Blessington U12B came back down to earth with a bang on Saturday after last weeks brilliant comeback against Railyway Union, This week pitted them against a quite brilliant Beechwood A team and for the first 30 minutes our Blessington lads were chasing shadows. Neat triangular passing, movement off the ball and pressing when without the ball is the key to Beechwoods game and it is effective and simply quite brilliant to watch, these kids at only 11 years old are going to be a real force in this league if they can maintain this standard of football, it also serves as a notice to all the other teams in Division of the standard required to compete at this level,
First half got of to a flyer with the opening ten minutes being fairly even, Tadgh Miley had a shot that was saved well from a narrow angle by the Beechwood keeper and then Ian Coughlin
who was inspirational on the day pulled a string of one on one saves against the a flood of Beechwood attacks. with one save in particular quite brilliant as he made a last ditch dive to clear the ball from the striker’s foot just as he was about to shot.As the half wore on Beechwood became stronger and with the pressure mounting on the Blessington defense mistakes at the back started costing the home side. First Ryan Keogh normally solid at the back tried to pulled down a ling ball only to see the ball bounce under his foot and go straight to the Beechwood striker who with the goal at his mercy fired high into the net (0-1) Blessington defense tried to play the ball up the channels but with the Beechwood midfield and strikers pressing the defense at every opportunity were finding it hard to get out of their half, another breaking ball was picked up by Daragh Gilroy who tried to play the ball up the line again this was closed down by the Beechwood midfield and the ball broke to their striker who slotted a lovely ball into the path of his strike partner again the striker cooly slotted the ball home past the on coming Blesso Keeper(0-2), Unfortunately for Blesso the pressure did not ease up and shots were raining in on our keeper, who in fairness was probably having his best game in a Blesso Jersey thwarting attack after attack at times single handed, it was only a matter of time before the third came and this was quite brilliantly executed by the Beechwood midfielder, again panic in the Blesso defense with Cian McCarthy under pressure attempted to back heel the ball in his own area, the ball broke to the Beechwood striker who laid the ball back to the oncoming team mate and from just outside the box, he bent a sublime shot that rose high over the Blesso keeper and into the net (0-3). On the rare occasions Blesso did get forward in the first half they found the Beechwood defense resolute and very capable. On notable chance near the end of the first half fell to Tadgh Miley when he stole the ball brilliantly off the defenders toe and ran through the defense, with the goal at his mercy he took aim to shoot only to see the defender make up the distance and deflect the shot of his own post,. (H/T 0-3)
The second half was a little more even and Blesso definitely grew into this game Adams had a long range volley saved well by the Beechwood Keeper and then Cian McCarthy had a pile drive blocked on the edge of the box, but just as Blesso asserted some pressure back came Beechwood, first Ian Coughlin pulled off a fantastic one handed save to turn the ball round the post and next he rushed out to play the sweeper roll just nicking the ball off the Beechwood striker, another Beechwood attack and more dilemma in the Blesso ranks saw Ryan Keogh clip the striker just as he was ready to pull the trigger, peno was the resulting decision quite rightly give by the referee. The Beechwood player struck the peno perfectly away from our keeper only to see it come off the two posts and safely back into the arms of the Blesso keeper, you could still sense a fourth was not far away and it duly came from a corner kick which was quite brilliantly met first time by the Beechwood striker on the volley that crashed into the net from the edge of the box. (0-4). If anything this was to inspire Blesso into their best spell in the game Adams had another effort saved well from the Beechwood Keeper and then Cian McCarthy hit the side netting from a shot at the corner of the box. Some lovely inter play between the Blesso midfield lead to our goal with Adam lobbing the keeper from the edge of the box (1-4) another chance fell to Blesso when Ryan Mulvey fired over the bar from just inside the box.This spell of dominance only seem to inspire Beechwood to raise their game again and back they came with goal number five, again a volley and again not dealt with by the Blesso defense from a resulting corner the ball was swung high into the the box and with the Blesso defense caught napping the Beechwood striker ran onto the dropping ball and met it first time with a wicked volley that again flew past our keeper (F/T1-5).
This is as good a performance I have witnessed in my time involved with grassroots football, the standard played by Beechwood is a blue print that we could all follow. Blessington U12B should not feel to down about this result as they gave their all and in fairness we will be stronger for these type of games in the future,this game in particular just came to soon for our boys, but I am sure we will be better prepared for our away tie in the future, But all the plaudits on Saturday have to go to Beechwoods coaching staff and players, who encourage football to be played properly and have molded a quite brilliant team who were a joy to watch. special mention has to go to the Beechwood midfielder who score a fabulous hat trick..From all at Blessington FC Well Done lads on a super team display.