UCD bounced back from last week’s defeat to Cobh Ramblers by beating Athlone Town 4-1 in Belfield on Saturday night.
A goal from the returning Gary O’Neill, who only passed a fitness test before kick-off, plus a double-strike from Georgie Kelly, and a goal from 19 year-old substitute Daire O’Connor gave the students a comfortable win. It leaves UCD just a point behind Waterford in the chase for the only promotion spot to the Premier Division.
UCD manager Collie O’Neill said, An important three points for us tonight. We were good in possession of the ball and created several chances, but still have a lot of work to do when we don’t have the ball.”
Gary O’Neill passed a fitness test prior to kick-off, and Collie was pleased to have him back, “Yeah it was good to have Gary back. He still wasn’t 100% but he’s vital to the way we want to play.”
“I thought Georgie Kelly and Evan Osam were our outstanding players tonight. Georgie led the line very well and finished his chances like an experienced pro, while Evan never put a foot wrong defensively and has been one of our most consistent performers. Although it was a good win, we as a group still have another gear to go and have a lot of hard work to do.”
Striker Georgie Kelly told us, “It was a very important win for us tonight to keep the gap down to just one point at the top.”
“Athlone were a very tricky side with some technically gifted players, they caused us problems throughout the game but luckily we had enough to get over the line.”
On his goals Georgie said, “For my first goal I latched on to a long ball by Maxi in behind and I spotted their keeper off his line and dinked it into the far corner. For the second they had decided to go for the game and left gaps at the back, I got in behind, rounded the keeper and slotted home.”