Our lads were ready and excited for their first match of the school season we kicked off at 10:30am. The game started to get interesting and went in our favour in the 7th minute of the game as we put pressure on Celbridge’s back line. After defending a corner, our defence moved the ball out quick from a clearance from Oisin Smith with Alex Donnelly Swift putting pressure and working hard at the edge of the box on the goalkeeper and a defender. The ball broke to Gradi Mbombe’s feet who sent a high shot into the open goals, the side line celebrating late as we all thought it went over. Advantage for Naas CC.
Our midfield trio of Cameron Watson, Oliver Lahtinen-Kalsi and Sam Flynn were in command with some intricate and creative passing trying to keep possession for the forward line.
On the 20th minute, Ollie broke up the play in midfield, and through to Cameron who passed out wide to Oisin who carried the ball up the field in his attacking full back position. After a cross in from the left to the edge on the box, Gradi applied pressure to the last defender and ended up chipping the keeper. Our back line made up of Daire Kelleghan, Adam Bolster, Andrew Duff and Oisin Smith were keeping the front men quiet with some physical one on one challenges and getting the ball into midfield. Jack Taaffe was energetic off his line in some celbridge attacks and his kickouts from the goals gave us a huge advantage getting the ball into the oppositions’ half.
Celbridge reacted in a positive way in the 26th minute from an attacking free kick. Taaffe and Andrew both came out wide to meet the ball with two attacking Celbridge men and Celbridge’s no. 8 shot first time in a clinical shot into the back of the unoccupied net.
We finished 2-1 in the first half and whoever got the next goal would be in a mentally better position. With a 40 minute half, the boy’s fitness was being tested but their communication on the pitch was the better of the two sides. They all made sure they were getting vital information on oncoming payers and giving advice of decision making on the pitch. Gradi and Mazin Elbedawi swapped roles in the front three. Both Maz and Swifty had half chances in the second half with Sam Flynn taking some long range shots from outside the box. Our best chance came from Ollie who took a touch down and half volleyed the ball onto the cross bar, watching in suspense for it to maybe go over the line.
Naas CC. got the chance they were waiting for on the 65th minute with Andrew Duff Driving forward from centre half and calmly sliding the ball into Oisin’s path on the left flank. Oisin took the ball past two players at the edge of the box, encouraged to shoot from the side line and scored near post into the back of the net. We had a strong bench with Saloman Acosta, Scott Lynch and Cormac Cullinane giving fresh legs for the closing 20 minutes of the game. Cormac having the best chance to see out the game with a chance in the 6 yard box. 3-1 the game finished and a fantastic first game performance to the next round of the cup! We are due to play Moate CC. in Westmeath away after the mid term break. MOTM performances from Oliver for pulling the strings in midfield along with Oisin Smith playing left back for the first time and getting an assist and a well deserved goal!
Look forward to the next round, Miss Piare