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Dunbar Celtic 2 Wilton Utd 1
End to end, thrills and spills, and never a dull moment as Dunbar Celtic advanced in the FAI Youths Cup with a slender 2-1 victory over underdogs Wilton Utd.
The AUL’s Barry Peelo was at the game: “Each side played its part in serving up this cracker. Chances were created regularly, some taken, many missed. Really, there was nothing between the teams as both sides enjoyed dominance at various periods. The football was very good, each team moving well when in possession.”
Dunbar Celtic’s hot shot Craig O’Leary was Peelo’s pick as the Evening Echo Man of the Match. O’Leary, who has bagged 13 already this season, didn’t score at Murphy’s Farm but impressed: “Craig’s overall contribution was excellent. He showed tremendous pace and control when in possession and, with accurate distribution, brought his colleagues into the game at every opportunity.”
Dunbar went ahead in the 15th minute when Liam Hewitt dispossessed Wilton’s full back Danny McAleer, set off towards goal and dipped his effort over the head of the Wilton goalkeeper.
Both keepers were busy and Dunbar’s Gary Duffy was seen at his best midway through. Then Wilton’s Shane O’Neill released Sean Jordan with a marvellous pass but Duffy saved with his feet.
Just before the break, tireless man of the match O’Leary released Liam Hewitt in on goal and it took a fine save by keeper Kenneally to prevent the lead being doubled.
Early in the second half, O’Leary came agonisingly close to putting Dunbar further ahead when, after rounding the Wilton goalkeeper, he shot towards the goal but Brian Leonard cleared off the line.
Soon, there was a similar escape at the other end. Sean Jordan got past the Dunbar goalkeeper but his effort on goal was cleared off the line Martin O’Sullivan. The ball reached David O’Mahony and O’Mahony’s goal-bound header had goal written all over it until keeper Duffy went full stretch and tipped it over the bar. Soon afterwards, Duffy did well to push away a powerful 25-yard shot by David Gough.
O’Leary sent Hewitt through in the 61st minute but he shot over the abr. He had better luck four minutes later when lifting the ball over the keeper’s head to make it 2-0.
Wilton never gave up and were unlucky when David O’Mahony rattled the crossbar with a fine effort after being released by Jordan.
Wilton deservedly got one back in the 67th minute, following a foul on tricky winger Shane O’Neill. O’Neill took the penalty himself and he made no mistake.
Wilton were very unlucky a few minutes later, coming ever so close to an equaliser. Gough hooked the ball over the advancing Duffy’s head only to see it come back off the crossbar and away to safety.
Dunbar put in a strong finish and Cian Moloney fired in a 25 yarder that came off the butt of the upright with the Wilton goalkeeper stranded.
Hewitt had one more chance of the hat trick. With a few minutes to go, the influential Stephen Smith got away on the right and sent a good ball into Hewitt who collected, managed to get past the keeper but shot narrowly wide from a poor angle.
Dunbar: Gary Duffy, Martin O’Sullivan, Jason O’Donovan, Michael O’Connor, Barry O’Connor, Ross O’Callaghan, Cian Moloney, Liam Mehigan, Craig O’Leary, Liam Hewitt and Stephen Smith. Subs: Barry Durkin, Ronan Malone, Adam Donegan and Graham Foley.
Wilton Utd: Pat Kenneally, Danny McAleer, Matthew Ryan, John Paul O’Riordan, Cian Anderson, Brian Leonard, Shane O’Neill, Steven Duffy, David Gough, David O’Mahony and Sean Jordan. Subs: Jack Porter, Ian O’Mahony and Kevin Donnelly.
Referee: Sean Hegarty
|Man of the Match: Craig O'Leary|
|Pictured at Murphy's Farm (l to r): Wilton captain Cian Anderson, referee Sean Hegarty and Dunbar skipper Michael O'Connor. FAI Youths Cup, Dunbar Celtic 2 Wilton Utd 1, Murphy's Farm, 14.11.04 - Billy Lyons|