Match Report by Miss Piare
On a morning with mixed weather and with 50 supporters behind us, the NCC 1st year soccer team ventured to Newbridge Town’s astro turf pitch to face St. Farnan’s of Prosperous to try and become Kildare Champions. As all the team kitted out, they attentively listened to the game plan for what would be a difficult surface on a wide pitch. With the warm up completed with the highest of attitudes, there was no messing in the pre match preparation as all the players saw that the trophy was in their grasps. As Ibrahim Babiker shook hands with the ref and the St.Farnans captain, NCC supporters cheered and the starting 11 lined out in an exciting attacking formation that has worked for in the past 3 games.
NCC pushed forward in the opening minutes and most of the play was occurring on the right hand side furthest away from the supporters who were dying to see how this team worked. In the opening five minutes we had had a corner and a free kick in the oppositions half. Mazin Elbedawi, Alex Donnelly Swift and Sam Flynn were causing a lot of trouble as they pushed forward in the attack, where they were all looking for the first goal to get the game going. From a bursting run forward from Alex the half way line, a well paced pass was strung through to Edward O’Toole who crossed the ball into Mazin who just missed the shot, this was the first glimpse of the danger that NCC had to offer in the game. The first goal started with Alex, who pushed forward with pace into the opposition half . He slotted Maz through onto the defenders where he calmly took on the defender and drew out the keeper , which resulted in the first goal with the tiniest of touches to place it into the back of the net in the 8th minute of the game.
Our second goal started off with a interception in midfield from Ibrahim, who laid it off to Edward on the wing. A ping into midfield allowed Oliver Lachtein-Kalsi to open up the play in midfield with a pass into Sam who in turn created a dink pass over the defenders to allow Alex to covert the second goal through the heart of defence at the edge of the box. Two nil and the NCC were starting to brim with confidence. Sean Joyce was nicknamed the “silent assassin” from the sideline as he punished the Prosperous full backs in fantastic wide play. Edward and Sean were very creative in their attacking approach as they swapped wings to change up the play and used a series of drag backs, Ronaldo chops and back heels to weave their way through the opposition wide players.
The game stayed at 2-0 for the next seven minutes with some fantastic defending from Adam Bolster as he cleaned up everything that came thorough to him. James Leonard and Daire Kelleghan were also strong in keeping the opposition out of our own half with some hard worked tackles.
Our third goal came in the 17th minute from the right hand side where Sam danced past three players as he picked up the ball form the side line. When he got past the players he pulled it back to the edge of the box to Alex (Nicknamed “Swifty”) who made sure of his placement with a right footed shot that went over the keeper and into the net at the far post. As a coach I asked for three goals by the second half and they shouted over to say they had completed this task after 17 minutes. Prosperous started to apply some pressure but James fought hard to push away some strong attacking play from prosperous as he laid the ball off nicely to Sean Joyce who was waiting out wide to push the team forward.
The attacking forward three were proving to be a problem for the opposition defence as they completed some fantastic interplay passes with each other. With a wall pass played into Maz from Alex, Maz spun off the defender with a killer touch into the box but ended up on the ground from a tackle from the defender. Free kick given in the proximity of the goal! Sam stood over it for his chance to add to the score sheet. With a right footed shot from the right hand side, the ball settled into the far post of the net giving the keeper no chance with a goal of killer precision.
It was nearly like déjà vu with a Maz and Sam combination where Maz was taken down on the left hand side with Sam converting the fifth goal from some mis-communication in the box and the ball drifted into the back of the next as prosperous let the ball bounce in the box. Jack Taafe was demonstrating a strong performance in goal with numerous runs off his line with clearances outside of the box.
Prosperous put some pressure in our half as Adam and Daire were fending off some attack from the left hand side. A free kick was given in the mix of it all and prosperous lined up in an dangerous part of the pitch. With a strong free kick, the crowd were in shock as it rattled the cross bar and back out for a rebound shot that just went wide. It was a great attack that allowed our boys to realise there was still some danger for conceding goals.
The first half finished with some excitement with great closing down play from Ben Gregg and some silky footwork from Oliver at the edge of the box trying to make his way in for a cross. Stephen Reid also came on and showed some tremendous skill by providing a robona through ball into the path of Sean. The whistle was blown quite soon after this with the boys running into the center circle for a much earned drink.
With all hands in and cheering for each other on the huddle, the boys lined out again to show the other team they were raring to go for the second half.
Sam was busy in the opening minutes as with some creative technique flicked up the ball with a keepy uppy over his shoulder and drove himself into the box past 3 defenders. Prosperous pushed on into our half early on where Olly and Daire Kelleghan worked well to clear it from their box and made sure the pass was pushed on to Sean who had a shot on target from the right hand side.
It took 6 minutes for us to score the next goal, where Stephen split the defenders into the path of Olly who took two touches ahead of himself into the box and who calmly converted the 6th goal of the game with a low shot across the keeper.
In the 16th minute in the second half NCC didn't let up in their efforts to try and add more goals to their score with some great teamwork that started from the back. James battled hard from the back in a difficult shoulder to shoulder challenge where the ball was placed into the path of Ben who made a great turn out wide on the touch line where it was pushed onto Sam ,Stephen then to Swifty who then hit the post. Kevin O’Reilly then took the shot that came out to him where it just went wide. Ibrahim and Olly worked hard in the central midfield role to shield the defence and broke down the play to allow the attackers to push the ball forward. Ben Gregg and Kevin Reilly worked hard on a wide left role of the pitch to keep possession for NCC.
A change was made in goal where Harry Grainger took the place of Jack Taafe, who was then moved on up front to add an added physical presence. Jack made an immediate impact and took an adventurous run from the half way line where he made it past 3 players where he headed towards the box. Both players were stopped in their tracks as they ended up in a collision that left prosperous from a free kick out. Alex earned another free kick shortly after at the edge of the box on the right hand side. Sam again claimed it as his own which was converted with a powerful shot into the back of the net which awarded Sam with his Hat-trick.
In the 23rd minute Prosperous reacted in an excellent manner as they applied some pressure towards our half and one of defenders fouled one of their attackers at the edge of the box. Prosperous converted their free kick to break our clean sheet which gave Harry no chance as it was shot into the far corner of the goal over our wall.
Alex Donnelly Swift finished off the game as he was given a neat through ball pass into Ibrahim on the right hand side where he collected the ball out wide. He kept it close to his feet and adjusted his body away from the defender to complete his hat trick as he made sure of the goal with a well pinged shot into the back of the net.
This finished off NCC’s Victory in an historic win with the first trophy that the school has earned. It was a fantastic , well earned performance from a team which showed a lot of heart for each other and for their school. Man of the match performances went to Sam Flynn who scored 3 free kicks and had two assists while Alex Donnelly Swift needs to be mentioned for his own hat trick with some killer finishingand footwork from play. Thanks to all of our supporters and their behaviour who finally got to witness this super team in action. Looking forward to moving into the Leinster Quarter Finals game against Colaiste na Mi from Navan on Friday the 31st of March.
From a proud coach who is looking forward to seeing their future performances in representing Kildare and Naas Community College. Well Done to every player involved, Miss Piare ⚽