Blessington U12b played the first game of the season on Saturday in the first division, Railway Union were the opponents.
Full size pitches, offside rule, the question was how would Blessington adapt from Small sided game of last year, and it was evident from the first 20 minutes that the boys found it very difficult, to plug the gaps in defense and beat the offside trap at the other end provided by a very well drilled and organized Railway team. To be honest the first twenty minutes Railway could have been out of sight if they had take their clear cut chances.
The first real chance feel in the first 5 minutes when a straight ball out of defense was caught on the run by the Union striker who ran directly in to the box and unleashed a shot as the Blesso keeper came to meet him, the ball looked to be going goal bound but fortunately for Blesso it clipped the post and went wide.Adams had Blesso’s first real chance when he broke free from the defender and ran towards goal, he dribbled past another defender and just as he was about to unleash a shot, lost his footing and the ball ran straight into the Keepers hands.Railway then scored two goals in a ten minute period of pure dominance, first up there was some lovely passing from the Union midfield with their number six pulling all the strings early on, he laid the ball square into the path of the striker who did not waste time unleashing his shot that flew past the oncoming Keeper,(0-1) Another fine effort from Union was brilliantly saved by the Blesso Keeper, but you could feel this game slipping away from Blesso when the second goal arrived, this time virtue of a long range effort that was blocked by the Blesso defense, the ball broke kindly to a Union midfielder who slotted it cooly into the back of the net (0-2).This goal seemed to be the changing point in the game and Blesso rallied tremendously. Daragh and Adams started playing on the wings with width and Tadgh Miley and Cian McCarthy took control of the middle of the park, Blesso started to get a foothold in the game, Tadgh Miley had a shot the went inches past the post and then Adams had a shot blocked by the resolute Union defense. Blesso’s first goal came from our influential captain, picking the breaking ball on the edge of the box he beat one defender, steadied himself and whipped a lovely shot the beat the diving keeper low at his far post. (1-2). Blesso were now in full flow Cian McCarthy had a shot blocked after Ryan Mulvey played him in. The second goal came after a bit of a melee in the union defense, Tadgh Miley had a shot blocked by the Union defender the breaking ball again fell to a Blesso player who shot first time only to see another union defender clear it with his head, again it broke to a Blesso player and another shot rained in, this time the Union keeper toe poked the shot to his defender who tried to lash the ball upfield, Ryan Mulvey blocked down the clearance and it fell kindly to Daragh Gilroy who finally slotted the ball into the net. (2-2) H-T.
The second half was again a very even affair, with both teams trying to get a strangle hold of the game, Union did have the ball in the net again but the referee decided correctly that the striker was offside. Tadgh Miley had another chance saved well by the Union keeper and then Adam had another shot blocked by the Railway defense. The Blesso defense by now had really grown into this game and after a nervy first twenty minutes were sweeping up everything, with Tadgh Barrett marshalling the back four of Ryan Keogh, Daragh Clarke, Don Halpen and Conor Gilroy, they were never really under any pressure in the second half after the initial onslaught.With ten minutes to go the goal of the game was provided courtesy of Ryan Keogh, Daragh Broe Foster swung ina corner that was cleared well by the Union defense, ryan picked the breaking ball up from about twenty five yards out and unleashed a fantastic shot that flew high into the net, leaving the Union Keeper with no chance, (3-2). The game should have been put to bed when again Adam’s who was having a great game on the wing, broke into the box and just as he was steadying himself, the union defender slid in and brought the winger down, to our amazement the referee did not give the penalty and let play go on with Adam’s still on the ground.Eoin Clarke had a great chance as well straight after this when he fired just wide after leaving the Union defense for dead from a long ball. The remaining five minutes were played out in the middle of the park with both teams cancelling each other out. F-T (3-2)
Brilliant comeback from two down, the Blesso kids showed real character to turn this game around against a very good Union team. A special mention to our new kids who all played their part brilliantly Eoin Clarke, Daire Clarke and Conor Murphy
Blesso Team : Ian Coughlin, Conor Gilroy, Daire Clarke, Ryan Keogh, Tadgh Barrett, Daragh Gilroy, Tadgh Miley, Cian McCarthy, Daragh Broe Foster, Ryan Mulvey, Adams Ogbannayo subs: Conor Murphy, Patrick Cunningham, Eoin Clarke, Finn Harney,Don Halpen