Collins MoM as U-15s beat Shankill

Carryduff U15 3 – 1 Shankill Utd.

Loughmoss Sat 24/02/18

Carryduff played in their blue away kit, sponsored by Camtec Solutions

There was a minute’s silence observed before kickoff in memory of Niall O’Connor, a classmate and close friend of several of our players, who passed away on Thursday.

The match kicked off in bitterly cold but dry conditions. Shankill looked to dominate possession due to their greater physical presence, but thankfully Carryduff were not intimidated and took the game to them with some very sharp passing.

Carryduff opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Conor took a shot which was saved but only parried out and Declan followed up with a nice finish drilled into the bottom left hand corner.

For a while this was looking like an even contest, and Shankill got an equaliser after 15 minutes. They could have taken the lead just a few minutes later after a thunderous shot, but somehow Jack made an amazing save low to his right, pushing the ball beyond the post and the resultant corner came to nothing.

We deservedly retook the lead after 23 minutes when Declan scored his second. Luke K was making his debut today and looked very assured despite being asked to play in an unfamiliar role at centre back. He didn’t put a foot wrong all game. Finn played another typically strong match in defence, as well as a fantastic break forward to panic the opposition midfield.

Niall McG was alert to prevent another equaliser when Jack spilled a sand covered ball, and Niall nipped in to kick clear. Ethan went in for a crunching tackle at left back and suffered a jarred knee but he continued to play on until halftime. Unfortunately that was the end of his day.

2-1 to Carryduff at the break.

More reshuffling saw Mark Hewitt drop to fullback for the remainder of the game and he was able to competently pass out of defence and get our attacks moving.

Ronan swapped from right mid to left and used his pace along the wing to great effect. Max played a moment of magic having received a pass from Mark and he danced past 2 tackles on the left wing. Seeing no obvious pass, he continued along the left touchline, in total beating 5 more challenges which saw him advance from our 18yd line all the way to the Shankill byline. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to finish off what would have been the goal of the season!

Seb was now also creating havoc for the Shankill defence with his pace and strength and he got himself on the scoresheet after a strong run and rounding the keeper. It looked like he’d taken himself too far but he squeezed the ball home with a brilliant left foot finish from the tightest of angles. He was somehow also denied a penalty a couple of minutes later when the keeper fumbled the ball and Seb nipped in, just as he was ready to shoot he was brought down in the clumsiest of tackles but somehow the ref decided to ignore the penalty claim (he later waved away a penalty shout from Shankill too, so I guess he wanted to balance things out!). Ben was utilised in centre midfield and he continually looked to pick gaps through the Shankill back line for our strikers to latch onto.

We finished with only 10 players on the pitch after Seb had to come off due to sickness, and we reverted to a 4-4-1 formation. There was some frantic defending in the last 10 minutes but we held out for a fantastic 3-1 victory and our third win in a row which sees us move back up to 3rd in the table.

Team: Jack Collins, Niall McGeough, Finn Mills, Luke Kennedy, Ethan Campbell, Mark Hewitt, Conor Doran, Max McKervey, Ronan Cahalane, Sebastian Gabriele, Declan Doran, Ben Johnston.

Goals : Declan (2), Seb

MOTM Jack Collins

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