SSE Airtricity u17 League Southern Elite Division: Kerry 0-6 Cork City
Report and Pictures by Tommy Naughton, Images Copyright to KDL and Tommy Naughton. No usage without permission by any other website, Facebook or Twitter Pages.
Kerry created history in Mounthawk Park today when they played their first ever game in the SSE Airtricity U17 League against Cork City in glorious sunshine in front of a great crowd and a wonderful surface at the new Astro all weather pitch in Tralee . While this was Kerry’s first ever game Cork showed their experience at this level and went on to win 6-0 .
Cork opened the brighter of the two sides with Thomas O’Donovan heading over the bar in the opening minutes. Moments later Kerry keeper Brian Lonergan denied Cian Murphy from close range as the visitors piled on the early pressure.
From Kerry’s first corner in the eight minute Cork City broke quickly and a high ball from defence caught out defender Sheldon Neill and Cian Murphy was on hand to race through on goal and slip the ball passed the advancing Kerry keeper into the far corner.
Kerry Captain Conor Standen had Kerry’s first effort on target when his well struck free kick was held by City keeper Conor Hogan. Thomas Burke also went close for Kerry but his header from a Gearoid Dillane went over the bar before cork struck for their second goal. A cross from the left wing by James Fitzgerald seemed to be lost in the sun by the Kerry keeper and when the ball cannoned down of the crossbar Cian Leonard was on hand to tap the ball home in the 28th minute.
Kerry reacted brilliantly to this set back and should have pulled a goal back just before the break when a Gearoid Dillane cross found Dillon Robinson at the back of the box, Robinson cross back across the goal found Blake Bolster who had sneaked in on the blindside of the defence but his effort rolled agonisingly wide of the far post .
Kerry came out in the second half and began much better than they had in the first half . Within six minutes of the restart Dillon Robinson Picked out the run of Dylan O’Sullivan but he was denied by a great save from Hogan. Moments later Hogan superbly denied Kerry sub Kevin Williams with a fierce strike after an nice piece of inter play with Dillon Robinson. Just after the hour mark Hogan again denied Dillon Robinson when his well struck shot was pushed out for a corner one handed at the near post.
This seemed to spark Cork back into life and they began to show the experience they had gained from being in the league last season. Cian Murphy made it 3-0 in the 68th minute after being set up by James Fitzgerald. Kerry had barely time to react when Thomas O’Donovan made it 4-0 two minutes later. James Fitzgerald made it 5-0 when he rose highest to head home from a Hurley corner before Cian Leonard rounded out the scoring in the 76th with a spectacular over- head kick to give Cork City a well-deserved win
Their will be better days ahead for this Kerry side and they will learn a lot from this seasons opener against a very strong Cork City outfit. Their were plenty of positives for the Kerry management to take from the game and if one of the Kerry chances early in the second half had gone in to make it 2-1 it could have been a totally different game. Next up for Kerry is an away trip to the Carlisle Grounds on April 3rd when they face Bray Wanderers .
Kerry: Brian Lonergan, Gearoid Dillane, Sheldon Neill (Kevin Williams 55 mins), Conor Standen, David O’Connor, Darren Loughnane, Blake Bolster (Niall Downing 67 mins), Mark Coughlan (Sean Carmody 80 mins), Dillon Robinson, Dylan O’Sullivan (Ben Cooney 77mins), Thomas Burke .
Cork City: Conor Hogan (Patryk Osinski 68 mins), Dylan Scott, Ronan Hurley (Liam Milner 60 mins), Thomas O’Donovan, Mark Brosnan, Ronan Hennessy (Douwe Van Sinderen 65 mins), William Armshaw, Alec Byrne, Cian Leonard, Cian Murphy, James Fitzgerald.
Referee: Kevin O’Regan , Assistants: Eoin Moynihan & Anthony Morrison .