The “Partners” Young Guns Continuing Their Winning Ways.
Following on from their dramatic second half display against Finn Harps FC the week before, the Monaghan United / Cavan FP SSE Airtricity National Under 13’s hosted Longford Town FC in Cootehill on Saturday afternoon. The young “Partners” got out of the blocks from the start against a very technical and well organised Longford side. The pace and physically of the “Partners” front duo of Matthew Finn and Matthew Carolan caused the visitors some early problems. In the 7th minute the early pressure from the hosts paid off when a dangerous cross by Adam Mullins was cleared from his area by Longford’s Jack Smith but the “Partners” left back, Sean Og Teevan meet the clearance with a sweet half-volley that sailed over Peter Doyle in the Longford goals and nestled into the top corner of the net. The visitors continued to play their neat passing game and were always a threat going forward with the powerful Noah McNulty and the skilful Matthew Thornton proving to be a handful for Ben Tully and Conor Burns in the middle of the pitch. The hosts however were gifted a second goal in the 16th minute when Doyle’s attempted pass was intercepted by Jack Coombes-Morris just outside the Longford area and the clever forward calmly composed himself before finding the bottom corner with a well-placed shot. The “Partners” were well on top at this point and added a third in the 29th with the move of the match. Conor Burns won possession in midfield before finding his partner Tully with a cross field pass. Tully slotted an inch perfect pass into Mullins stride and the pacey winger drove towards the end-line before picking Carolan out on the penalty spot and the inform striker made no mistake with a neat finish. To their credit the young Longford lads didn’t drop their heads and continued to play some very attractive attacking football. Thornton was at the heart of all their positive play and he linked up well with Alex Sheeran in the 32nd minute to trouble Thomas Brady in the “Partners” goal with a stinking shot. This seemed to give the visitors new hope and they piled on the pressure going into the latter stages of the first half. Luke Allison came in to replace the hard working Finn at this stage and shortly after Eanna Owen Carolan replaced Mullins. Ben Smith, Luke Povall, Teevan and Daniel Kelly in the home defence were called into action with some vital challenges to halt the Longford onslaught with one tackle by Kelly unfortunately leading to the end of his day just before the break.
Half-Time: MUCFP u13’s 3 Longford Town FC u13’s 0.
The visitors came out in the second half looking to their numerical advantage to get them back into the game but they found a home side not willing to concede anything. Although a man down the “Partners” fought for every ball. Thomas Doherty came on at half-time as the home side reshuffled with Smith going into partner Povall in the centre of the defence. Zachary Demamen replaced Coombes-Morris as the home side looked to freshen things up as Longford piled on the pressure. Brady was called into action in the 58th minute from a Thornton free-kick that the tall keeper sprang low to his left to turn around his upright. Longford continued to pile forward but they came up against a well organised and resilient home defence. Doherty’s energy to get forward as well as his willingness to tackle, gave the “Partners” a new dimension on their right wing and it was from a surging run by him in the 66th minute that the “Partners” increased their lead. Doherty raced to the edge of the Longford area and although his cross was cleared Povall returned to the ball goal-wards where Matthew Carolan coolly lifted the ball over Ryan Kelly’s head before smashing a rising shot over Doyle and into the roof of the net. Again Longford drove forward from the restart in search of a life-line but they fought the home side in no mood to give away anything. Mullins re-entered the fray to replace Matthew Carolan upfront while Finn and Coombes-Morris came back in for E.O. Carolan and Tully as they saw out the remaining minutes with no more scoring.
Final Score: MUCFP’s u13’s 4 Longford Town FC u13’s 0.
A different type of performance from these lads than last week’s inspirational comeback, as these young local soccer players from Cavan and Monaghan continue to develop and face different challenges. Next up is a return with Derry City’s u13’s next Saturday at home in Cootehill.