Week 1, Sunday, August 31st
A new season, a lot of new players and certainly new optimism was evident in Neil O'Sullivan park this morning, as Utd started the season with an excellent win at home to Ferns. It took a while, with the first half proving a cagey affair, little in the way of chances for either side. From about the 20 minute mark however, Utd definitely started to get on top.
The second half saw The Blues really take on the game. They'd been building pressure, and Ferns were seeing less and less threat. On the hour mark, after a corner was initially cleared, the ball was lofted back into the area, and looked to be drifting wide. Gareth Larkin, Utd's new captain stuck out a leg, and nicely steered the ball home through the keepers legs.
Utd pushed on again. Some changes saw Mick Rigley and Keith Casey introduced, and they combined for a lovely second goal. Mick Rigley picked up the ball from Fenwick O'Shea just inside the Ferns half, and released Keith Casey with a good ball down the left line. Keith looked up, and after only a brief touch whipped a great ball into the box, near post, 12 yards out, from where Aidan Canavan beautifully controlled a volley with the outside of his boot, the keeper given no chance.
From here the game petered out, Utd looking very solid at the back, but not pushing too much. In added time, Barry Nolan got reward for a dogged display, when he stuck with what seemed a lost cause, bumbled through a challenge and poked home.
Three nil was a great result for Utd, and overall they were very worthy winners. A great start, but only that , a start. Onward to Forth next week where they'll hope to build on a promising show..,
Man of the match :Liam Keating. Really solid from minute one at right back. Joined the play well and was always very tidy.First things first, excellent defensively..
A hard earned point was Utd's B Team s reward from a game that went back and forth all afternoon, both sides having spells in control, and so probably just about the right result, but given that Utd gave up a very late goal, they'll still see this as two points dropped.
It couldn't have started worse for The Blues, when in only the second minute, a Rosbercon corner took two deflections before settling in the home teams net.Rocked, Utd were shaky for a minute or two, before resettling. From a goal kick, Joe Miller got a touch on, and David Franklin broke in on goal, taking his time and calmly slotting home to level the score.
Five minutes later, Utd went in front, when captain, Martin Farell sent a great long free kick toward the back post, Darren Walsh rising alone to nod in. Utd had their best spell for the next twenty, their defence tightening up, and getting behind the visitors but not adding to their tally. They were warned just before the half, when Eddie Ryan, back after two years, did brilliantly to claw out a shot destined for the left corner.
Early in the second half, Utd suffered a blow, when the very influential Darren Walsh went off injured. Utd regrouped ok, but started to drop deeper and deeper, and Rosbercon were in real control. Eddie Ryan again saved his side, brilliantly saving a free kick.
Utd were still looking capable with the odd break, but just lacked a little composure at the right times, although they did have what looked a good goal ruled out.One really good chance went a begging, and almost instantly, Utd were punished, giving up a slightly soft goal to the visitors.
The Blues keeper still had one more bit of work, and he did well to turn away a heavily deflected shot to preserve a point. Overall, a solid start, some promise shown, but lots more to come from this side. Moyne Rangers at home next week will give them their first chance this season to shine in a derby.
Man of the match : Eddie Ryan. Good command of his area, kicked well, and made at least 3 superb saves to help his team. Will always want the goals back, but overall a fine performance
Week 2, Sunday, September 7th
Utd's A team paid the price for a very sluggish first half down in Forth Celtic this afternoon. Hoping to build on a solid start against Ferns last week Utd were sloppy and listless for much of the first 45 today and despite a much better second half - that probably was worth a point - Utd will feel frustrated and disappointed with themselves.
From the outset Utd didn't get moving and Forth were looking to use the wide areas of a big pitch to good effect and get behind Utd's back four. Tom Murphy made a very good block and a couple of good situations were passed up before Utd started to get into the game. Ger Molloy put a great ball across the six yard box but there was no one close enough to capitalise before Ger himself was inches away from getting a touch on Kyle Foley's low cross. That was about it for Utd though as they struggled with their game and Forth always looked lively. On 33 minutes they again worked their way behind Utd's defence - despite offfside appeals - and capitalised as a low cut back was controlled and slotted beyond Tom in the Utd goal.
A response was needed - and to be fair to the team - Utd dominated the 2nd half. Much more energy and movement allowed Utd to pass their way through Forth Celtic and really pin them back. Utd forced multiple corners but didn't create the clear cut openings they would have liked as Forth stood firm. From a rare breakout an og put forth 2 up with 20 to go and Utd had it all to do.
And they did try. Mick Rigley forced a fine save from Forth's keeper, with the help of the crossbar. Garret Larkin headed over from a corner and Martin Walsh headed straight into the keeper's arms from Barry Nolan's chip. A couple of decent shooting opportunities were also missed as Utd continued to pass and play their football and force more corners and pressure. Finally, in the 89th minute Martin Walsh stabbed home from 6 yards after yet another corner but the added 4 minutes wouldn't bring the equaliser despite a couple of scrambles and a good penalty shout when Ger Molly was barrelled through very clumsily near the by line.
Did Utd deserve something from the game - probably yes. Not the end of the world and some good things in the second half. But, the lesson needs to be learned. No matter the level or opposition the attitude and mindset need to be right from minute one. Passing game or long ball, none of it matters if the hard work isn't done off the ball - in or out of possession - for the whole game.
Man of the Match: Martin Walsh. Started in midfield but moved up front in the second half. Grabbed the goal that gave a little hope and showed good movement and link play as Utd pushed to get back into the game.
No buses were parked in the morning game at Neil O'Sullivan between Utd and Moyne Rangers. In an open, entertaining, and high scoring encounter, it was the home side who edged out ahead.
The start was very even, with both sides looking dangerous in the final third. On thirteen minutes, Moyne went ahead after some good play, but from a defensive standpoint, to much room being allowed. A resulting low shot to the left corner beat Andre Lopes in the home goal.
Scarcely two minutes later, Utd leveled. A free kick was sent into the visitor's box, and although punched out by the Moyne keeper, Robert Doran was alert to loft a header back into the empty goal.
The back and forth would continue through the half. On the half hour, a desperate scramble in the home box saw the ball eventually squirt in, when in reality, The Blues had several chances to clear their lines. Back came the home side again though, and from yet another free kick, Pa Redmond prodded home after some messiness in the visitors box.
Just before half time , Utd went decisively ahead, Martin Farrell sending a long free kick forward, and it eluded everyone to settle in the net..3-2 at halftime..
The goals continued to flow in the second half.. First, Utd opened clear daylight when Dylan Groarke tidily finished after some good work by Darren Walsh down the left. But within a minute, the lead was halved as The Moyne were given time and room, and the ball found it's way home.It was up and down from here, an it seemed the next goal would be key.
From a free kick, Robert Doran notched his second, another nicely guided header into an unguarded net after some ping pong in the box.This goal seemed to take some of the air from the away team, and a little more awareness could have seen Utd extend further, but they seemed to have finally tightened things at the back.
However, on 71, the away side were given a lifeline, with what seemed a harsh award of a penalty given for the home defender turning his man. It looked from my point that he'd purely been stronger and won the ball, but the decision was made..
Before the spot kick could be taken, Utd were down to 10 men, after protests were deemed excessive. Eventually, the kick was taken, and the game had life again. For the remaining 20, Utd narrowed in, James Redmond, Robert Doran and Darren Walsh all dropping deeper, and with Martin Farrell organizing, overall they kept the away side at arms lengt, speculative shots being the main fayre.
There was still time for the home side to blow a great two on one, and the away side to hit the bar, with the help of Andre Lopes touch. Utd saw out the final minutes as far away from there goal as is possible, and with the whistle, registered their first 3 point haul of the season, and just about deserved it.
Man of the match : Robert Doran. From centre back last week, to centre forward this week, finishing today s game again in a defensive role, Bobs two goals and all around work for his team were a huge part of todays win.
Week 3, Sunday, September 14th
An overall poor performance this morning saw Utd drop their second game in a row early in this new season. Not disaster, but this side need to find some form, and impose themselves much more on their opposition.
A generally scrappy, but even first half saw the sides level at 1 goal apiece. Ger Molloy did well to get on the end of a long ball after some indecision in the visiting defence, sliding home to level three minutes after Moyne Rangers had gone in front. Aidan Canavan had a good chance just before half time, but his header went straight at the keeper. Other than that, not to much memorable football was played.
Utd went desperately close two minutes into the 2nd half, with both Garret Larkin and Martin Walsh just failing to connect from a corner. They were punished only a few minutes later when the defence were caught high, and the visitors got behind them and finished well.
Utd huffed and puffed, but in truth with little quality, and if anything looked like they could be further punished on the break. From a long ball, Mick Rigley did glance a header on target, but the keeper saved well. Threat turned real with five left as Moyne broke out, and killed the game.
Lots of work to do for the home side, thankfully they've lots of time to get going and show they are much better than todays performance.
Man of the Match : Barry Nolan. Worked tirelessly up and down the field, for in the end, very little reward
Utd's B team continued their solid start to the season with another 3 points but in truth this game is best quickly forgotten. Rosslare Rangers turned up short of manpower and Utd seemed to be adversely affected by this as for the first half hour they really struggled to dominate the game as they should have. Yes, the crossbar was struck early on and a couple of other goalbound efforts were blocked but Rosslare had a couple of half chances and Utd really didn't use their extra men well enough.
On the half hour Utd did break the deadlock when Tom Murphy stole in to turn home a corner and certainly Utd settled a bit after that. A nicely guided header from Mohammed Rauf and David Franklins' deflected shot finished the contest after 55 mins as Rosslare's 9 men - who put in a fair effort - really tired. Utd might have had more as they completely dominated but a strange game was summed up with what looked a very soft penalty for the visitors to make it 3-1 before the game finished.
7 points from 9 is a nice start but Utd need to forget today and keep their focus on what will surely be tougher tests ahead.
Man of the Match: Mohammed Rauf Some nice touches and looked lively all game. Took his goal really well to kill the game.
Week 4, Sunday, September 21st
A third defeat in a row for Utd's A Team yesterday highlighted just how much a part confidence plays in the game. In large part, Utd looked tentative and nervous with the ball, and their most basic passing was really poor at times. The home side on the other hand have started well, and although young, moved the ball around well, and all looked to be involved.
So how do Utd find their confidence?
The good points were mainly in defence, which worked very hard throughout, making some key blocks and interceptions, Pa Kearney especially to the fore in this area. When Gorey did get behind the back four, Dylan Cloke was excellent in The Blues goal. He could do nothing with the first goal, a shot smashed in from close range, but just five minutes later, made a superb one on one save to keep his team in it.
This form kept up in the second when he looked solid under the high ball, and again made a great save from a header going in just under the bar. The winner was unfortunate, a good stop just bouncing the way of the home side.
Mick Rigley worked hard up front, with very little service in the first half. He did well to get away in the second, bundling through a Gorey challenge [nutmeg as Mick sees it] to get to the byline and cut back for Ger Molloy, who rolled home nicely..
The bad points were that the passing of the whole side at times, and general ball retention were very poor throughout the game. Without the ball, you can't , and Utd didn't, really ever look like hurting the home team. The defenders were good but no defence can withstand just endless probing, and no respite.
They can do better, I believe they will do better, but it's got to start soon, or this season could be a long grind for the boys in blue...
Man of the match: Dylan Cloke.. Excellent in a losing cause, and without him, the game could have gotten away very early
Early mistakes cost Utd's B Team yesterday afternoon, as they lost their first game this season, away at Courtown. A penalty conceded early was bad enough, but Utd were then caught in possession bringing the ball out from the back, and were punished again. 2 down at halftime against a side who hadn't dropped a point yet.
Joe Kenny and James Hutchinson made their season debuts early in the second half, and Utd started to take a real grip on the game. Utd made several good chances, but couldn't find a goal to get them moving. On 70, Pa Redmond was introduced, and just 3 minutes later he had scored, as Utd went with 3 at the back searching for a way out.
On 79, Pa then won a penalty. Martin Farrell stepped up, but saw his kick saved by the home keeper. Unfortunately, Martins first penalty miss in 12 years with the club, a stellar record...
Utd were now totally on top, but couldn't find a goal. Right on time, Darren Walsh's corner was headed goalward by Pa Redmond, but hit first defender, and then the bar before going out for another corner. Unfortunately, the ref blew the game up..
No shame for The Blues, a tough loss, but lots of positives. Just a few lapses to cut out and this team will go well. What better place to start than away at the Town, next Sunday.
Man of the match : Pa Redmond... Only a brief appearance,but caused havoc when he came on , with a goal, a penalty won, and difficult to handle right to the end
Week 5, Sunday, September 28th
Utd went to Ferns on Sunday morning on the back of three successive defeats, knowing that they really needed a repeat of their home fixture against the same opposition on day 1 to reignite their season. Despite some hairy moments, a game they largely controlled brought 4 goals and a welcome 3 points.
Utd took the game on straight away, and after only 4 minutes , the Ferns keeper made a fine save from Keith Casey, who was seeing a lot of the ball. The visitors kept pushing, and from a beautiful lob by Ger Molloy on thirteen minutes, they took a deserved lead.
The home side were yet to really trouble the blues, and Mick Rigley brought another save from the keeper, before seeing his goal on 27 ruled out for offside.Right until halftime the visitors stayed on top, and just on half time, they had a strong penalty appeal turned down. I nil at the break.
Just two minutes into the second half, Utd doubled their lead when Mick Rigley, scored from a Barry Nolan Corner.No time for complacency though, and but two minutes later , Garrett Larkin prevented a certain goal with a brilliant last ditch tackle.
Halfway through the second half, the home side did score, and put the blues right back on edge, but just 3 minutes later, Ger Molloy got his second goal, enough to kill the game??
Bob Doran came off the bench to rattle the bar before Ferns struck again, giving the visitors an anxious finish, but Barry Nolan closed out the game for good, making it 4-2 with time nearly done.
An excellent, and much needed win for Utd's A Team, and hopefully they can carry on next week against Corach.
Man of the match : Ger Molloy. his two goals made a huge impact on the game, and helped his side to a much needed win.
No better way for Utd to bounce back from last weeks defeat, than with a derby across the town, and bounce back they did, with a fine and dogged performance yielding an excellent 2-0 win..
Utd again had plenty of choice with players, and the team fielded means they have used 32 players in the five games so far.For the first half hour, there was nothing in the game, it being a tight and hard fought affair. Aaron Kirwan was carried off after what seemed a slightly wild challenge, but neither a foul was blown, or any card shown.
Pa Redmond reverted to centre back, with David Franklin coming on up top, and Utd started to take control. Just before half time, Joe Miller gave the visitors a deserved lead, that they would take to the break
Utd started the second half on top , and David Franklin went close, but they could not extend their lead.Utd then spent a good 25 minutes under severe pressure, with Tom Murphy in goal making two excellent saves.
With The Town getting desperate, and tired, Utd started to break out, and even control the last 15, and with 5 left, David Franklin doubled their lead, heading in Brian Nolans curling ball, and sealing a big win..
Some excellent performances from Martin Farrell at the back and Joe Miller contributed greatly to the win but they were just eclipsed by
Man of the match : James Redmond. Excellent in the centre of the field, worked hard all day for his team
Week 6, Sunday, October 5th
After the boost from last weeks win at Ferns, Utd's A Team wanted to carry on progressing, this week at home to high flying Corach. Whilst not always pretty, in the end they dug out a very good point, and will look to continue to improve at New Ross next week.
Utd started the game quite brightly, moving it around on the beautifully green , and slightly wet pitch, and looking to get after the visitors. They got early reward. Fenwick O'Shea released Dylan Groarke on the left, and his angled ball to the back post for Ger Molloy was turned home by the stretching Corach centre back on seven minutes.
For the next twenty, the game remained pretty even, with both teams trying to break down stubborn defences. Utd were having some joy out wide, and a couple of dangerous crosses were not rewarded. They had a big shout for a penalty when Barry Nolan was clearly impeded in the box, but he maybe paid for staying on his feet, and justice was definitely not done. Dylan Cloke in the Utd goal was pressed into action only the once, but he had to be very sharp to pull off a fine double save .
The last ten of the half saw Utd drift out of the game. They were dropping deeper, and Corach started to dominate the ball. They hadn't really troubled the home defence, except with a couple of long diagonal balls. Just before halftime, from one of these, Corach rattled the Utd bar with a fierce strike, but Utd's luck held, and they got to half time ahead.
The second half saw familiar patterns emerge, as Utd's midfield started to drift out of the game, and the visiting team enjoyed way too much possession. That said, the back four held very firm, and Corach were limited to long range shots and set piece pressure in general.
Eventually though, the weight of possession and pressure told on seventy minutes, when a straight ball was allowed into Utd's box and the striker slotted nicely under the onrushing Utd keeper to level.
From here to the end of the game, Utd re awakened, and started to regain someball and press the other side. Barry Nolan headed just wide from a Fenwick O'Shea free kick, and a late long distance effort was well smothered by the Corach keeper, several blues awaiting a rebound.
A very tidy point against a tough team, and two games unbeaten for Utd, but then, we were at home, and ahead, so still some work to do. Plenty to be positive about as we head to New Ross next week knowing there's still a lot more to come from this side...
Man of the match : Liam Keating. Solid at the back, and looked to get forward and help his team. Put in some good crosses and a big effort.
Utd's B team continued their strong start to the season with a narrow 1-0 victory over high flying Gorey Celtic yesterday afternoon. If ever a victory was built on determination this was it as Utd withstood relentless 2nd half pressure to take all the points.
As with the A team Utd started the game well and were looking to get in behind Gorey down both sides. Some decent build up foundered on solid defensive work from the visitors, while defensively Utd kept a previously free scoring Gorey side on a very tight rein. As would be expected between two in form sides, the game was tight but Utd broke through in thde 17th minute. again the ball was worked down Utd's right looking to get Jore Millar away. The final pass was slightly over-hit but as Joe chased it down. Gorey's goalkeeper completely mishit his attempted clearance from just outside his area. The ball landed at Joe's feet and he showed good composure to control it and make sure he got his shot on target as both goalkeeper and covering defenders tried to clear. The goal settled Utd and while clear chances were few Utd remained in reasonable control to take their lead into the break.
The second half saw Gorey pile on the pressure but this was as much down to Utd as it was the visitors upping their game. As with the A team, Utd started falling far too deep and as a result really struggled to keep the ball, This coupled with giving away numerous free kicks kept Utd pinned back for long periods. To their credit though, the team knuckled down and remained calm and organised.
Utd's back four were really disciplined and concentrated and there were no real chances for the visitors until the last few minutes when James Hutchison made a fantastic goal line clearance after a striker slipped through, and Gorey went close with a header from a free kick that went over, and right at the death yet another free kick was glanced inches wide. Utd could also have added in this period as Thomas Sullivan forced a save from 20 yards and was then denied a clear sight of goal by a really good last ditch tackle.
A great result for the team, Gorey are a big, physical side who had been scoring at will but Utd largely shut them down and really dug deep to keep their lead once in front.
Man of the Match: James Hutchison. Plenty of strong,committed performances but James really had a great game. Never lost a ball in the air and made his tackles on the floor. Topped it off with his goal line heroics and was a real driving force for the team.
Week 7, Sunday, October 12th
Another point for Utd's A Team this week, again earned in a tough away fixture , at New Ross Celtic. A much changed Utd lineup took the lead in the first half through Bob Doran, his first goal for the A team, but could not see the game out, although a point was a fair enough result.
Utd maybe had the better of it, and could have won, but can take satisfaction from 3 games unbeaten, and if they can just add a couple of goals could easily turn the draws into wins and climb the table. No better place to start than at home to Rathnure United next Sunday.
Utd's high flying B Team kept up their excellent form since the season began, and comfortably swept aside the challenge from Orrill Utd. Utd started the better, and a steady stream of goals saw them with a very strong 3 nil halftime lead. The goals came from Thomas Sullivan, Jimmy Molloy and James Redmond.
The second half saw less dominance from the visitors as they just maintained their lead, but two late goals from Mark Morrissey and Mick Clinton saw The Blues put a real gloss on the scoreboard, and should enable them to go into next weeks home fixture with Shelburne in the highest confidence..
Week 8, Sunday, October 19th
Utd's A team continued to build into their season with a 3-1 win against Rathnure yesterday, In truth, they never really got their game together but always looked the more likely side and certainly deserved to win the game.
A beautiful morning for a game saw Utd line out with the same side that drew at New Ross last week but the game was scrappy from the outset with Utd not finding any fluency and the visitors unable to really threaten. Little of note happened until the 16th minute when David Franklin was released and finished well but was called back for offside. Three minutes later sloppy work in their own half allowed the visitors a sight of goal but a shot that was always rising clipped the top of the bar and went behind.
There was a strange feeling to the game, little energy or atmosphere, but finally on 25 minutes Ger Molloy and Barry Nolan combined well before Barry picked out David Franklin to finish back across the keeper and put the home side ahead. The blues had a little pressure and forced a couple of corners, but the game settled back into a dour struggle as Utd led 1-0 at half time.
Two changes at the break saw Garett Larkin and Mick Rigley introduced but Utd still seemed edgy and 10 minutes into the half the visitors were awarded a penalty for handball. Dylan Cloke made a fine save but got no luck as the rebound went straight back to the penalty taker who scored at the second attempt to tie the game.
From here, the blues did find a bit more drive, primarily led by Barry Nolan, with Mick Rigley also making an impact. Mick headed wide, Barry's pull back was miscued in the goalmouth and another sub, Dylan Cullen, shot wide from 15 yards, On 70 minutes Utd were awarded a penalty when Mick Rigley was wrestled to the ground in the area. Barry Nolan stepped up to score but had to re-take as Rathnure encroached. Second time around,Barry showed great composure to fire high into the roof of the net and restore the home teams lead.
Utd continued to try and make the game safe but a lack of composure and accuracy frustrated, as a number of good attacking situations were let slip. Finally with 2 to go Barry Nolan got to Ger Lynch's ball over the top before the keeper to round him and tap into an empty net to kill the game off.
It happens to all teams - sometimes it just doesn't click but the A team certainly deserved the points. More importantly perhaps, they stayed together and kept plugging away. Ability is fine but it's nothing without good spirit and the right attitude and Utd had that. 8 points from 12 is a solid base to get momentum and confidence starting with a very difficult trip to Stoney next week.
Man of the Match: Barry Nolan. Drove the team on from 1-1 and scored the goals that made the difference.
In the afternoon game Utd's B team came up just short against another of the leagues' stronger looking teams, Shelburne.
The game started evenly enough and Thomas Sullivan had a half chance after 8 minutes but Shelburnes' keeper spread himself well to stop. Shelburne are a very big side and dead balls are always going to be a test, and after conceding a corner on 13 minutes, Utd failed to mark properly and a free header at the back post was put away to give the visitors the lead. The blues haven't been behind too often this season and it got worse 3 minutes later.
It's been said here before that Utd give away too many needless free kicks and they would pay dearly for doing so yet again, as the resulting shot found it's way into the bottom right hand corner to put them in real trouble. To be fair, the team battled back into the game and started to get on top. Joe Kenny, James Redmond and Darren Walsh started to see a lot of the ball as Shelburne were pushed back. Half chances and corners were snuffed out until on 38 mins an almighty scramble saw Utd hit the bar twice in sucession before the ball was cleared to midfield. However it was worked back down the right, releasing Mick Clinton, who kept his head really well to dummy the keeper and slot home. 1-2 at half time and plenty of hope.
However, in the second half Utd never really forced the issue until the last few minutes. The game settled into very tight contest. Both sides really only had one good chance each, Thomas Sullivan firing just over after good work from Darren Walsh, James Redmond and Mark Morrissey, and Tom Murphy making a good one on one save to deny the visitors.
James Sheridan and Pa Redmond came on as Utd looked to match Shelburnes' physicality with a late surge. Shelburne were just launching balls downfield as the home side piled forward and late pressure mounted. A final scramble saw what looked like a goalbound effort hit Joe Kenny and come back out before Mick Clinton was inches away from a touch on Darren Walsh's cross.
But, it wasn't to be for the blues. A disappointment for sure but not the end of the world. Utd have plenty of reasons to be optimistic and when they resume their season just need to settle back into their rhythm and push on from what has still been an excellent start to the season.
Man of the Match: James Redmond. Saw plenty of the ball and caused Shelburne's right side a lot of problems through the course of the game.
Week 9, Sunday, October 26th
Utd travelled down to Stoney Rovers this morning looking to build on a decent run of form over the last month or so but came away with nothing except a host of problems. It would be easy to brush this off as a bad day at the office – but it was much worse than that.
From a footballing point of view the story is relatively straightforward. Utd played reasonably well at times and battled gamely with 10 players for most of the second half. They failed to take some good opportunities and gave away three truly terrible goals to lose the game 3-1.
A goal down at half time, the Blues went further behind after 60 minutes despite having dominated much of the game to that point. Ger Lynch’s header from Keith Casey’s corner on 68 reduced the deficit and Utd continued to press until another gift to Stoney on 88, killed the game. End of story – but unfortunately not the story at all.
The real story here is the complete lack of discipline on and off the pitch and staggering levels of selfishness and stupidity in the second half that cost Utd much more than the points. Players getting themselves sent off, refusing to accept being substituted, niggling with each other and a touchline not in control at all could only leave anyone who went to support the team embarrassed and angry. Embarrassed at the way the Club was represented and angry that most of those lads that turned up just to compete and play for the club this morning were so badly let down by some of their own.
Utd's B Team travelled to Gorey Celtic this morning on the back of, for them, a poor performance last week, where they looked to do the double over a dangerous side. They could have, and possibly should have won, but should be happy with a good effort and a point in a 3 all draw.
Utd started with a wind at their back, and in an even first 20, had the slightly better chances.Mick Clinton fought hard to get his head on a long through ball, but his header was straight at the home keeper, and Mark Morrissey shot tamely from 18 yards after the defence opened up in front of him.
On twenty five, Utd went behind, after Gorey got in behind them on the left. The initial cross was too long but was turned back to the central edge of the blues box, from where an untracked Gorey midfield runner drove high at goal. The ball hit the bar, but very unluckily ricocheted in off the keepers back.
Utd still kept a foot in a very even game, and a David Sullivan cross put real pressure on the home keeper. Injuries to Paul Forde and Willie Sullivan saw Utd have to make two changes early. Right on half time, a long ball forward was well challenged for by James Sheridan, and from the breaking ball, David Sullivan drove home from about 25 yards, leveling the game..
Utd took the lead just two minutes after the break. James Sheridan was played in through the middle, but the Gorey defender just got back, possibly fouling him in the process. Mark Morrissey, following up controlled the ball, and although he will strike cleaner shots, knocked it home. James departed immediately, getting injured in the build up to the goal.
The next twenty saw the game flatten out, as the home side looked to use the wind, and their great size to cause the blues problems. O seventy, from a corner, Utd broke, and we were level again.
About 10 minutes later, David Sullivan got his second,and a possible winner, his free kick from 30 yards beating the home keeper, perhaps thrown by the wind. Could Utd hold out. No
With little time left, Celtic were generously awarded a corner, from what looked a very clear back header from their number 6. The corner, no doubt wind aided, swung directly into the Utd goal, and gave the home side a point.
A reasonably good result, from a very hard working performance, and Utd should take confidence home next week against The Ballagh.
Man of the Match : David Sullivan. Not just two goals, but good energy around the midfield, and worked hard the whole game
Week 10, Sunday, November 2nd
Enniscorthy Utd 2-3 Stoney Rovers
Enniscorthy Utd 1-2 Ballagh Utd
Week 11, Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
A truly miserable last month or so on and off the pitch was completed this morning with a dismal result against a struggling Rathnure side. Good luck to them - they took their chances and deserved to win but Utd need to look long and hard at all aspects if they are to stop what is becoming a dangerous slide into trouble.
After a minutes silence in memory of our clubmate Brian, Utd started the game well and were dominating the ball and pushing for the first 20 but once Rathnure got in front - with their first attack virtually - the writing was on the wall. You can see the lack of confidence, belief and leadership in the team. That doesn't fix itself, it needs a real effort from players and manager to turn this around.
Yes, Utd had spells of pressure and a couple of really good chances that should have been taken but every time Rathnure attacked, Utd were being opened up. A second on the stroke of half time and two second half goals could and probably should, have been more.
It's hard to take anything good out of this morning, it really is. It's a big collective problem and only a big collective effort is going to halt the slide and get Utd moving in the right direction again.
Utd's B team have stalled over the last few weeks and the fine start to the season they made is in danger of becoming irrelevant. A heavy defeat today against another team in and around them leaves Utd really needing to string a few wins together to stay with the leading pack.
As with the first team, Utd were 2-0 down at the break and found themselves 4-0 down with 12 to go. A flurry of goals saw the game finish 5-2 - Connor Bolger and Pa Redmond netting for the visitors.
The next few games are really important for Utd now. They need to steady up and find some form or their season is just going to peter out into a long string of meaningless games.
Week 12, Sunday, November 30th, 2014
After last weeks's performance at Rathnure Utd needed to show much more in the way of fight and spirit and to be fair to the team there was plenty of both this morning against the league leaders. However, it wasn't enough and another defeat leaves the team very much looking behind rather than ahead in the table.
The game started scrappily but after the first 10 minutes Gorey took a firm grip of possession and really pushed Utd back. Utd spent most of the rest of the half defending and relying on the odd break upfield to relieve the pressure. And defend well they did. The shape of the team was good most of the time as was the concentration and Gorey were limited to long range efforts, none of which troubled Andre Lopes in the home goal. It was only just before half time when a flicked header hit the foot of the post that Utd were breached. 0-0 at half time and the hope was that Utd could gain a bit more possession in the second half to pose a threat.
Almost immediately from the re-start Andre had to make a sharp save with his feet and it looked like the pattern of the first half would be maintained. But, Utd started to gain a foothold and get a bit more possession, turning Gorey and spending more time in the final third. The game evened out and after 56 mins Utd broke the deadlock. Barry Nolan was fouled and from the resulting free kick Aidan Canavan got a great header into the top corner to put Utd in front. It was a great opportunity for a team low in confidence to gain some momentum but it wasn't to be,
Just 3 minutes after going ahead, an ill judged challenge gave Gorey a penalty and the opportunity to level. Despite Andre getting close the penalty went in. 1-1 and Utd were shaken. Gorey hit the bar after poor set piece marking before Utd settled a bit again. Ger Molloy's slightly deflectrd shot hit the bar as the game evened out once more. Chances were few but on 81mins Gorey got the vital goal. A clearance from a corner wasn't pressurised and Gorey were able to get an overlap on Utd's right. A good cross to the back post was put in but Utd's marking should have been better and they were punished with a firm downward header giving Gorey the lead. Utd kept going but the closest they came was from Keith Casey's driven cross which just eluded Ger Molloy at the back post.
Some positives but Utd's poor run continues. Another big challenge at Moyne Rangers next week where a similar level of commitment will be required. If Utd can re discover some fluency in possession and get a bit of luck that all struggling teams need then they can hopefully go one better than today's near miss.
Man of the Match: Andre Lopes. Could do nothing with the goals and made one good save early in the second half. Was brave on crosses and vocal in encouraging/organising the players in front of him.
Utd's B team have completely lost their form over the last few games and today was a really poor performance. The early concession of a terrible goal didn't help but Utd never got into the game and it was all to easy for the visitors.
Having gone down early Utd looked to get back but were always struggling with their game. Passing was inaccurate and there was a lack of composure all over the pitch. A second very preventable goal arrived on 20 mins and Utd were relying on scraps with no real clear sights of goal. The nearest they came was when Darren Walsh's shot was almost spilled by Courtown Hibs keeper into his own net.
A further 3 second half goals eased the visitors to victory and summed up Utd's day really. The 3rd from a long punt upfield after David O'Sullivans header had been saved. The fourth a penalty and the fifth stroked home as Utd appealed vainly for offside.
One to forget for the B team. An away game at Rosslare next week a chance to show that there is a much better team there than we have seen recently.
Week 13, Sunday, December 7th, 2014
Utd's A team dug deep and put in a spirited effort to take a fully deserved point at Moyne Rangers yesterday morning. As has been the case for most of the season, unavailability of players forced a re shuffle in the team but those called upon responded with a solid display that with calmer finishing may have brought a win.
The game started with the home side on the front foot and looking dangerous as they got in behind Utd on a couple of occasions. Good defending and more importantly good organisation and communication snuffed out any danger and Utd's stand in goalkeeper Ger Lynch wasn't forced into any meaningful action. As the half wore on Utd started to gain a foothold, Mick Rigley saw a decent shot saved and Keith Casey just failed to lift over an advancing keeper having got on the end of a through ball, Toward the end of the half the home side had one good sight of Utd's goal, but the final shot was too high. 0-0 at the half, and about right.
The second half saw Utd have a bit more of the ball and force a few corners early on - a couple of which might have yielded something but were scrambled away. Utd were defending quite comfortably at this point but there was a 15 minute spell around the hour mark that the home side really pushed and came close to opening the scoring. Ger Lynch had to be brave on two occasions at the feet of attackers, Utd had to defend a number of corners and one really good headed chance was missed by the home side.
Thereafter, Utd came again and Mick Rigley was denied by the home keeper after David Franklin's pass had set him free. David himself nearly found a way through Moyne's defence but was stopped by a good challenge and Utd forced a further couple of corners which came to nothing. One last home corner was forced but Ger Lynch was fouled making a catch and from the resulting free kick, the game was ended.
It was a really good effort against a side who had scored in every game so far and who will certainly be around the top of the table come the end of the season. For Utd this needs to be a stepping stone to adding more fluency and rhythm with the ball to good concentration and work rate that was shown here when the opposition were in possession. Another big challenge next week at Corach but the team can take some good things from the last two games and look to put another good performance in before the season breaks.
Man of the Match: A number of very good performances, Ger Lynch, Martin Walsh and Joe Miller among them, But, given his relative inexperience and playing against a team with good forward players Robert Doran at centre back was excellent and continues to develop and improve.
Utd's B team were much better than their previous outing but still suffered a disappointing defeat. Typical of the way things go when you are struggling for results Utd had to field a makeshift keeper and then through injury, had to make yet another change in that position. Hardly a surprise then that on the stroke of half time they fell behind.
However, the team regrouped and dominated much of the second half but found the home goalkeeper in great form as he made a number of vital saves. Try as they might, Utd couldn't find an equaliser and it's now no win and only 1 point in 6 games as the B team's league campaign has really stalled. Away to Shelburne next week will be difficult but the team need to find their form - and a break or two - and a good result is not beyond them.
Man of the Match: Darren Walsh. Was very prominent as Utd took control of the second half and was only denied the equaliser he and his team deserved by an inspired home goalkeeper.
Week 14, Sunday, December 14th, 2014
The results say it all really in these last games before the Christmas break.
Utd's A team have struggled pretty much all season and the odd bright spot has been buried under too many poor displays. Inconsistent form has been mirrored with inconsistent team selection caused by a chronic list of unavailable players - for a variety of reasons - on a weekly basis. Hopefully the New Year can bring an upturn in both these things and Utd can get enough points to keep out of trouble and build for a much stronger campaign next year.
Utd's B team started the season fantastically well but the wheels have really come off over the last 7 games. Again, players have been missing far to often but also again, performances have simply not been good enough. The B team need another couple of wins to ensure league safety and hopefully can find their early season form and target a run in the Gwyn Jones Cup,
Week 16, Sunday, January 11th, 2015
Utd's A team went out of the Neil O'Sullivan Cup yesterday after losing 2-0 at Moyne Rangers. Hoping to build on a decent result last time out, in truth while they were always in the game Utd struggled to create any real openings and thoughts now turn to securing the league points needed to remain out of danger.
As with the league meeting a month ago, Moyne Rangers started quicker and dominated possession in the first 15. They were finding room down both flanks and a number of dangerous crosses had to be defended. Dylan Cloke in Utd's goal also had to be sharp on a couple of occasions to tip over. Utd just couldn't keep the ball and were guilty of some poor passing and a lack of composure and movement all over the pitch. They did get a sight of goal when Joe Miller's shot was comfortably saved after Barry Nolan's flick on. However that was about it, and unlike the league game Moyne were threatening and struck on 26 minutes,
From a throw in, again room was afforded wide. The low cross wasn't cut out and the ball was squared to an oncoming player about 12 yards out. He made no mistake finishing high to Dylan's left. The game then settled but Ger Lynch's header just over from a corner was the only glimpse Utd got. Utd lost Aidan Canavan to injury just before the break - Mick Rigley replacing him. 1-0 to the hosts at half time.
The second half certainly saw Utd see more of the ball but there was no penetration really. No lack of effort, but just not enough use being made of possession. Balls being given away, attacks petering out. The game was even but Moyne were still creating the odd chance and Dylan made a further couple of brave blocks to keep the game alive. Utd brought on David Franklin and Dylan Cullen for Robert Doran and Liam Keating in a bid to change things and had a little pressure and some set pieces but nine minutes from time the game was killed off when the home side were awarded and scored a penalty to go 2-0 up. They saw out the remainder of the game quite comfortably.
Man of the Match: Dylan Cloke Wasn't overworked but when called upon was sharp and brave and kept the game close right up until the last few minutes.
Week 18, Sunday, January 25th, 2015
Utd's A team exited the Wexford Cup on Sunday morning but can be reasonably satisfied with the performance against their Premier Division opponents. An early free -kick and a penalty in each half accounted for the goals as the visitors won but Utd worked hard, played some decent football at times and were by no means overrun.
Having gone behind early it looked like it could be a long day for Utd, but they did have moments. In the first half Barry Nolan forced a really good stop from the goalkeeper and only some good defending prevented David Franklin's cross reaching a blue shirt and Mick Rigley getting on the end of a quick counter attack. Yes, the visitors had more possession- you would expect that - and Dylan Cloke made one good save before going off injured. Gorey then butchered a clean two player break on replacement goalkeeper Ger Molloy, but it took a 37th minute penalty to put the visitors 2 up at half time.
The second half was even enough - Utd hit the post through Fenwick O'Shea before a soft enough looking 2nd penalty killed the game. Four league games remain for the A team and points are still needed. Also needed are good performances that point the way forward for the team with an eye to next season.
Utd's B team grabbed a late double to win for the 3rd game in a row and complete a full house of derby victories this season. Having gone behind on the half hour Utd responded quickly. Some nice play worked to the ball to Darren Walsh about 30 yards out. Darren took a touch, steadied himself and then hit a beauty into the top right hand corner to tie the game. 1-1 at half time.
The second half was scrappy for long periods but as it wore on Moyne Rangers started to find room and create chances, one of which was rifled by Tom Murphy in Utd's goal with 18 to go. 2-1 to the home side and only a great goal-line clearance from James Hutchison prevented Utd falling 3-1 behind. And how important it proved to be as Utd turned the game around in the last five minutes.
On 86, Darren Walsh's flat, pacy free kick was met by James Sheridan to head home for 2-2. Barely 3 minutes later James won another free kick in almost the same spot. Again Darren's delivery gave the attackers something to challenge for, but the home goalkeeper made a bit of a fumble and in the scramble that followed Jimmy Molloy banged home the loose ball to win the game 3-2 and put Utd in great heart for what will be an important - and difficult - cup game at home to Rosbercon Utd this coming Sunday.
Week 20, Sunday, February 15th 2015
Utd's A team took what may prove to be an important point at fellow strugglers Killenagh this morning but will feel frustrated that only 10 minutes prevented them from probably securing their safety this season. However, given the terrible result against the same opponents last time out Utd can look to getting the win they probably still need in their last two games to secure Division 2A football again next season.
On a bright morning the game started untidily enough but Utd did settle and Barry Nolan went close from distance before on 18 minutes a near post corner was flicked on and headed home by Joe Miller to give Utd the lead. Killenagh tried to respond and Liam Keating made an important block but Utd were solid and looking to create on the break. A half hearted penalty shout when Dylan Groarke was tackled from behind in the area was followed by Joe Miller nicely worked in but the first touch was heavy and the chance blocked out.
At the other end scares were few but Utd may have got away with a rash challenge after a corner which may well have seen a penalty given to Killenagh. Utd continued to try and get forward and just before half time had the chance to stretch the lead. Utd worked the ball wide to Liam Keating pushing forward Liam put in a cross that Dylan Groarke met first time from about 8 yards out. Unfortunately for Dylan and Utd the ball went straight down the keepers throat. Either side and it was 0-2 but Killenagh survived. 0-1 at the break.
The second half was tense. Killenagh had more of the ball but were not creating anything as Utd continued to defend well. Utd were looking to break out but were not keeping the ball well enough at times and struggled to get forward. Conor Bolger replaced Joe Miller as Utd looked to use his pace to force Killenagh back. After 65 minutes Utd had another chance to go 2 up but again it went begging and the game got increasingly spikey as the clock wound down. Utd began conceding free kicks and on 80, from a good delivery the equaliser was headed home.
For the third game in a row Utd were reduced to 10 but held on without alarm to take a deserved point. Games against New Ross Celtic and Fethard remain. A win is needed - let's hope a similar battling performance next week will see the Blues over the safety line.
Man of the Match: Andrew Sherlock. Very solid at centre back and given he's still very young, didn't flinch when things got physical in the last third of the game.
Utd's B team went down to a 2-0 defeat on Sunday despite spending most of the game on the front foot. As was the case in their previous outing, a combination of good goalkeeping, bad luck and poor finishing cost Utd as a soft set piece goal in the first half and a penalty 10 minutes from time saw the hosts over the line.
No game this week for the B team - 2 to go and hopefully a change in fortune.