MUNSTER JUNIOR CUP 21.01.2006
Villa United 4 Bohemians 3
Premier side Villa United moved into the fourth round of the Lucozade Sport Munster Junior Cup with a hard earned 4-3 win over local second division rivals Bohemians (red/black colours).
Bohs, unbeaten in the league, took the lead twice in an exciting first half but Villa equalised early in the less exciting second. Hat trick hero Derek O’Connor lobbed the 69th minute winner after the losers had a man sent off before each side hit the timber in the dying moments.
Villa, playing their first game on their new home at the Fairfield, had an early shock. In the 4th minute, Trevor Hallissey latched onto John Cronin’s through ball to put the underdogs in front.
After a few near things, O’Connor opened his account in the 16th minute, blasting home from inside the box, following neat approach play up the left by John and Lawrence Betts.
Villa took route one to go ahead in the 22nd minute. Then a long clearance by keeper Mossie O’Neill fell to centre forward Conor Murray. He was in behind the defence and let fly. Keeper Brian Philpot saved well but O’Connor nipped in to fire home from the rebound.
If Villa thought they’d taken control, they were badly mistaken. In the 25th minute, Cronin collected a left wing throw ball by George Kenny and showed neat control in the Villa penalty box before flicking the equaliser past the surprised keeper.
And it got worse for the Premier outfit, who were knocked out of the FAI Cup last week by Carrick Utd. In the 44th minute, John Paul Murphy needlessly fouled Damien Rea out on the left wing. The free broke loose in the box and Rea himself ran on to knock the loose ball past O'Neill to put Bohs in front for the second time.
It all began to go wrong for the underdogs in the opening minutes of the second half. Villa equalised just seconds after the restart. Murray worked hard in the box and got the ball back to young Lawrence Betts whose 23 yard lob went in off the hands of the back-pedalling keeper.
More trouble followed for the underdogs in 49th minute when the referee showed a Bohs midfielder a straight red card for a studs up tackle on Villa defender Terry O’Callaghan.
O’Callaghan came quite close to putting Villa ahead in the 64th minute when his corner from the left was tipped onto the far post by the keeper. Then sub Trevor O’Donovan went close for Bohs before O'Connor netted the winner in the 69th minute, lobbing the ball over the advancing keeper from 19 yards or so.
Surprisingly, Villa failed to make their man advantage count and the game was a live issue right to the end. Short-handed Bohs didn't make that many chances but came ever so close to a shock equaliser in the 91st minute when a 30 yard pile-driver by O’Donovan hit the angle of bar and post on its way over.
Seconds later, hat trick ace O’Connor held off his marker on the 18-yard line and let fly but his effort rebounded off Philpot’s right hand post.
Spirited Bohs never gave up and created one final chance two minutes into injury time. It came from a cross by full back George Kenny which found sub Eugene Hennessy stretching at the far post. But the contact was slight and the ball ran dead and seconds later it was all over.
Villa United: Mossie O’Neill, Liam Eager, Terry O’Callaghan, Michael O’Connor, David Knowles, Lawrence Betts, John Betts, John Paul Murphy, Derek O’Connor, Conor Murray and Brian O’Callaghan. Subs used: Alan Daniels and Liam Dennehy for Murphy and O’Connor (both 64th minute) and Owen O’Neill for O’Callaghan (72nd).
Bohemians: Brian Philpot, Robbie Walsh, George Kenny, David Lynch, Derek Lynch, Thomas Mulhall, George O’Mahony, Trevor Hallissey, Niall Collins, John Cronin and Damien Rea. Subs used: Trevor O’Donovan for Walsh (64th minute) and Eugene Hennessy for Rea (82nd)
Referee: Tom Tully.