd were just glad of the half time whistle, as they went in 5-1 down.
There was no respite in the second half, with more goals being shipped, and in the end , Utd came away with a pretty grim 8-2 defeat.. Things can only get better from here, no?
Utd's B team battled hard, got markedly better as the game wore on, and could find plenty to be encouraged by, but in the end, were beaten 2-0 away to Castledockrell this morning.
In a game of few chances, Utd were holding out the home side quite well,the defense well marshalled by Paul O'Reilly and Martin Farrell, until some loose play on 34 minutes saw Castledockrell go ahead, a shot from the edge of the area sneaking into the corner. Utd had looked solid, but had shown no real attacking threat, despite the hard work of James Sheridan and David Sullivan up front.
Oisin Murphy was introduced on the hour, and Utd started to show some more intent, but when a ball that should have been cleared was turned in , Utd were 2 down and struggling. A re jig of the team shape saw the blues become a much greater threat, and for the final 30 minutes, they really pressed the home side.
Dessy Kenny had one effort saved , and shot just over, and James Sheridan had a great chance with a header from David Sullivan's cross, but the Castledockrell keeper saved.
The result in the end was a little harsh on the visitors, but hopefully they'll take note of areas to improve, and take encouragement from a very good last half hour.. Home next week to Camolin.
Man of the match: David Sullivan. Worked really hard up and back on scraps in the first half, and became a real threat out wide in the second.
Week 2: 8th September 2013
Utd's A Team showed great spirit and character to bounce back from last weeks' disappointment at Gorey Celtic. Barry Nolan's well worked goal on the hour gave Utd the 3 points that overall their performance deserved.
Utd started the game very well, moving the ball quickly and accurately through their midfield and retaining possession well. Barry Nolan was busy and Mick Walshs' direct running was causing problems. A couple of early corners came to nothing but just as it looked like the game was getting scrappy Utd had their best period of the half. Mick Walsh was released down the left hand side of the area and turned back inside to open things up for himself. Unfortunately, his shot beat the keeper but came back off the inside of the post. Twice in the following few minutes Aidan Canavan went close with headers and Barry Nolan put a beautiful ball across the six yard box but Utd couldn't get the breakthrough.
At the other end Stoney were being kept quiet. Utd's work rate and discipline were good and the back four and goalkeeper were very solid, Pa Redmond and Tony Kenny in the centre of the four being particularly good. 0-0 at half time but plenty of encouragement for the home side.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were untidy and Stoney pushed Utd back without threatening and due in part to Utd giving possession away too cheaply and too often. However Utd picked up again and after Mick Walsh's good cross had eluded everyone the goal came. The ball was worked from Brendan Kearney to John Fielding and into midfield with James Redmond. James drifted inside and played a lovely ball through to Barry Nolan on the right of the 18 yard box. Barry angled his run goalward and from about 12 yards drove powerfully past the keeper at his near post.
Utd continued to hold the upper hand without creating many clear cut chances and were also understandably protective of the lead. It was only in the last few minutes Stoney caused alarm but Utd held firm for a well earned win. A really good response to the previous week and all credit to the players and management. A number of players may have felt they had something to prove and they stood up, no more can be asked of them. The aim now has to be to retain that mindset and build into the season.
Man of the Match: A number of very good performers - Pa Redmond, Aidan Canavan, Barry Nolan among them but Tony Kenny was excellent in a sweeping role. Read the game beautifully, organised, defended really well when needed and used the ball calmly when he had the time.
Utd's B Team completed a home double with a 3-2 win over a decent Camolin side. An early goal from James Sheridan was cancelled out 8 minutes later and Camolin possibly had the upper hand to half time. However a Keith Casey free kick and a well worked move finished by Dylan Groarke put Utd 3-1 up and in control in the second half. To their credit Camolin kept playing although it took what looked to be a clearly offside goal 6 minutes from time to make it 3-2 and ensure a tight finish. Utd saw the game out though and following a very good last half hour against Castledockrell, will be delighted to get their campaign moving.
Man of the Match: Thomas McCann. Started in midfield and moved back to centre half when Joe Murphy went off injured in the first half. Never put a foot wrong in either position.
Week 3: 15th September 2013
Utd were looking to back up
last weeks hard earned win against Stoney Rovers with another good performance,
and earn three valuable away points. With the assistance of a strong wind it
started so well for the visitors. David Franklin put Utd ahead, and from
further pressure, Utd captain Aidan Canavan doubled the Blues lead, and
they held firm, going to the break two goals up.
Now playing with the wind, the
home side came right back into the game, and they started to make there
pressure tell. Utd leaked a couple of goals , and were further hampered by the
sending off of Fenwick O'Shea.
At two all with only a few
minutes left, the visitors would have taken a point , but a late consolation
saw all Utd's good work undone, and once again, no points away from home..
Back to it in the Leinster
Junior next week, wher Utd will hope to return to winning ways against Lucan
Like the A Team, Utd's B team
were trying to build off a good result and performance last week, and string
together wins, but it would be a difficult task against a decent Rosbercon
Their task was made harder on 9
minutes when a penalty was awarded against NOel Dwyer for handball as he
charged down a shot. The home side took advantaging of a really shocking
looking decision to go 1 up.
The Blues responded well, and
without having huge threat, had much the better of the first half. With 5
minutes left, Joe Miller broke on goal from the left, but had his shot saved.
The ball broke nicely for Jim Sheridan, who would have wished to do better, his
shot slicing wide left.. 1 down at half time.
All to play for was the message
at half time. 40 seconds later, Utd became doubly difficult when a home striker
was left free to steer in from a corner and put Utd 2 down. The visitors
continued to push away, controlling the game for long spells without ever
having the end product to hurt Rosbercon, who were content with their lead.
It was further extended on the
hour, along range strike going in on the wind, and despite Noel Dwyer's goal on
74 minutes, the game had drifted away from the blues. A fourth home goal was
added, but it had little impact, the result being known at that stage.
For Utd, some good
performances, and a very harsh scoreline, but a highlight that they need more
Man of the match : Noel
Dwyer. Excellent at the back, had a ludicrous penalty awarded against him but
kept trying, and was rewarded with Utd's goal.
Week 4, 22nd September 2013
The Leinster Junior Cup brought Dublin side Lucan United to Neil O'Sullivan Park on Sunday, with the home side looking to bounce back from last weeks disappointing defeat.
With the pitch looking perfect, and the sun shining both sides opened the game cagily, and there was little in it in the first 15. Utd were looking to get the ball wide quickly to Mick Walsh and Hacene Smyth, and get round the back, and Lucan looking to get their foot on the ball and move it low.
After 15, Utd started to get on top physically, and this saw them start to press the Dublin side back. From a beautifully delivered free kick by Fenwick O'Shea, Barry Nolan saw a good chance from 10 yards just clear the bar. Utd kept pressing, and from a corner on 20, Aidan Canavans header was blocked , but fell beautifully to Ger Lynch, who drove home high through the crowd, giving the home side the lead.
Ten minutes later it was doubled. Mick Walsh was fouled when twisting and turning in the box, and Barry Nolan stepped up, making no mistake as he slid home his penalty. There was little alarm for the home side , the defence looking calm, and Brendan kearney in the goal relatively unworked, and at halftime, utd were good value for their 2 nil lead.
The second half played out somewhat differently. Perhaps as a result of losing a similar lead last week, Utd dropped deeper almost immediately, and the away side were able to get on the ball much more. Joe Kenny and Ger Lynch were getting through mountains of defensive work, an the defence was looking very strong, but as an attacking threat, Utd had disappeared.
Brendan Kearney was forced into a really great save, when he got a finger on a long range shot and touched it on to the post, and on 70 minutes, a free kick squirmed through the wall, and deflected past Utd's keeper, giving them an edgy finish.
Again, the defence held up well, and there were few real scares, but Utd would have liked a more comfortable end to the game. Ax it was , they edged out a 2-1 win, and progress to the next round.
Man of the Match : Thomas McCann.. Came into the side to give an excellent display, strong, and always in the right position. Part of an overall solid defensive unit..
Week 5 29th September 2013
Week 7, October 6th 2013
Another tough Sunday for Utd 's A team, as they continue to look for consistency early in this Division 2 season. Utd had the better of these teams when they met in Division 1 last year, and with both sides looking to climb again, it would be a decent indicator of form and ambition.
The home side started ok, and were busy, but without a huge amount of quality on the ball, they were not impacting much on the Bunclody defence. On 25 minutes however, the visitor's took the lead, probably against the run of play. A breakdown along Utd's left saw the visitor's get way to much room from deep in their half, and they pushed forward in space, before working the ball right to left, finding John Breen in way too much room, from where he calmly slotted home, giving Brendan Kearney no chance.
Utd's expected push back never came, and Bunclody looked happy to get the the break with lead in tact.They were doubly delighted when on 45 minutes, they again got in down their right, and made it 2 nil...
Utd had a lot of possession in the second half, but were struggling to create much, and barry Nolan's effort aside, looked a beaten team.. The away side were content to sit in, and try pick off another on the break, and came close on a few occasions.
The home side broke through on 84, when Pat Redmond forced a penalty through hand ball, and Barry Nolan drove home, but in truth they didn't greatly threaten an equaliser and on the balance, possibly didn't deserve one.. Plenty to be done for the A team, but there is lot's of games. Nxt week against Thomastown is a good place to start..
Man of the match..Barry Nolan : Full of effort from minute one, at times looked like UTd's only source of quality, and justly rewarded from the spot
The second game of the day was again versus Bunclody, Utd's B team looking to get a better result then in the morning match.
The first half of the game was very open, and free flowing, the ball moving quickly from back to front for both sides. utd got behind the defence a couple of times, but good defending , or poor touch saw them stay level. At their own end, Brian Nolan made one outstanding block of a goal bound shot, but other than that, for all the hard work on show, both sides went to the break level, and that seemed about right.
For the first 15 of the second half, Utd got some momentum, and pressed their opponent back. Oisin Murphy went close with a header from a terrific Hacene Smyth cross before , on 57 minutes, they went ahead. From Oisin Murphy's corner, James Sheridan rose high to power home a header, and give his side a deserved lead.
From here on, it was a real backs to the wall effort for the blues, as they dropped deeper and deeper. The defensive unit were well organised but not getting much relief, as Utd lost the ability to maintain any meaningful possession Andre Lopes was starting to be called into action, mainly from long range, or crosses, but he was found to be rock solid.
With 15 to go, Joe Miller was harshly penalised for pushing in the box, and a gift was awarded to Bunclody. Not so however, as again Andre Lopes stood up well, and saved brilliantly from the penalty, preserving the lead.
Utd never got it under complete control, and saw out the game on the back foot, but the effort from 1 to 11 was excellent, and they just about deserved their win. Stand out performances from Brian Nolan and Oisin Murphy, but in the end, there could be only one man of the match.
Man of the match : Andre Lopes. Excellent all day in goal, dealt well with a lot of crosses, and made three or four crucial saves, none more important than the penalty...
Week 8, October 13th, 2013
What can you say about this one. In the end Utd were thoroughly well beaten by a decent Thomastown side. The home side did some good things, and for a while the game was pretty even but individual mistakes, and a worrying lack of unity amongst the players, is costing the Blues dearly.
Time to regroup, re focus and try get some confidence and team spirt back and results will surely follow. Plenty left in this young season..
Utd travelled a fair way to Drogheda to play this Leinster Junior Shield match, and it was never just to make up the numbers. Whilst they did way more than just that, a worrying trend is developing away from home for the B side..
Utd started brightly and despite a bobbling pitch were passing the ball around nicely, and dominated the opening fifteen. It was therefore really irritating that they went behind to a speculative long rang effort on 17, way to much room being allowed for the Drogheda man to shoot.
Utd kept playing, and again were in almost complete possession, but Bob Dorans high shot aside, hardly threatened the home goal. With pretty much their second break, an nice ball to the back post was headed past Andre Lopes and Utd were 2 down at half time.
More of the same after half time. All the possession in the world, very little real threat. David Franklin did bring a really good save out of the keeper from long range, but as the game wore on, it looked more likely that Dynamo would grab another on the break. This they did with 5 left, the game petering out at 3-0...
Man of the match : Joe Miller. Excellent at centre back, won his share in the air, and strong all day. Like the rest, kept trying for the full 90.