FAI Junior Cup 2013/14 , St Brendans Park v Carrick United
By Tommy Naughton
Carrick United made the long journey to Tralee and came away with a place in the 6th round after a fantastic match which both sides must be given great credit for their style of play. St Brendans will be disappointed to go out after a tremendous display in a game they could have won but that’s the joy of cup football their has to be a loser while Carrick will be delighted to have come through a very strong test.
The game started in blistering pace and within 60 seconds Adam O Rourke was found by David Rogers but attempted flick under pressure over Adrian Walsh was easily saved. Minutes later the home side could have taken the lead after a great ball into the box by Adam O’Rourke to Mike Conway but Conway miss controlled and Walsh reacted quickly to gather the lose ball.
Carrick’s first chance came from an Anthony Power free which sailed wide of the far post. Minutes later the away side took the lead. Lee Grace and Gerard Walsh made great progress down the left wing before Grace pulled a low across in to the centre of the box where John Murphy reacted quickest and hit a first time left foot drive into the roof of the net.
Carrick could have doubled their lead minutes later when Lee Grace played in Antony Power and after some hesitation in the box with the keeper to beat he put his shot wide of the target.
The home side began to get more into the game and with Adam O’Rourke and Mark O’Sullivan getting more on the ball as the half moved on. Fergal Maunsell found David Courtney inside the box but his well stuck shot was saved by the diving Walsh to his right hand side.
Just before the half time whistle the home side got the goal their efforts deserved. Adam O Rourke shot which looked destined to find the bottom corner was somehow saved by Walsh who palmed it away. David Courtney reacted to chip the ball into the box for Mike Conway to out jump the last defender and see the ball fall into the empty net.
The second half exploded when Carrick retook the lead within 90 seconds . A long ball over the top saw the Park keeper call but John Murphy was quicker and got there before the keeper. He sidestepped him before finding the back of the net to give the visitors the perfect start to the second half.
St Brendans didn’t drop their heads and immediately went in search of the equalizer. David Courtney crossed to Mike Conway but his goal bound shot was blocked by the sliding Eoghan Bourke. On the hour mark St Brendans pilled on the pressure with a number of corners but couldn’t break through a Carrick defence who where throwing everything in front of the ball to prevent the equaliser.
Graham O Leary’s corner was flicked goal wards by Jesse O’Sullivan but Dale O’Mahony did well to block but it broke for David Courtney six yards out and yet again Walsh had to throw his body in front to block. Carrick were now sitting back and trying to hit on the counter attack. Anthony Power saw his long range effort sail harmlessly wide. With twenty to go Jamie Kelly had to be alive to make a great save with his feet from an Ian Cleary free kick.
With twelve minutes remaining St Brendans where given a life line when Adam O’Rourke was taken down inside the box and they were awarded a penalty. Graham O Leary took on the responsibility and where others might have been phased having a keeper like Adrian Walsh in front of them O’Leary was not. He calmly sent his spot kick high into the top corner where no keeper would have got to with Walsh going the wrong way.
2-2 and a grand stand finish looked in store. The final chance in normal time fell to David Courtney but he shot high and wide from just inside the Box after good work from Fergal Maunsell.
So to extra time the game went. Carrick again started the better, Gerard Walsh played John Murphy in but his attempted chip of the keeper was wayward. Midway through the first period of extra time Alan Redmond sent a long throw into the box, it fell to Power whose well struck shot from close range was saved again by Kelly’s feet and the ball rose high over the bar. From the resulting corner Kelly again had to save from Lee Grace whose long range effort was on target.
Into the second period and this time it was the Park who came close when Graham O’Leary’s free was glanced over the bar by Con Barrett with Walsh beaten.
With five minutes remaining Carrick were awarded a disputed corner. From the resulting Ian Clery corner it seemed as if the defence switched off as Lee Grace found himself unmarked at the back post, his header across the goal was found by the free substitute Glen Keane to head home from five yards out.
A minute later Keane taught he had grabbed his second when he rounded the keeper and rolled the ball towards the goal only for an amazing sliding clearance from Graham O’Leary on the line .
Carrick now trying to slow then game down were reduced to ten men when John Murphy received a second yellow for kicking the ball away. And in the dying minutes even more reds could have been shown to both sides for things which were happening off the ball but none were shown.
St Brendans final chance came from the head of Con Barrett but it wasn’t to be and they bow out at the last 64 stage.
St Brendans Park: Jamie Kelly, Paudie Bailey, Graham o Leary , Con Barrett , Shane Brosnan, Fergal Maunsell , David Courtney, David Rogers, Mark o Sullivan, Mike Conway, Adam o Rourke , Jesse o Sullivan , Pa McCarthy, Cian Kennedy, David Doyle, Fionn Coakley, Pa Fitzgibbon .
Carrick United: Adrian Walsh, Alan Redmond, Dale o Mahony, James Walsh, Anthony o Donnell, Eoghan Bourke, Gerard Walsh, Lee Grace, Ian Clery, Antony Power, John Murphy, Glen Keane, Michael Clarkson, Paul Coady, John Dowley, Keith Walsh , John James Keyes.