Match details below
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Wilton United 2 Knockraha 0
Pat Bowdren's Wilton United advanced to the third round of the Lucozade Sport Munster Junior Cup with a deserved, if hard earned, 2-0 win over underdog visitors Knockraha at Farranlea Road on Sunday morning. Wilton scored late in the first half and early in the second.
Knockraha didn't have that many chances but they fought well throughout. Keeper Ray O’Connor impressed and the back-line limited the lively Wilton men but, for all their spirit, they were lacking in midfield and that meant the forward duo of Trevor O’Connor and Killian Collins lacked the ammunition to do any real damage.
Like any Bowdren team down the years, Wilton wanted to play ball. They did pass well and had something of an edge in that regard. Besides, they lacked nothing in the physical aspect and matched the Knockraha commitment throughout.
There was a blow to the visitors in the 13th minute when full back Shane Ahern dislocated a finger in a touchline tumble. He was taken to hospital and replaced by Paul Fenton.
Wilton had the better of the second quarter and came close in the 22nd minute. Then a well hit free kick by Hugh Shields, hat trick scorer in the previous week’s win over Ard-na-Laoi, took a big deflection but keeper O’Connor rose well to pull it down from just under the bar.
The city side tested the Knockraha defence five minutes later. A deliberate long clearance by Cathal Walsh found target Michael Ryan close to the endline and he withstood two excellent tackles from Patrick Walsh before the raid petered out with a fruitless corner.
Knockraha weren’t getting much change upfront but did have a half chance in the 33rd minute. Then Derek Daly fed Paudie O’Sullivan on the edge of the box and he hit a low shot but it wasn't that difficult and keeper Dooley saved comfortably.
The breakthrough came in the 35th minute. Wilton’s right full John O'Mahony had a fine game and regularly threatened the Knockraha defence and it was no surprise to see him involved.
Shields made the initial breakthrough in midfield when he got away from Trevor O’Connor and passed to O'Mahony in an advanced position. The cross was good and was whipped in from close range by Michael Ryan.
Knockraha manager Colm Twohig re-organised his forces at the break and they came close to an equaliser in the first minute. A free kick broke loose in the box. O’Brien pounced but drove it over.
A goal then would have set up a great second half but Knockraha's comeback hopes were severely dented less than three minutes later. Darragh O’Donovan curled over a Wilton corner and Brian Murphy headed their second goal at the far post.
Wilton threatened to add a third and forced corner after corner. From one flag kick, in the 56th minute, the ball broke to Shields and, though under pressure from two defenders, he let fly from the edge of the box but keeper O’Connor was well positioned and made a good catch.
Knockraha themselves came close two minutes later. Collins got on the end of a angled pass from O’Brien but his mid-air touch – he was stretching- took the ball wide of the target.
Wilton didn't over exert themselves in trying to add to their advantage and Knockraha gradually ran out of ideas and steam and rarely threatened a score themselves.