Blessington U11A made the short trip to the excellent facilities at Frank Cox Park to play Rathcoole FC. This game had a bit of a twist as they faced their school friend and old Blessington club-mate Jack Leitner who moved to Rathcoole in the close season.
Blessington started brightly and took an early lead after Rathcoole succumbed to some early pressure from Blessington’s midfield. Edward Carter and Eni Ilori testing the Rathcoole defenders with powerful runs and the pressure led to the first corner of the game from which Edward found the back of the net.
Blessington hadn’t played for a number of weeks and unfortunately it became evident that the momentum that had been built up had been lost. We looked good on the ball and moved it well the majority of the time but it was the times that we didn’t have it that cost us the points on Saturday. Rathcoole are a good footballing side and have real pace in their front players. We didn’t really get close enough to them and allowed them to run at our goal time after time. Their equaliser came from a corner as their no #14 rose to meet a perfect cross by Jack Leitner. 1-1 at HT.
Rathcoole took an early lead in the second half after a move on the right from Blessington broke down and the Rathcoole forward gave Paddy Brady no chance with a stunning strike into the top of the goal. Blessington were struggling to contain Rathcoole now and another stinging shot was excellently pushed onto the crossbar by Paddy but fell kindly to another Rathcoole player who tapped in to make it 3-1. Blessington rallied however and were inspired by Aidan Murphy who showed real commitment to drag his team back into the game. Time after time he drove forward in search of a breakthrough and he got it. After winning the ball from Rathcoole’s Jack Leitner at the halfway line he tore down the line and played a lovely ball inside to Sam Gallagher who drilled a low cross into the box to the arriving Folu Ilori who was never going to make a mistake and made it 3-2.
However moments later Blessington felt that déjà vu had struck when Rathcoole went 4-2 up after dispossessing Blessington and finishing the move in style. Another quick goal some moments later finished the contest as Rathcoole found the net for the final time to make it 5-2.
Initially it was difficult to find a positive from this result as it had been a long, long time since we conceded 5 goals but thankfully they appeared later in the afternoon. Aidan Murphy in particular with his determination and commitment was great to see. Our passing game whilst not at its best was still present and our goals all came from excellent movement on and off the ball. And we kept their keeper on his toes throughout the game.
From next week we will train on Astro at Avon Rí as the dark evenings have closed in and will be back on grass in February.
Onwards and upwards!
Paddy Brady, Cian Doyle, Seán Brien, Tadhg Murphy, Aidan Murphy, Edward Carter, Sam Gallagher, Eni Ilori, Shane Sargent, Folu Ilori, Adam Walsh, Ryan Mahon.
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