Category: Match Reports

Young Partnes push “Mighty Hoops” all the Way

The curtain came down on the Monaghan United / Cavan FP’s Under 13’s National League season on Saturday last with another fantastic but frustrating encounter against the cream of the League of Ireland’s academies Shamrock Rovers FC in Cootehill. This was the first time these sides had met this season and a place in the National Cup semi-final was at stake. The visitors had already reached one semi-final this season and started the game brightly putting the home defence on the back foot early on. An attack down the “Partners” right wing in the 7th minute resulted in a cross into the area that should have been easily cleared but when the ball bobbled about the 6 yard area Peter Geraghty made no mistake dispatching the ball to the back of Thomas Brady’s net. It wasn’t the start the young “Partners” wanted but these lads have shown throughout the course of this inaugural season of the National u13’s League that on their day they are well able to compete with the so called “elite” and well established Clubs at this age level. The Cavan / Monaghan lads began to gain more and more possession with Luke Allison and Ben Tully getting to grips with their opponents in midfield. Adam Mullins was causing all sorts of trouble down the “Partners” right wing and it was from his cross in the 12th minute that Matthew Carolan had the first real opportunity for the hosts. Within minutes his strike partner Matthew Finn flashed an effort just wide of Jake Whelan’s upright as the “Partners” began to take control of the game at this stage. Another link up involving Mullins and Carolan saw the ball switched out to Jack Coombes-Morris on the left of the Rovers area but his effort was straight at Whelan. Rovers were always a threat going forward with the powerful Carmicheal Uchenna causing the centre-half pairing of Luke Povall and Sean O’Connell lots of problems and it was a vital interception by O’Connell in the 24th minute that prevented the strong Rovers striker from adding to their score. The home side drew level 5 minutes later after Allison drove forward from midfield and linked up with Carolan. The tall No.10 took control before laying the perfect pass into Coombes-Morris’s path and the Cavan Town native coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner leaving Whelan motionless. The Rovers stopper showed his class 4 minutes later when Carolan looped a shot goal-wards only for the keeper to finger-tip over his crossbar. From the resulting corner, Coombes-Morris swung a brilliant delivery to the back post where O’Connell connected firmly with a downward header but Whelan somehow pushed the ball behind for another corner. The “Partners” finished the half in the ascendency but with no further score.
Half-time: MUCFP u13’s 1 Shamrock Rovers FC u13’s 1.
Rovers came out after a long half-time team talk obviously ruffled by the host’s first half performance and set about taking the game to the “Partners”. They made 3 half-time substitutions to inject some new impedes into their efforts but again they found the MUCFP’s defence rock solid with Ben Smith and Sean Og Teevan assisting Povall and O’Connell ably. Rovers influential Captain Naj Razi began to drive his side forward and the introduction of Jamie Clarke up front gave the “Partners” another problem to deal with. Brady’s handling had to be spot on in the 48th minute from a long range effort from John O’Sullivan and his immediate distribution up field had the Rovers defence back peddling with Matthew Finn taking possession just inside the penalty area before being bundled over by a Rovers defender. Coombes-Morris made no mistake from the spot as again he effortlessly picked out the bottom corner. Again the Rovers Management responded by making more changes. Finn almost increased the hosts lead in the 57th minute when his strike drifted just wide of Rovers substitute keeper JP Johnston’s post. Rovers “pocket rocket” Ryan Ritchie had been buzzing about the pitch all throughout the match but showed his class in the 63rd minute cutting inside Teevan to unleash a shot on goal but again Brady was equal to it. The “Partners” continued to push forward and forced Rovers to concede several corners. It was from one of these in the 65th minute that Rovers equalised as they quickly turned defence into attack and Clarke finished the move off after going around the advancing Brady. The “Partners” showed no inferiority towards their illustrious opponents as they were determined to push on and win the match. Luke Povall must have thought that he had scored in the 68th minute when he met Coombes-Morris’s corner perfectly with a downward header but Johnston sprang to his right Gordon Banks like to turn the ball around his upright to the disbelief of the home players. It was a cruel piece of misfortune that lead to the Rovers winner 2 minutes later when Tully’s attempted clearance from a Rovers corner struck the Referee before floating back over the on-rushing “Partners” defence where Orlandas Jakas picked up the loose ball before squaring the ball to Ritchie to finish to the net. To the protests of all the “Partners” players the official allowed the goal. The Cavan / Monaghan lads continued to press for an equaliser but it was Brady who was called into action in the dying moments when he had to stretch his big frame to finger-tip a rising Razi effort away from the top corner.
Full-Time: MUCFP u13’s 2 Shamrock Rovers FC u13’s 3.
Team: T. Brady, B. Smith, L. Povall, S. O’Connell, S. Og Teevan, B. Tully, L. Allison, A. Mullins, M. Carolan, M. Finn and J. Coombes-Morris.
Substitutes: Tom Doherty for Smith, Daniel Kelly for Teevan, Jamie McCaughey for Finn, Conor Burns for Tully and Caolain Clerkin for Carolan. Injured Sub: Enna Owen Carolan.

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MUCFP U13’s v Longford Town FC 18.05.2019

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.

The Miracle of Drumoghill for “Partners” Under 13’s. 11.05.2019

The Miracle of Drumoghill for “Partners” Under 13’s.
In a week of “Miracle Comebacks” the Monaghan United / Cavan FP’s under 13’s SSE Airtricity side staged one of their own against a good Finn Harps FC side in Drumoghill, Co. Donegal. The young “Partners” travelled up to face their Donegal opponents on Sunday afternoon on the back of 2 defeats to the Mayo SL and were looking to get back to winning ways. However it was the hosts who set the early pace and opened the scoring in the 6th minute after good approach down the Finn Harps left wing by Tiernan McGinty saw his cross reach Shaun Bradley inside the “Partners” area and he coolly slotted the ball beyond Thomas Brady’s reach. The Cavan / Monaghan lads had hardly time to regroup when they found themselves further behind 7 minutes later when McGinty again broke free down the left again despite Daniel Kelly’s attempt to block him and his near-post deliver was divert home by Shaun Patton. The young “Partners” midfield trio of Conor Burns, Jamie McCaughey and Thomas Doherty had struggled to contain the movement of their opponents up until this point but they now began to gain a foothold in the game and this allowed their forward line to cause Finn Harps some problems. Eanna Owen Carolan and Matthew Finn combined in the 30th minute and forced the hosts defence to concede a corner that was delivered deep into the area by Caolain Clerkin but evaded everybody and all of a sudden the Finn Harps forwards were counter-attacking. After a series of good passes the ball fell to Aaron McLaughlin with only Brady to beat and he found the bottom corner of the net to increase Finn Harps lead. All looked lost at this point for the visitors but the introduction of Luke Allison for McCaughey and Matthew Carolan for Doherty added a new energy to the “Partners” team. Ben Smith replaced Daniel Kelly just before the interval also.
Half-time: Finn Harps FC 3 MUCFP 0.
The second half got under way and again it was the home side who looked the more likely to add to the scoring in the early exchanges. In the 48th minute the “Partners” inspirational Captain Luke Povall won possession in midfield and drove forward at the Finn Harps defence and saw him unleash a rasping drive from 10 yards outside of the Harps area that just cleared Shane Adair’s crossbar. This piece of individual skill seemed to encourage the visitors that they could possibly still get something out of the encounter and 3 minutes later they came even closer after tremendous work by E.O. Carolan on the right wing resulted in Allison picking out Clerkin on the edge of the area in a central position but unfortunately his effort was too high again. Ben Tully, Adam Mullins and Jack Coombes-Morris came in for Carolan, Clerkin and Burns at different stages shortly after that. The addition of Tully in the central midfield role gave the “Partners” a new edge going forward and it was from his run and rising shot from 25 yards that they opened their account in the 56th minute. It was the visitors who now looked the more threatening while Povall, Sean Og Teevan, Sean O’Connell and Smith still had to be very careful of the constant threat of Finn Harps on the counter. The pressure began to mount on the Harps defence and this led to a series of corners being conceded. From a terrific near post-delivery from Combes-Morris in the 64th minute, Finn rose highest to head the ball home. The inform striker added his second and the equalising goal 4 minutes later great work by Mullins down the right wing created the opportunity for him to shoot low into Adair’s net. Finn Harps responded well to this and came looking to restore their lead but Brady’s handling, positioning and distribution was exceptional and the young “Partners” weren’t in the mood to give anything more away. Jamie McCaughey came back in for Finn with 8 minutes remaining and had a big part to play in the winning goal. His forceful run towards the Harps area resulted in the concession of another corner. Again the delivery was perfect from Coombes-Morris and as the ball reached the back post O’Connell connected sweetly to power the ball home to scenes of jubilation from his team-mates. The “Partners” comfortably saw out the remaining time to gain 3 valuable points.
Full-Time: Finn Harps FC 3   MUCFP  4.

MUCFP v Finn Harps U13 SSE Airtricity League 06.04.19

The “Partners” 13’s overcome a Top Finn Harps Side.
Two superb 2nd half strikes from substitute Zachary Demamen proved to be the difference between the Monaghan United / Cavan FP under 13’s and a very strong Finn Harps side in a trilling SSE Airtricity National League Group 1 encounter in Cootehill on Saturday afternoon. Played in perfect conditions, it was obvious from the opening exchanges that these 2 sides had come to play football. The hosts had come into the match on the back of a narrow 1 – 0 win away to Longford Town FC, while their opponents were looking to bounce back from a 3 – 2 defeat away to table-toppers Mayo SL in their previous outing. Under the tutelage of Finn Harps Legend Kevin McHugh, the visitors like to play an expansive style of football which suited the hosts. The first sight of goal for the “Partners” came from Jack Coombes-Morris who’d linked up well with Matthew Carolan but his long range strike was watched all the way by Shane Adair in the Harps goals. Finn Harps were always a threat going forward and striker Shaun Patton is in good goal-scoring form at the moment. His link-up play with the impressive Aaron McLaughlin meant that the home pairing of Captain Luke Povall and Daniel Kelly were constantly being asked questions. Adam Mullins for the “Partners” was having great joy down the right hand flank and also opened the scoring in the 16th minute but his effort found the side netting. Finn Harps rattled Thomas Brady’s crossbar 2 minutes later with a rising shot from the edge of the area by Adam McDaid after good approach work from Tiernan McGinty. The introduction of Matthew Finn for Carolan in the 25th minute gave Finn Harps a different type of threat to deal with as he drove forward at pace at every opportunity. His driving run and cross into the area in the 28th minute just eluded Mullins at the far post for a tap-in. It was Finn Harps who got on the scoresheet first in the 34th minute after a series of missed tackles in midfield allowed Patton to get in behind the home defence and as Kelly and Brady tried to narrow the angle, the tall striker smashed the ball to the roof of the net beyond Brady’s reach. To their credit, these young “Partners” are full of spirit and responded within a minute. The midfield pairing of Ben Tully and Luke Allison drove their team forward from the restart and this resulted in the equaliser. A weaving run by Coombes-Morris resulted in a free-kick some 25 yards from goal, in a central position. Finn thundered the ball goal-wards from the free and Adair could only parry it back out into the path of Povall who steered his shot into the bottom corner. Sean Og Teevan was having a tremendous match marshalling the very dangerous McGinty and also looking to get forward to support Caolain Clerkin on the left wing as much as much as possible.The half finished with both sides looking to gain the advantage but with no further scores.
Half-Time: MUCFP u13’s 1 Finn Harps FC 1.


Ben Smith was introduced for Clerkin during the interval as the “Patners” rejigged their formation with the versatile Jamie McCaughey going out on the left flank, he was replaced shortly after by Conor Burns as the home side again looked to freshen things up. The “Partners” had the slight better of things in the opening stages of the 2nd period and forced the Harps defenders to concede several corners. It was from one of these in the 65th minute that Kelly cushioned a volley into the roof of the Harps net to give the “Partners” the lead. Eanna Owen Carolan replaced Mullins moments later. Finn Harps responded again as they looked to restore parity again. Patton was always dangerous and the introduction of Mark Doherty added a new threat on the Cavan / Monaghan goals where Jack Kierans – McArdle had replaced Brady. The 2 Harps players combined in the 70th minute with Patton’s low shot nestling into the bottom corner despite Kierans – McArdle’s desperate dive to keep it out. Harps piled on the pressure looking to gain all 3 points but it was the “Partners” super sub Zachary Demamen, who’d came in for Allison in the 68th minute, who would settle the tie. In the 73rd minute he picked up a loose ball just outside his own penalty area before setting off on a lung bursting run that brought to within 30 yards of the Harps goal before he unleashed an unstoppable shot high into Adair’s net to regain the lead for the “Partners”. Again to their credit Finn Harps pressed forward looking for another equaliser but were caught again on the counter-attack when Tully won possession just inside his own half before delivering a defence splitting pace in behind Harps Martin Coyle and as Adair raced off his line Demaman flicked the ball over him and into the unguarded net to scenes of joy from his team-mates.
Final Score: MUCFP u13’s 4 Finn Harps FC u13’s 2.

    
Team: T. Brady, J. McCaughey, L. Povall, D. Kelly, S. Og Teevan, B. Tully, L. Allison, A. Mullins, J. Coombes-Morris, M. Carolan and C. Clerkin.
Subs: M. Finn for Carolan, B. Smith for Clerkin, C. Burns for McCaughey, E.O. Carolan for Mullins, J. Kierans – McArdle for Brady and Z. Demaman for Allison.
Another tremendous advertisement for this League with both sides playing some fantastic attacking football right to the end. Next up for these young Cavan and Monaghan lads is a renewed acquaintance with some old foes the Mayo Schoolboys / Girls League next Saturday in John Sherlock Park, Cootehill with a 2pm kick-off. Why not come out and support these lads on this National stage.

Longford U13 v MUCFP 30.03.2019

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.

Derry City v MUCFP 26.07.2018

SSE Airtricity National U-15 League
Derry City 2-2 MUCFP

The Partners’ travelled down to Derry on a glorious sunny evening with only 3 points in mind. Connor Smith remained in goals after his good performance against Dundalk the previous Sunday. Dylan O’Reilly made his first start for the Partners’ and marked it with a goal 10 minutes in. Some good interplay with Donnacha McNamara allowed Dylan space in the box where he finished beautifully over the ‘keeper with his left foot. Cavan/Monaghan continued to press forward until Flynn Holland had to come off with a knee injury. Dean McCabe came on and Richard dropped down into defensive midfield with Conor Fitzpatrick.
Derry came into the game as the half went on and equalised deservedly after some good pressure. They then went ahead on the cusp of half time and lead at the break.
The Partners’ were quiet for the first 15 minutes of the half but came into the game with 20 minutes to go. Conor Shanley and Aidan Leonard adding some bite in midfield and they started moving up the pitch more frequently.
With only 2-3 minutes to go, Richard won a freekick 35 metres out with a driving run through midfield. Ben Kavanagh stepped with and hit a thunderbolt into the top corner, the Derry ‘keeper never had a chance.
MUCFP came away with a valuable point away from home and some impressive performances to build on going forward. Dylan O’Reilly was impressive up front, Richard was dominant in the middle of the park while Ben Kavanagh had an excellent game at left back.
SUBWAY Man of the Match: Connor Smith
MUCFP Squad: Connor Smith; Tiarnan O’Rourke, Keith Farnan, Eoin Flanagan, Flynn Holland, Donnacha McNamara, Richard Ayodele, Conor Fitzpatrick, Nathan McNally, Dylan O’Reilly, Aidan Leonard, Conor Shanley, Daire O’Shea, Ben Kavanagh, Cian McKenna, Dean McCabe.

MUCFP v Finn Harps U15 SSE AIRTRICITY U15 LEAGUE GROUP 1

MUCFP 0-2 FINN HARPS

The Cavan/Monaghan boys made a great effort today against the top team Finn Harps but unfortunately lost out in the end. The first half was tough on the locals, Finn Harps put the Monaghan backline under a lot of pressure, focusing on their lightening wingers to make headway down the flanks. The Donegal outfit got two goals in the first half thanks to some slick play down the right hand side. The physicality and pace of the opposition forwards made it a very tough half for the Partners’. The Harps right full back also pushed forward at every opportunity meaning the blues wide midfielder Ben Kavanagh spent much of his time tracking back rather than going forward. Connor Smith pulled off an outstanding save and made a number of other crucial interventions to help his team keep the Donegal men from adding any more goals.

The Partners’ had one very good chance in the first half, some good inter play from Nathan McNally setup Dean Carroll who came charging into the box from midfield but unfortunately his shot was well saved at the near post.

Richard Ayodele came on for the second half and made a big impact especially in the attacking phase of play. His physicality and ability to run with the ball pushed the home team forward and he was involved is a lot of the home teams good play. Nathan McNally threatened in behind and worked very hard to regain possession as always, Conor Fitzpatrick had 2 good chances to score but was stopped by two good saves from the Harps’ goalkeeper. Donnacha and Cian came on for Aidan and Brian, both contributing to some good attacking play in the second half. Brian Oghene then hit the woodwork from a Ben Kavanagh corner, While the away side had the line share of possession, the Cavan/Monaghan boys pushed hard and were unlucky to come away with nothing in the end against a very strong opponent. Despite the result, there are many of positives to take away for the boys,

Subway Man of the Match: Connor Smith gets the award for a very good day between the sticks. There was nothing he could do about either goal. His shot stopping and distribution were excellent overall.

MUCFP Squad: Connor Smith, Tiarnan O’Rourke, Aidan Leonard, Keith Farnan, Brian Oghene, Conor Shanley (C), Flynn Holland, Dean Carroll, Ben Kavanagh, Conor Fitzpatrick, Nathan McNally, Evan Brady, Cian Brennan, Richard Ayodele, Donnacha McNamara, Nathan Lavery, Alex Prior, Mark McDermott.

Derry City 1 MUCFP 1, The New Brandwell Stadium 26.05.2018

MUCFP u19s came away from the impressive new Brandywell stadium with a well-earned point on Saturday. With the sun shining the game was played in a very rare 22 degrees on a fantastic new 4G pitch, despite the warm conditions both teams served up an excellent display of football throughout the 90 minutes.
it was an open game throughout, Derry started well, passing the ball sharply and testing the partners back line. The visitors had young Adam Boyle making his first start for the U19s after a lengthy injury kept him side lined since preseason, Adam had impressed the previous week coming on for the last 20 mins against Athlone. The partners weathered the early storm from the home sides attacking play and soon found time to play their own neat passing game, Tim Mc Cann at right back combined well with Eli Ward in midfield and along with Tristan Knowles managed to create some penetrating passes to Tav Semelevicius up front.
With just 15 mins of the game gone the visitors were forced to make a change as center back Shane Kierans had to come off with an ankle injury, recent injuries to our defensive unit has reduced our options for cover so the team needed to reshuffle with players dropping into unfamiliar positions, Tim Mc Cann dropped into center back while winger Shane Hickey took up the right back position, Callum Lynch came on to play up front while Tav moved into the wide right position.
Great credit has to go to the MUCFP players at this point as they adjusted very well to the changes, Shane Hickey put in an excellent performance at right back while Tim Mc Cann also adjusted extremely well at center back, Lorcan Murnaghan organised the back line and was exceptional again as he has been all season, putting his body on the line and making last ditch tackles to deny the Derry striker every time.
The first half continued to be an even affair with the bulk of the play in a tight midfield battle, Derry pressed high and the partners countered very well so the game ebbed and flowed with both sides unlucky not to score, Mark Byrne in the partners goal had a solid game making a couple of good saves, however the best chance of the half fell to Tristan Knowles, following a great passage of play through midfield he ran onto a through ball but his blistering point blank shot was brilliantly saved by the Derry netminder, the half finished deadlocked at nil all.

The second half restarted as the first had ended, both sides playing good football at a high tempo, Derry seemed to have more desire in their attacking play and became more dominant in the early stages of the half, the partners dropped off a little and this played into the home teams game plan, the visitors make shift back 4 needed to defend very well as the home side laid siege to the penalty area and despite the onslaught the partners defence remained solid and unbreakable.
With the hard working Lynch up front the partners were always a threat, counter attacks with the pace of Lynch were always an option and became more frequent as the game opened up, partners captain Cianan Kelly had a great game in midfield as he continued to break down the opposition play and move the ball to the front line, the creative Scott Prendergast out wide also created a couple of half chances for Lynch but the partners couldn’t seem to carve out a clear goal scoring chance.
The visitors made some changes on 65 mins with Ify Nzewi and Chad Mc Eneaney coming on in place of Semelevicius and Knowles to give fresh legs in attack.
Mid way through the half Derry had a great spell of possession, their patient midfield play led to a great opening for Shane McNamee to fire a cracking shot past Byrne to give Derry the lead on 71mins.
Derry almost doubled their lead minutes later when a bullet of a shot crashed off the cross bar, with Derry now on top the partners needed to respond, Nzewi,s physicality in the middle along with Mc Eneaneys creativity behind Lynch the visitors then enjoyed their best spell of the game, Mc Eneaney almost equalised however his snap shot on his weaker side was easily dealt with by the keeper, Lynch managed to get in behind the center backs on a couple of occasions but any effort to score were taken away by some frantic defending from Derry.
With less than 10 mins remaining the visitors were well on top and pushing for an equaliser, the Derry defence became nervous, under pressure one of the defenders kicked the ball high into the stands for a throw in however as they waited for the ball to return Mc Eneaney cleverly resumed play with another ball to catch the Derry defence off guard, the well placed throw in found Lynch in behind the home defence and as he drove into the penalty area with just the keeper to beat he was taken down by a Derry player, the referee awarded a deserved penalty. Lynch stepped up to calmly slot the spot kick into the net.

The final 10 minutes were a nail biting mix of excitement, the partners pressed for a winner and had some chances towards the end of the game, Derry also had a couple of free kicks in injury time but neither side could find the winning goal. After 6 minutes of injury time the game ended in a 1 all draw.
On balance of play a draw was a fair result for both sides, neither deserved to lose.
Stand out performances on the day, Murnaghan,Knowles, Boyle and Lynch.
Subway Man of the match , Eli Ward.
Team
Mark Byrne, Adam Boyle (Michael Mc Cann 75mins) Shane Kierans (Callum Lynch 15mins) Lorcan Murnaghan, Tim Mc Cann, Shane Hickey, Cianan Kelly, Eli Ward, Tristan Knowles (Chad Mc Eneaney 65mins) Tautvydas Semelevicius (Ify Nzewi 60mins) Scott Prendergast (Jack Drumm 88mins)

MUCFP U19 0 – 2 Athlone Town U19 20.05.2018

MUCFP 0 Athlone Town 2

Monaghan/Cavan Football partnerships U19s came away with a dissappointing result on Sunday after their clash with Athlone in Cootehill.
The partners were looking to bounce back following a poor performance and defeat away to Shelbourne the previous week.
The game started at a blistering pace with Athlones direct play testing the partners back 4, Tim Mc Can stepped up to right back for the injured Dylan Garrigan and was excellent in the opening exchanges, Ify Nzewi led the line up front in place of the injured Callum Lynch and had an excellent start to the game combining well with Tristan Knowles in midfied to create some early half chances.
The partners played really good football, maintaining possession and pressing the Athlone back line, Eli Ward and Cianan Kelly controlled midfield with Scott Prendergast and Shane Hickey working tirelessly out wide. It looked like the partners were in control of the game until a good attacking move broke down,Athlone countered quickly and a well struck cross found the right winger unmarked at the far post for a tap in to give Athlone the lead.
The home side responded well and continued to play good football, with composed patient build up play creating some chances, however they just couldnt seem to find the back of the net.
On the stroke of half time Athlone doubled their lead when a well placed corner kick was unfortunately volleyed into his own net by Cianan Kelly.

The second half was much the same as the first, played at a high tempo with the partners really turning up the heat to get back into the game, on 55 mins the partners changed their shape and introduced Callum Lynch and Chad Mc Eneaney to go with 2 up front, both lads have been in great form this season and instantly created problems for the visitors, Lynch had a great chance on 60 mins but his headed effort went over the bar, Mc Eneaney had a well hit shot go just wide soon after, this was the case for the remainder of the half as both could have had a couple of goals each but had to watch their efforts go narrowly wide.
As the half progressed the visitors went down to 10 men and again the partners reshuffled with Tautyvdas Semelevicius coming on to play up front along with Mc Eneaney and Lynch.
With the home side on all out attack it led to a very frantic and exciting finale to the game with chances at both ends, unfortunately the clock was against the partners and despite having played so well came away with nothing to show for their valiant effort. Very positive performance despite the result, great to see players with long term injuries now returning, Tav and Adam played their first minutes since the season opener against Longford and Seosamh Sheerin is now back training after serious ankle ligament injury has kept him out of the squad since preseason.
Subway Man of the match Ciaran “Tim” Mc Cann.

Team
Luke Perkins, Tim Mc Cann, Dylan Molloy (Adam Boyle), Lorcan Murnaghan, Shane Kierans, Cianan Kelly, Eli Ward, Tristan Knowles (Chad Mc Eneaney), Ify Nzewi (Callum Lynch), Shane Hickey(Tautvydas Semelevicius) Scott Prendergast.

Subs Unused, Jack Drumm, Oliver Clerkin, Michael Mc Cann.

MUCFP U15 vs. ST. PATRICKS ATHLETIC U15 SSE AIRTRICITY NATIONAL UNDER 15 LEAGUE 19.05.2018

SSE AIRTRICITY NATIONAL UNDER 15 LEAGUE
GROUP 1
MUCFP vs. ST. PATRICKS ATHLETIC
On a warm and humid Saturday afternoon the Partners’ met the high flying St. Pats who sit joint top now of Group 1 in the SSE Airtricity League U-15 section. From the start the Cavan/Monaghan boys knew it would be a tough 80 minutes in store as the Dubs started very quickly. They stormed into a 2-0 lead with 2 excellent finishes. The Partners’ rallied slightly over the next 15 minutes but the onslaught continued with Pats’ playing some lovely high tempo football. However the Dublin side scored another 3 goals before half-time, the home side feared a big scoreline was on the cards if they didn’t up their level in the second half.

Indeed the second half showed a completely different side to the Partners’ U-15’s as they fought tooth and nail to make for an entertaining 40 minutes. Nathan McNally, who has been in terrific form recently harried and ran the Pats’ centre halves constantly and eventually reaped his reward. The Reds left sided centre half took too much time on the ball and Nathan nipped the ball from under his feet, bore down on goal and coolly slotted his shot home. This was the Carrick strikers 3rd goal in as many games and he may have had another shortly afterwards. Emmanuel Shehu slalomed down the left wing and crossed into Nathan who took on a spectacular volley which ended up in the net, however the cross was adjudged to have went out of play.

Tempers rose as Emmanuel and the Reds striker were both sent off for violent conduct. Nathan Lavery made some crucial saves including several brilliant 1 on 1 stops to keep Cavan/Monaghan lads in the game. The backline of Tiarnan, Brian, Keith and Ben held a good line and stopped a lot of promising St. Pat’s attacks. Flynn, Richard, Conor Shanley and Conor Fitzpatrick ran tirelessly to press and harrass the Red’s midfield giving them little room to play the neat passing game they had in the first half. Conor Fitzpatrick had to be taken off due to injury and Donnacha McNamara came on and acquitted himself well on the right flank.

Pat’s scored a late sixth as Nathan Lavery superbly saved the first effort, another Pat’s forward was first to the second ball to fire home. Although the scoreline shows a heavy defeat, the second half should give the young lads some sense of hope and pride in their performance. If they can play like this from the start, they should feel they can compete against these top teams going forward.

Subway Man of the Match: This award goes to the superb Nathan McNally who epitomized what work rate and effort looks like. He scrapped and worked for the entire 80 minutes and took his goal confidently.
Final Score: 1-6

MUCFP Squad: Nathan Lavery (C), Tiarnan O’Rourke, Richard Ayodele, Keith Farnan, Ben Kavanagh, Conor Shanley, Flynn Holland, Mark McDermott, Conor Fitzpatrick, Emmanuel Shehu, Nathan McNally, Donnacha McNamara, Connor Smith, Evan Brady, Aidan Leonard, Brian Oghene, Cian Brennan.