Super Springers rammed seven past the Saints as they advanced to the second round of the Snickers FAI U17 Cup. Spirited Saints fought back well in the face of first half reverses but, in the second, ran out of steam against their well drilled opposition.
Talent galore on view at a splendid surface at St Mary's Park. Springfield defender 15 year old Kyle Downing took the Echo Man of the Match Award but had strong opposition from colleagues such as Steve Mulcahy, two goal Andy Hogan, Ian Stack, Steve Denehan, Barry Kirby and Paul Quigley, to mention a few. Full back Foaud Fawzi excelled for the Saints and they also had noteworthy contributors in Denis Twohig and Michael Hamon.
Springers were quickly into their stride and scored in the 14th minute. Not that there seemed much danger when they were awarded a throw out on the right. Defender Mulcahy came up to loft the ball towards the penalty spot where the unmarked Hogan headed home.
But the Cobh side gave the ball away in midfield midway through and were quickly punished. Twohig played a neat ball forward to strike partner Hamon and he rounded keeper Mark Bambury before slotting in the equaliser.
Two goals in as many minutes soon had Springers in a comfortable position. Hogan again got the second, this time heading home when Ian Stack found him with a free kick from the right. That was in the 34th minute and, sixty seconds later, Stack picked up a loose ball about thirty yards out and his cracking shot flew in over luckless keeper Donal Neenan.
Mary's response was positive and spirited and they got one back in the 41st minute. Hamon knocked a long ball down in the box and found right full Fawzi raiding up the left and he buried the ball.
And Mary's were unlucky not to snatch an equaliser just as the half closed. Hamon prevented the defence from getting to a dropping ball and Twohig collected and let fly but his cracker hit the side-netting.
Springfield manager John Coughlan heeded the warning signs and his team took a grip on the game in the early minutes after the re-start and, indeed, had built up their 5-2 lead by the 53rd minute.
Paul O'Keeffe was prominent for the Springers in this phase and his 48th minute pull back from the end-line enabled Denehan get in a good cross but Stack, well placed at the far post, hooked the ball over the target.
Stack had better luck in the next minute. The Mary's defence should have cut out his low cross from the right. But they didn't and O'Keeffe ran in to slam the ball into the empty net.
The fifth soon followed and it was a gem. Paul Quigley picked up the loose ball just inside the Mary's half, spotted Neenan off his line and lobbed the Mary's man. The Cobh visitors continued to exert the pressure and Stack was unlucky in the 62nd minute when his chip hit the bar.
The last quarter saw subs galore on the field and the game suffered. Neither side added to their tally and so Springfield advance to round two.
St Mary's: Donal Neenan, Fouad Fawzi, Colm Coveney, Mark O'Mahony, Ian O'Connell, Colin farmer, Roger Cordon, Ross Coveney (captain), Patrick McCarthy, Michael Homan and Denis Twohig. Subs: Christopher Lettice, Luke O'Mahony, Robert Murphy, Daniel Martin and Tadhg Lane. Manger: Mick Dalton.
Springfield: Mark Bambury, Alan Moriarty, Steven Mulcahy (captain), Jason McCarthy, Paul O'Keeffe, Ian Stack, Steve Denehan, Andy Hogan, Kyle Downing, Barry Kirby and Paul Quigley. Subs: George McCall, Jamie Coughlan, Peter Haine, Brian Smith, John Hogan, Martin Kennedy and James O'Callaghan. Manager: John Coughlan.
Referee: Andy Mylod.
|Man of Match: Kyle Downing|