AOH CUP 26.11.05
Fairview 0 Cork Road Celtic 1
Third division rookies Cork Road Celtic (red colour) pulled off a first round ambush in the Murphy’s Stout AOH Cup when they ousted higher ranked Fairview on a 1-0 scoreline at Hillington Park on Saturday.
It wasn't the best of games for the few hardy spectators in the very cold conditions but that will hardly worry the Fermoy winners, making their debut in the competition.
Neither will they be over exercised by the fact that the winner was an own goal.
Nothing but praise though for the Road’s back four. Steve McCarthy, Dessie Herlihy, Leon Roche and Ross McCarthy, didn't put a foot wrong all the bitterly cold afternoon and keeper Dinny Fitzgerald, even if he didn't have that much to do, performed well when needed.
There was a great duel in midfield between the respective captains and Cork Road’s Colin Hogan probably shaded it against the View’s Gavin Pepper. Hogan was a key player in the first half. Pepper had the edge in the third quarter with honours even between the pair in the final phase of the game.
Both sides started brightly enough but there were few enough chances and the 12th minute winner came unexpectedly. The Road’s Alan McCormack swept in a free kick from the right. Keeper Seamus Miller and Sean Casey got their signals mixed up and the ball went in off the defender.
Pepper was involved as Fairview engineered a couple of half chances midway through. His quick throw put Steve O’Sullivan into the box but a solid tackle by Dessie Herlihy put a stop to his gallop and then Pepper, coming in at the end of a good move that also involved O’Sullivan and Kenneth Kearney, was under pressure as he shot and the ball went straight to the keeper.
Fairview comeback hopes rose in the second minute of the second half when Celtic had a man sent off.
But the ‘View never really took advantage of the extra man. The Fermoy visitors were stretched in the 52nd minute when O’Sullivan got away from a couple of defenders on the right but Damien Calendar’s shot off the cross was straight at the keeper.
Then Pepper let fly from the right but keeper Fitzgerald somehow managed to deflect the shot out for a corner. Midway through, there were two difficult far post chances for the ‘View but neither John Twohig nor Val Hennessy could convert their headers.
The City team had two chances in the 75th minute, both falling to O’Sullivan. Firstly, he narrowly failed to connect with a high ball into the box by Pepper. Seconds later, Hennessy lifted a neat ball over the top and O’Sullivan got on the end of it; he did well to control it but sent his speeding shot a couple of feet over the bar.
Time was running out for the ‘View. Manager Cal O'Leary and assistant Steve O’Donovan sent on a couple of subs but that Celtic back four continued to play as solidly as ever.
There was though an injury time scare for the winners, again provided by a Hennessy ball into the box. Both backs and forwards converged on it but it went dead after a couple of ping-pong ricochets and with it went Fairview’s final chance.
Fairview: Seamus Miller, Steve Lowry, Callaghan O'Leary, Colm O’Shea, Sean Casey, John Twohig, Gavin Pepper (captain), Steven O’Sullivan, Damien Calendar, Kenneth Kearney and Val Hennessey. Subs used: Kevin Kearney and Timmy Sheehan for O’Shea and Kenneth Kearney (both 82nd minute).
Cork Road Celtic: Dinny Fitzgerald, Steve McCarthy, Dessie Herlihy, Leon Roche, Ross McCarthy, Colin Hogan (captain), Alan McCormack, John Paul Ryan, Dermot O’Keeffe, Sean Kearney and Michael Bronnack. Sub used: Mark O'Brien for Bronnack (81st minute, injured).
Referee: Frank Murphy