U19: Cork 1-1 Rovers
|Monday, 10 September 2012 05:57|
DISCIPLINED PERFORMANCE EARNS HOOPS A SHARE OF THE POINTS
Cork City FC 1 (O’Driscoll)
Shamrock Rovers 1 (Gorman pen.)
FAI Airtricity Under 19 League
Sunday, 9th September, 2012
Two wonderful teams gave an entertaining performance at Bishopstown with a lot of pride at stake as well as a valuable three points. There can’t be any doubting though that Declan Hevey was by far the more satisfied of the two managers when the final whistle went. In fact, Cork weren’t at all happy by half time. They were being made to work harder than they might have expected and it didn’t get any better for them as they found themselves matched in every part of the pitch throughout.
Yes, this wonderful young team put together this summer by Hevey have well and truly announced their arrival. Cork won the league in style last year and early season reports point to them being the team to beat this time around too. So it was expected that the Hoops might have been given a torrid time by the Cork lads in their own territory but if that was the script then nobody told the lads in green and white to read it.
Yes it’s true that Cork might claim Rovers got a soft penalty to equalise but Rovers can point to the fact that Cork themselves had a major let off in the second half when Dean Ebbe’s effort came crashing off the crossbar. Things certainly seemed to be going in the home team’s favour when they took the lead through a Conor O’Driscoll header in the eleventh minute. The move up to that goal saw Daniel Santry and Anthony McAlivey combine in a move that resulted in a corner for Cork. But the home side weren’t having it easy at the other end and the tricky Kelvin Jackson for Rovers was causing full back Alan Browne an abundance of problems.
James Mullaney was outstanding at centre half
The teams were level after fifteen minutes after Jonathan Hannafin bundled Mark Sandford over in the box. Cork protested at the penalty award but midfielder Rhys Gorman kept his cool and put the ball goalkeeper Paul White’s right and into the net.
This game was a battle of willpower and it appeared that Cork were beginning to feel frustrated as Rovers kept it tight. McAlivey’s punt over the bar after twenty-three minutes was indicitave of how the play was going. James Mullaney and Jamiee Goonery were proving to be difficult to beat; Nathan Brown and debutant Alan Kehoe were working their socks off as full backs.
The play was very even. When Jason Forde put a thirty-yard free kick over the Rovers’ wall Darragh Lucey and Darragh Corcoran both managed to nip in but neither could reach the ball. Rovers responded with a move involving Keogh and Sandford which saw Lucey having to think quick to foil Sandford. Two minutes later Ebbe and Sandford had a good move going between them but Roy Kenny was quick to the ball to kick it out for a throw.
Rovers threatened in the thirty-second minute from Dylan Kearney’s free kick after John Kavanagh had foulded Glody Nsay and although Kearney managed to drop the ball right into the box Cork had plenty of defenders in there to deal with it. James Mullaney was outstanding for Rovers throughout and after Cork had managed to deliver a long ball into the box in the thirty-seventh minute Mullaney had the confidence to not only take possession while under pressure but to shake off his opponent and go on a run right into the Cork half to take the pressure off his own team.
Mullaney’s central partner Jamiee Goonery is also growing in confidence. He found himself having to react quickly three minutes before half time after Forde got onto the ball in the box. Goonery managed to stretch out and get a foot to the ball before Forde could connect. Just minutes before than Goonery had denied O’Driscoll a possible chance to have a strike. Right on half time Cork had a golden opportunity to take the lead after Forde set McAlivey up for a go but the striker hit the ball weakly.
The second half was pretty much the same as the first. Within minutes of the restart O’Driscoll could only look on as his shot whizzed past Alex Condell in the Rovers’ goal but it kept on going wide. Then Ebbe had a chance for Rovers and he too put the ball wide. Nathan Brown almost broke the deadlock when he got his head to a Kearney corner and within a minute Sandford shot just wide after Jackson waltzed in and around the box.
White was quick to foil Sandford in the sixty-first minute and soon after that Condell rebounded a clearance off McAlivey which almost had disastrous consequences for the Hoops. Cork had a massive let off themselves in the seventieth minute after Gorman got the ball into the box from the left and Ebbe could only watch this time as his headed effort came back off the crossbar. Mullaney gave a superb piece of defending six minutes later when Cork substitute Conor Cannon shot for goal and the Hoops centre half threw himself at the ball and headed it out for a corner.
Rovers weren’t settling for a point at this stage nor inviting Cork on by sitting back. Instead, they did the opposite and continued to attack at every opportunity. Ryan Dick, Nathan Brown and Toyeed Mustapha all combined in a super move that resulted in the latter having a shot at White. The last real chance came in time added on when Cannon sent a ball flying in from the left that flashed across the face of the goal but this was brilliantly dealt with by Goonery.
So it’s hats off to the Hoops for pulling this one out of the bag. Make no mistake about it, Cork are a good side and will continue to be one of the pace-setters in the division.
Cork City: 26 Paul White, 2 Alan Browne, 3 Jonathan Hannafin (Cannon 73 mins), 4 Darragh Lucey, 5 Darragh Corcoran, 6 Roy Kenny, 7 Conor O’Driscoll (O‘Callaghan 65 mins), 8 John Kavanagh, Daniel Santry, 10 Anthony McAlivey, 11 Jason Forde. Substitutes: 25 David Browne, 17 Steve Mulryan, 14 Sean O’Callaghan, 18 Conor Cannon, 16 Colman Kennedy, 15 Greg Henry
Shamrock Rovers: 1 Alex Condell, 2 Nathan Browne, 3 Alan Kehoe, 4 James Mullaney, 5 Rhys Gorman, 6 Jamiee Goonery, 7 Dylan Kearney, 8 Glody Nsay (Dick 73 mins), 9 Dean Ebbe, 10 Mark Sandford (Mustapha 62 mins), 11 Kelvin Jackson (Stafford 86 mins). Substitutes: 14 Dean Murphy, 15 Toyeed Mustapha, 16 Clayton Stafford, 18 Ryan Doolin, 19 John Tambwe, 22 Ryan Dick, 1 Stephen Morris
Match report by Robert Goggins