Heartbreak in Kentstown
Kentstown 2 – 1 Carrick Rovers AFC
Rovers travelled to Kentstown on Sunday morning after recording a couple of good results against strong opposition.
With the pitch in great condition Rovers buoyed on by a good travelling support withstood early Kentstown pressure. Getting to grips with the opponents high intensity direct style, Rovers midfield started to get into the game and after 18 minutes created the first real opportunity with Wayne letting loose from the edge of the box. The Kentstown keeper done well to get down low and parry the ball, with Gerry unlucky to see his follow up effort smothered by the keeper. This saw Rovers gain a period of good possession with both wingers getting busy, Kevin got in behind the Kentstown rear-guard and swung a great cross to the back post where Ciaran got onto and seen his effort hit the side netting. Rovers were now in the ascendency and seen a few half chances not taken. From a Rovers corner played short Cian got pressed quickly and Kentstown won back possession and broke quickly. They turned defence into attack and the right winger fed the big number 9 who drove into the heart of the Rovers defence. A combination of Mickey and Babo did well to repel the first attack but the ball fell kindly for Kentstown and was played back into the middle where it was quickly swept past an exposed Mickey. With Rovers now under pressure, Mickey pulled off a good save to deny the nippy right winger who was causing Cian problems all day. Rovers regrouped and got in a halftime one down.
The second half saw Rovers up the tempo and after seven minutes got a deserved equaliser. From Cian’s left foot cross David got a first touch and Wayne applied the finishing touch from close in. With Rovers tails up they starting pressing high up but could not break a resilient Kentstown defence. Rovers lack of killer instinct was going to be their downfall as from a central freekick, Kentstown lofted a ball into the Carrick box and from the resulting ping pong Kentstown forced the ball home from close range. Rovers started to introduce fresh players into the action with Benny coming on wide right, Eamon up top, Titch at left back, Deco into the 10 and Liam Og on at right full. Rovers continued to create, Eamon seen his goal bound effort charged down. With Rovers pressing hard an equaliser looked inevitable and with 20 minutes left a corner was swung in and Lorcan rose to meet the ball in the middle of the goal four yards out. With a good connection made Rovers were sure an equaliser was on the cards only to see the ball fly agonisingly wide of the far post. Rovers continued to push hard but could not find a way past Kentstown. With the game in added time Rovers had one last freekick and floated it into the Kentstown area. There was a bit of ping pong and Kentstown were happy to clear the ball to safety and take the final shrill of the referees whistle. Rovers played some good football, but need to capitalise on their chances.
Team: Martin McDermott, Lorcan Kwan, Cian Matthews, Barry McNally, David Wilson, Kevin Lambe, Niall Babington, Gerard McKeown, Ciaran Flanagan, Paddy Larney, Wayne Kerley, Benny McSkeane, Eamon Lynch, Derek Moran, Stephen Carroll & Liam Og Murray.