Part 2 of the Blessington FC and AFC Belgrave double header took place last night at Bluebell and the small pitch really did suit the home team, who looked a completely different outfit from Saturday
This game was played at an almighty pace with both teams really having a go straight from the off, and it was not long before chances started to fall for both teams. First up a scuffed shot from Belgrave striker just inside the box got the Blesso defense out of jail as it went straight into the keepers arms. Daragh Broe Foster on another one of his mazy runs broke through Belgrave defense and fired a fierce shot just inches over the bar,. next up Tadgh Barrett had a shot rattle the bar from the same position. Blessington were finding it hard to play there passing game on this small pitch and kept finding themselves on the back foot in the first 10 minutes.Belgrave had a glorious chance to take the lead when there winger whipped in a fine ball to the striker in the middle of the box, again he failed to connect fully with the ball and his shot went just wide.Belgrave were no pushing Blesso back with the long ball from the back and you could sense the goal was coming, and on the 10 minute they got the opener..another fine run from their winger resulted in him firing a low cross into the box between defender and keeper, with both players leaving the ball to the other, the big Belgrave striker made no mistake with this one and pounced onto their hesitancy and prodded the ball into the net (1-0). This goal seemed to fire a bit of life into Blesso, who until then had been a little of the pace of the game.
Cian McCarthy set up Ryan Mulvey but again his shot was blocked by the Belgrave defense, but the game was now swinging Blesso’s way and again you could sense the equalizer was on its way, and just before the stroke of half-time Blesso grabbed it, with a long clearance from Belgrave out of defense being picked up by Cian , he ran the ball mid way in the Belgrave half and unleashed a low drive the hit the bottom corner of the net , straight after the goal the whistle went for half-time (1-1)
Second half started in the same vain as the first with Belgrave playing long balls up to their striker from defense and Blesso on the back foot, again chances started to fall their way and again Belgrave were slightly unlucky not to take the lead. Their winger who was having a great game had a shot from the edge of the box the just went by the post, then Ian Coughlin saved bravely from the Belgrave strikers feet as he was baring down on goal. Eoin Kavanagh who was having a great game for Blesso had a shot saved brilliantly from the edge of box, as did Tadgh Barrett who curled a lovely shot which was heading to the top corner, again the Belgrave keeper did well to save. Blesso were going really well now and were getting to grips with the small pitch and packed defense, Daragh Broe Foster again was unlucky when he hit the bar with a dipping shot and Cian McCarthy again had another pile driver from the edge of the box just go wide, Ryan Keogh was next up with a curling free kick that was cleared off the line by the Belgrave defender and then Yanni Cabalum was very unlucky when he drove his shot into the side netting, with one minute to go Blesso again piled on the pressure and from this the winning goal came Tadgh Barrett fired the ball into the box to Finn Harney who did well to hold it up, he laid the ball back to Adams Ogbannayo who drilled his shot low into the net (2-1). But there was still time for one more scare as straight from the kick-off Belgrave had a long range effort hit the bar and bounce back into play, after a series of blocks the ball finally went out of play for a corner and the game was finally won
Blessington were not at their best today, but it shows great character from the kids to keep plugging away and in the end get their rewards for their efforts. Credit too has to go to Belgrave who on their own pitch posed a formidable opponent and in truth a draw would have been a fair reflection on the game..This was a great game, with both teams fully committed and chances galore, Well Done to Both Teams