Carrick Rovers 13’s hosted Monaghan Utd on Saturday afternoon on our Seniors pitch on the Ballybay Road and the change of scenery seemed to stifle these young lads changes of expressing themselves as much as they have been doing normally. The visiting team had a few players who were physically stronger than the Rovers lads and this seemed to hinder the Carrick sides ability to get into their usual free flowing style. Monaghan used their strength to pin Rovers into their own half early on and though Liam Og Murray and Jared Wenham tried to relieve the siege it was one way traffic early on. Killian McNulty in the home goals was performing heroics and was brave on several occasions to keep Utd at bay.
Rhys Jones had his hands full at right back and needed the help of Bendera to defend their flank. Robert McCloskey and Tiarnan McCourt rolled their sleeves up and began to get to grips with the Monaghan forwards. Young Oisin O’Hanlon and Ethan O’Gorman, giving away a year, really battled well, and Dylan McCahey on the left, always looking to get involved, until he came off injured. Dillon Carolan upfront on his own hardly seen the ball early on but dropped back to help in midfield. The 1st 20 minutes remained scoreless and when Rovers thought they had weathered the storm, they conceded a corner. They went to sleep as 2 Monaghan players took the kick short and from the cross the striker had an easy task of heading home unopposed.
Half time Carrick Rovers 0-1 Monaghan Utd
A few harsh truths were spoken during the interval and Rovers came out a better team at halftime. They got a foothold in midfield with McCloskey and McCourt moving further up the field with Cathal O’Rourke and Cian Maher coming on for Jones and Carolan. Again McNulty had to be brave on few occasions, taking a boot to the face for his troubles. Murray was now snuffing out any danger from the away team and setting his own side on the attack. Bendera was becoming more involved and Jamie King upfront was causing more and more trouble. When Carrick did break through the Utd keeper was proving to be a great last line of defense. The game ended without any further change to the scoreline.
Full time Carrick Rovers 0-1 Monaghan Utd
The old saying in football about it being difficult to change the pattern of play in a game if you start slowly was definitely the case here.