The “Partners” Under 13’s leave City Calling Stadium with All 3 Points.
A scrambled effort from the Monaghan United / Cavan FP’s under 13’s striker, Matthew Finn, midway through the first half was just enough to ensure that the young “Partners” left the City Calling Stadium in Longford with all 3 points on Saturday as they continue their SSE Airtricity National League campaign with an important win. The young “Partners” came into the match on the back of an away defeat to Derry City FC the previous week and knew that they had to get back to winning ways with important matches coming every week. It was the home side, Longford Town FC who started the brighter as they also looked to bounce back from a defeat in their last encounter. They had the Cavan / Monaghan side under some early pressure with strike force of Alex Sheerin and Captain Matthew Thornton catching the eye as they created several nervous moments for the “Partners” defence of Ben Smith, Daniel Kelly, Sean O’Connell and Sean Og Teevan. Thomas Brady in the “Partners” goals had to show a save pair of hands to deal with some long range efforts from Longford’s Oisin Lalor and Noah McNulty. The “Partners” weathered the early storm and as the half progressed their midfield pairing of Ben Tully and Luke Allison began to have more of an influence on proceedings. They drove the “Partners” frontline forward and they began to cause Longford Town’s defence a few problems and it was from an Adam Mullins attack down the right wing, that they conceded a corner. Mullins delivered the ball into the heart of the penalty area where the Longford keeper Peter Doyle seemed to have it caught the ball cleanly but the ball fell loose to Matthew Finn who forced the ball over the line. The “Partners” grew in confidence from this and Matthew Carolan was unlucky to see his well struck shot saved by Doyle just before the half-time whistle.
Half-Time: Longford Town FC u13’s 0 MUCFP u13’s 1.
Thomas Doherty came on for Carolan just before the interval and settled into his role immediately, pressing the opposition every time they were in possession. The second period was dominated by Longford Town with Matthew Thornton pulling the strings. They had the young “Partners” pinned into their own half for long periods. Jamie McCaughey was introduced for the injured Smith and added strength to the visitors defence and the ability to attack from defence also. For all the pressure it was the “Partners” who created probably the better of the chances. Midway through the second period Matthew Finn was released by Luke Allison on the left of the Longford area and his run and cross was just too far ahead of Mullins at the back post to steer the ball into an open net. The next opportunity fell to Zachary Demamen who had replaced Jack Coombes-Morris. A terrific ball down the line by Sean Og Teevan saw the pacey winger race clear but his effort was wide of Doyle’s upright. The “Partners” resolute defence of their goals was really being tested as Enna Owen Carolan had to come on to replace the injured Daniel Kelly which meant a reshuffle of the backline again. These young Cavan / Monaghan lads showed great grit and determination to keep a clean sheet and to protect Tom Brady’s goal at all costs. As the match entered its final stages Longford piled forward looking to restore parity and must have thought they had equalised with 5 minutes remaining on the clock after a flowing move cut the “Partners” defence open which saw Longford substitute Gavin Peirce free just outside the visitor’s area with only Brady to beat, but his thunderous left foot shot crashed off the outside of the upright and away from danger.
The young “Partners” were able to see out the time left without conceding to a huge sigh of relieve to all involved. All credit to a valiant Longford Town side and Management who really were impressive on the day.
Final Score: Longford Town FC u13’s 0 MUCFP u13’s 1.
Team: T. Brady, B. Smith, D. Kelly, S. O’Connell, S. Og Teevan, B. Tully, L. Allison, A. Mullins, M. Carolan, M. Finn and J. Coombes-Morris.
Substitutes: T. Doherty for M. Carolan, J. McCaughey for b. Smith, Z. Demaman for J. Coombes-Morris and E. O. Carolan for D. Kelly. J. Kierans-McArdle.
Up next for these lads is Finn Harps FC at home on Saturday.