Blessington U11A were at home this week at a very cold and frosty Community College to play Brookfield Celtic with both teams looking for the maximum points.
Brookfield started the game brightly after settling much quicker than their opposition. Brookfield’s early chances owed much to the powerful displays by their No #6 and No #8’s. Blessington’s midfield trio of Edward Carter, Sam Gallagher and Leon Murphy struggled to match their pace and strength in the early exchanges and Blessington’s goal keeper Paddy Brady the far busier keeper.
Blessington’s first chance of the game fell to Thomas O’Leary after a neat passing move started by defender Aidan Murphy. Aidan’s crucial tackle at the edge of his own box won possession back and his pass down the line was inch perfect for Sam Gallagher. Sam cut the ball back to Folu Ilori who picked out Thomas who unleashed a swerving shot that the Brookfield keeper was pleased to see go over the bar.
Brookfield raised their game after that and Blessington had difficulty getting out of their half. Blessington had Cian Doyle and Tadhg Murphy in particular to thank for keeping them in the game with important tackles and interceptions, both players having a great game. However Brookfield were determined to have something to take into the break after dominating possession and they really turned the screw. Three successive Brookfield corners were well defended by Blessington and as Edward Carter carried the ball out of defence he was fouled. The Blessington free out fell short however and the big Brookfield No #6 fired a tremendous ball into the box to one of his teammates. The Brookfield forward cleverly passed the ball to his onrushing team mate and his shot rattled the back of the net. 1-0 to Brookfield at HT.
The second half started at another high tempo with plenty of tough challenges from both sides. The halftime introduction of some fresh legs for Blessington started to make the difference and they slowly rose in the ascendency. Strong runs from Adam Walsh and Shane Sargent from midfield drew a series of fouls that would force Brookfield deeper and deeper into their own half. The equalising goal was started with a wonderful pass by Adam Walsh to Thomas O’Leary who had to use all his strength to hold off his marker and laid the ball off to Shane. Shane deftly swivelled around the Brookfield defenders and poked the ball into the bottom right of the goal after sending the keeper the wrong way.
Blessington took the lead soon afterwards. Eni Ilori was tormenting Brookfield down his favoured left wing and was dragged down as he raced towards the Brookfield goal. The resulting free kick was inch perfect and Eni rose highest to flick the ball on giving the keeper no chance. 2-1 Blessington.
Brookfield to their credit stormed back and had two tremendous chances to equalise. The first was a great volley destined for the goal but for the excellent goal line block by Sean Brien. The second chance was snuffed out by Ryan Mahon who tracked another powerful run by the Brookfield No #6 and gave his keeper Paddy Brady time to come out and collect the ball at the feet of the Brookfield player.
The final chance of the game came from a Blessington corner. Edward Carter whipped in a great ball that the Brookfield keeper punched clear, Cian Doyle lofted the ball back towards the goal and again the keeper punched high in the air it through a crowded area. The falling ball was watched all the way by Folu Ilori and he bravely headed the ball into the back of the net capping a fine individual display. 3-1 Blessington.
The final whistle was greeted by home supporter’s cheers that had the pleasure of witnessing a great match of fine football by two fully committed teams.
Well done lads!
Paddy Brady, Cian Doyle, Seán Brien, Tadhg Murphy, Aidan Murphy, Edward Carter, Sam Gallagher, Eni Ilori, Shane Sargent, Folu Ilori, Adam Walsh, Ryan Mahon, Leon Murphy, Thomas O’Leary.
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