The “Partners” return to winning ways at home to Athlone Town.
A wet and wintery Gortakeegan in Monaghan was the venue on Saturday for the clash of the Monaghan United / Cavan Football Partnership and Athlone Town FC in the Northern section of the SSE Airtricity Under 17 National League. An emotional minutes silence was observed for the victims of the sad events in Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, the home town of some of the “Partners” players, before the match got underway.
Again the home team were slow to start the second half as they had done the first and nearly paid the price for this in the 49th minute when a move involving Oisin O’Reilly, Costello and Oran Murphy resulted in Murphy having a shot that Murdock had to be alert to deal with. Again after a slow start the “Partners” picked up the pace and Nzewi smashed a shot wide of Rowden’s post. Carmody rattled Murdock’s crossbar in the 60th minute when he should have done better.
Aaron Reilly was introduced for Sheerin in the 65th minute and within 2 minutes he’d made an impact, being brought down 5 yards from the Athlone penalty area. Adam O’Connor strode forward from the back and floated a delightful ball over the Athlone wall and into Rowden’s top corner giving the Keeper no chance. The score didn’t remain that way for long as the visitors levelled within 3 minutes after good approach work from Joe Dwyer had the “Partners” defence in trouble and Carmody applied the finish. Cianan Kelly replaced Duffy shortly after this to add fresh legs in midfield and this made a difference as the hosts began to dominate possession again. Reilly was proving to be a real thorn in the Athlone defence’s side with his clever movement and in the 79th minute Jerome and Dean Connolly combined to set him free but his run was halted just outside the penalty area.
Again O’Connor came forward and again he managed to get the ball over the Athlone wall and beyond Rowden’s reach to regain the lead for the “Partners”. Callum Ross-Lynch replaced the tiring Nzewi in the 85th minute and should have extended the lead when he rounded Rowden only to see his shot cleared off the line by Nathan Poland.
Full Time Monaghan United / Cavan FP 2 Athlone Town FC 1.
Team: Daniel Murdock, Lorcan Murnaghan, Karl Cosgrove, Cameron Dowd, Luke Donohoe, Adam O’Connor, Dean Connolly, Shane Duffy, Jerome Abekamwale, Seosamh Sheerin and Ify Nzewi.
Substitutes Used: Aaron Reilly for Sheerin, Cianan Kelly for Duffy and Callum Ross-Lynch for Nzewi.
Unused Substitutes: Luke Molloy, Jordan Corraway, Luke Perkins, Lewis Gibson and Dylan McMullan.
Next up for the “Partners” is an away trip to Sligo to play the “Bit O’Red” on Saturday at 2pm in the Showgrounds in Sligo Town.