Under 19 League Round-Up (Northern Elite Division)

Bohemians continue to lead the way in the Northern Elite Division after a 2-1 win over Derry City in what was a top of the table clash. Click here to view the latest standings.

Derry went in front early through Sean McBride, but second half strikes from substitute Steven Nolan and a late penalty from Cian Fay secured the win for Graham Lawlor’s men.

Lawlor said afterwards, “The game was played in torrential rain and Derry settled into the game much quicker than us.”

“The movement of their front four was excellent and we were lucky to go in at the break only one nil down. On the plus side in the first half, although Derry had the majority of possession, they didn’t have too many clear cut chances.”

“At half time the players spoke openly about how they’d improve in the second half and to stop allowing Derry so much space to play. They knew they hadn’t performed at the levels they have done in previous games. I can’t praise the players enough with their response in that second half and after Stephen Nolan scored an equaliser it was clear only one team would go on and win the game.”

“When the winning goal was scored from the penalty spot with 5 minutes remaining from Cian Fay the togetherness in the group was evident by the celebrations. It’s our fifth win in a row and the whole squad is working very hard.”

“The mid season break probably comes at a bad time but we will prepare properly to maintain our match sharpness over the next few weeks. I have to also praise Derry City on their first half performance, and it’s clear they have some excellent young players coming through their ranks again.”

Derry City boss John Quigg, “We were well on top in the first half and deserved the lead given to us by Sean McBride, when he took one of serveral chances. We should have went in at half time two or three up. However fair play to Bohs who were the better team in the second half, and scored to level the game. They went on and won it late on with a penalty. It was a great game played between two very good sides. We are just a bit disappointed we could not hold on, but that’s football.”

St Patrick’s Athletic hammered Longford Town 6-0, with a whopping four goals from first-teamer Aidan Keena, and their manager Garrett Dodrill was glad his side showed character following last week’s performance against Bohemians.

“Much better by us today. We started the game very well and attacked from the start. We needed a reaction following last week’s performance and had a few changes to the starting team.”

“We took the lead after only 5 minutes when great work on the right wing by George Mukete saw his pin point cross volleyed in by Cian McMullen. We then hit the bar from a header before Aidan Keena put us 2-0 up from a corner by Jamie Lennon heading in at the front post.”

“Great footwork in the penalty area by Cian Hughes, making his first start at U-19’s level and performing superbly, saw him set up George to make it 3-0 at half time.”

“We continued to play well in the second half and good work by Cian McMullen saw him set up George Mukete whos strike from 25 yards out came back off the post before Aidan scored off the rebound.”

“The same players were involved again for the 5th goal with Cian setting up Aidan to score from the edge of the box. The final goal followed excellent work by Willo McAdams who’s chipped pass was well controlled by Aidan in the box before firing into the bottom corner.”

“Longford were awarded a dubious penalty at the death which was well saved by Eric Donnelly to preserve the clean sheet. We should have added a few more goals today but sloppy play at times let us down.”

“We will work hard during the break once the lads get their exams out of the way and hopefully add some consistency to our game.”

Sligo Rovers scored a 90th minute equaliser from substitute Mark Birrane as they drew 1-1 with Dundalk. Jack O’Keeffe had the Lilywhites in front just before half-time.

Sligo’s Brian Dorrian said afterwards, “We’re delighted to get the draw, Dundalk are a very good team that play the game in the right way. In the first half both teams had loads of possession with Dundalk just shading it in my opinion.”

“We needed to play higher up the field with the ball and take more of a threat to Dundalk, which we told the lads at half time. The goal we conceded was from us playing out of the back, and their player read the pass and scored.”

You can watch the Sligo Rovers goal here;

“It’s more about learning for our players, not to get caught like that and encourage the players to be brave and confident when in possession.”

“In the second half we played higher up the pitch and the lads took the game to Dundalk which was pleasing for us. We had couple of chances as did they. We changed our formation with 15 minutes to go to try get something out of the game, luckily for us Mark Birrane got on the end of a corner and scored.”

“To be fair Dundalk created 2 great chances in injury time, and our keeper Ed McGinty saved one of them. I think we deserved a draw but we did not do enough to win it. It was a very entertaining game to watch, which I’ve got to give credit to Dundalk and our players as well.”

Shelbourne scored three late goals, and twice in the 90th minute, as they came from 1-0 down to beat Finn Harps. Gabriel Aghinita, Josh Scully and Sean Cronin scored the goals for Shels.

Shelbourne’s Wayne Groves, “I was really happy with our performance. It was probably our best football performance, but Finn Harps started really well and for the first 15 minutes they kept us penned in our half and eventually getting their goal.”

“But as soon as they scored our players just lifted their game, and completely dominated the rest of the match.”

“We created a lot of good chances but failed to take any. We went into the final 10 minutes and we created a great move with Micheal Murphy passing to Ross Molloy, who played in a great cross and Gabi Aghinita finished to make it 1-1. We scored again straight after through Josh Scully, and again with a great finish to cap it all off fromSean Cronin from 30 yards great win.”

Finn Harps manager Joe Boyle said, “Although we did not win the match, great credit must go to the Finn Harps U-19 players for the style and manner of their performance. It has been a difficult series of games for the young Harps lads but they were good value for their lead at half time and probably should have been further ahead.”

“Their work and quality of play was a good reflection of the work they had put in during the week, and I do see a much brighter time in regards results coming after the break.”

“Shelbourne did their part in making it a very enjoyable and interesting game through their quality and willingness to play.”

Athlone Town won 3-0 against Monaghan/Cavan and their manager Mick Dolan was a happy man after the game, “We were delighted to get all 3 points from our trip to Monaghan on Saturday following a very good second half performance.”

“We travelled with a squad of only 13 players as all of our Leaving Cert players bar Ian McCormack were not available to travel due to their upcoming exams. Add in 2 injuries, and that we left Joe Dwyer who played the last 3 first team games at home following Friday nights game against UCD, meant I added two players from our U-17s to the match day squad. Joe Carmody also played 45 minutes ‪on Friday night‬ but made himself available to travel, and he turned in a fantastic performance in a deeper midfield role than he normally plays and still got forward to score two of our three goals.”

Dolan was very quick to heap praise on the ground staff at Gortakeegan saying, “The pitch in Gortakeegan was in fantastic condition following the really heavy rain which started Friday, and was still raining heavily up to kick off. The surface was excellent and compliments to the ground staff as this was the best pitch we have played on this season.”

“Monaghan caused us some concern in the first 15 minutes or so with some strong running from midfield areas and on their right wing, but we settled into the game with Carmody and James Newell beginning to dictate the flow of the game, but we struggled to create really clear chances.”

“Newell created a chance for Paul Costello following a brilliant run down the inside left channel, but Costello’s shot flashed just past the near post. We had a let off on half an hour when we gave away possession from our free kick on halfway, but Cialan Dollard made a great tackle to prevent a very sloppy giveaway.”

“We were denied on two occasions by good home defending and had a very strong penalty shout not given, for a clear push on Ciaran Burns as he tried to get on the end of Ian McCormacks cross.”

“I was disappointed to come in level at halftime but our task became more difficult when Prince Wanzip picked up a second yellow card two minutes in to the second half. I replaced Jack Hall with Paddy Gantly immediately after in a tactical rearrangement.”

“Paddy Gantly was one of our two U-17’s players, and his pace and power allowed us to stay on the front foot, and we created a couple of decent chances before Carmody put us ahead following good build up play.”

“Despite being a man down I felt we played the better football and should have scored a second before Monaghan started to make some chances themselves.”

“Joe Carmody scored our second goal on 84 minutes following brilliant work by Gantly and Mirsad Zejnullajo, who replaced a tiring Paul Costello after 70 minutes. And Ciaran Burns scored the third with the aid of a deflection in injury time to seal victory, and Ciaran’s performance throughout the game merited his goal.”

“It’s not easy to pick out individuals, as football is about what the team does as a group but Kevin Fitzgerald and Cialan Follard were excellent at centre-back in the game when we were down to 10 men.”

“James Newell ran miles in the game to great effect and Ciaran Burns and Paddy Gantly who are both U-17’s were superb also.”

“Jack Lydon also pulled off one very good and brave save when the score was still 1-0 to us, but all of the squad who travelled deserve plaudits for their effort and quality of performance.”

Photo Credits;

Stephen Burke (@BohsABaldiemann)

ST Patrick’s Athletic

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