U17 Airtricity League Southern Elite Division: Cabinteely Fc 3-1 Kerry

Report by Padraig Harnett and Pictures by Geraldine Nagle. Images Copyright to KDL ,No usage without permission by any other website, Facebook or Twitter Pages.

This was the proverbial game of two halves with Kerry disappointed that they did not go in at half time ahead. However after the break Cabinteely upped the pace and the physicality of the game and with the stand out player Paul Fox almost unplayable things went the way of the Dublin side.

Indeed Fox had the first chance of the game followed by Nikita Pavlov who brought a good save from Brian Lonegan in the Kerry goal.

For the majority of the half from then on Kerry matched and bettered their hosts but that one break they needed never came. With the defence solid and Kerry getting joy from the wings and when they ran at Cabinteely they began to create chances.

David O’Connor, Michael O’Gara, Thando Dube and Dillon Robinson were almost in on a number of occasions. But Kerry had to be vigilant as Fox was dangerous from set-pieces.

Both sides almost opened the scoring in the last minutes of the first half. Cian Lynch fired a shot the clipped the top of the crossbar in the 41st minute. Kerry broke from the kick out and Martin Coughlan went on a mazy run and cracked a shot that Shaquile Khan did very well to parry away.

Kerry would have been hoping to continue the same way in the second half but it was Cabinteely who started the better forcing a series of corners. Kerry switched off from a short corner and Fox headed home the cross in the 52nd minute. 15 minutes later Fox was the most alert player in the box when Eoghan O’Neill mishit a free. With no Kerry defender in a blocking position he ran in behind and flicked the ball past Lonegan.

The match ball was secured in the 82nd minute when Fox chipped the keeper after a pass from Dylan Fleming.

However it was not all Kerry as substitute Blake Bolster managed to weave his way into the box but he was then crowded out while Robinson and Coughlan also had good efforts.

Kerry got the reward they deserved when Conor Standen curled a free kick low to the net in the 87th minute. And Thomas Burke nearly pulled another goal back as he had two efforts scrambled away in injury time.

While it’s a disappointing loss again there are some positive aspects that the Kerry boys and management can take from the game. The first 45 minutes was the best Kerry played since joining the League of Ireland this season.  Some of the subs that came on made impressive impacts and this is important as this level off football is about more than 11 players.

However the players will need to be a little smarter in their decision making as too many balls were kicked in on top of a big tall Cabinteely defence. But if they can play like they did for the first 45 minutes in their final two games before the break – home to Cobh Ramblers next Sunday and then away to Waterford they could finish the first phase of the season with that elusive win.

Kerry:  Brian Lonegan, Gearoid Dillane (Blake Bolster 74 mins), David O’Connor, Sean Carmody, Conor Standen, Darren Loughnane (Niall Downey 60 mins), Michael O’Gara (Dillon O’Sullivan 74 mins), Thando Dube, Dillon Robinson Shaagh O’Connor 80 mins), Martin Coughlin (Thomas Burke 80 mins), Kevin Williams. Sub: Robert Osbourne.

Cabinteely: Shaquille Khan (Ryan Kenny 75 mins), Kevin Ryan, Sean Price, Rob Keogh, Alex Connolly, Dylan Fleming, Adam Egan Alex Aspel 46 mins), Nikita Pavlov, Cian Lynch, Eoghan O’Neill (Mikey Fagan O’Coonor 46mins) .