Dominos Pizza Reserve Cup Semi Final 2014
By Tommy Naughton
AC Athletic’s double dream goes on after they defeated Classic FC on Thursday night in the Dominos Pizza Reserve Cup semi final. AC Athletic have already claimed the Division 1B league title so where full of confidence coming in this game even though they were missing a few regular players. Classic will be disappointed at how their season has ended even with having the lions share of possession they lacked the cutting edge up front to really trouble their opponents.
Within two minutes AC Athletic could have taken the lead when a Mark Walshe free fell to Joseph Diggins whose left foot shot was saved by Gary Kissane. Kissane again had to come to his side’s rescue minutes later after John Mike Dooley got on the end of a Mark Murphy cross.
Classics first attempt on goal came just after the ten minute mark when Kieran O’Regan tried his luck from long range which AC Athletic’s keeper Cyril Dineen held. Cyril then showed great bravery inside the penalty area when he raced out and dove at the feet of Mark Tangney who was through on goal after being out through by Antony McAuliffe.
The opening goal came in the 26th minute when good work on the left wing by Mark Tangney and Neil Hobbert saw the ball delivered to the back post where Antony McAuliffe side footed the ball home.
Classic were now controlling the pace of the game but were not causing their opponents any real problems up top. The final chance of the first half saw Joseph Diggins control the ball on his chest inside the box before shooting on goal and again Gary Kissane saved with a strong left hand.
The second half was to be much more livelier than the first with AC Athletic taking over in all aspects of the game. The game was level eight minutes into the half when Adam Whyte chased down what seem a lost cause and crossed to Mark Murphy who made no mistake.
Four minutes later AC were ahead thanks to a well taken free kick by Barry Walsh which found the bottom left corner of the goal. Classic tried to change the way the game was going with a double substitution but again it was their keeper Gary Kissane who was the busier when he had to save a point blank effort from Joseph Diggins.
With a quarter of an hour remaining AC extended their lead after a Shane Leahy corner broke to Mark Murphy and he shot passed a crowded goal mouth to find the net. Classic however kept going and got a goal back within two minutes after Timmy Lynch got on the end of a Antony McAuliffe free.
Classic began to pour everything forward in search of an equaliser and with five minutes to go had strong claims for a penalty when Martin Sweeney went down in the box but their appeals were quickly waved away by Derek O’Shea.
Classic’s final chance fell to Martin Sweeny who cut in from the left wing beating two players before shooting at goal but again Cyril Dineen was up to the task and saved Sweeney’s effort.
AC Athletic will now face the winners of Mitchels Avenue and Ballymac Galaxy in the Cup final after their semi final finished all square and will need a replay to separate them.
Classic Fc; Gary Kissane, Wayne Murphy, Kenneth Leahy, Billy Clifford, Brendan Smyth , Jay Murphy, Mark Tangney, Anthony McAuliffe, Martin Sweeney, Kieran o Regan , Neil Hobbert . Subs; Timmy Lynch for Kieran o Regan ( 58 mins), Ashton Mugabe for Jay Murphy ( 58 mins), Jonathan o Sullivan for Billy Clifford ( 71 mins)
AC Athletic; Cyril Dineen, Jason Diggins, Mark Walshe, Paul o Carroll, Adam Whyte, Conor Diggins , Barry Walshe, John Mike Dooley, Shane Leahy, Mark Murphy, Joseph Diggins . Subs; Mark Dillane for Mark Murphy (91 mins) .
Referee; Derek o Shea .