The Castleisland A.F.C. ‘A’ team played its second home game of the season on Sunday morning against last year’s double champions, Killarney Athletic A.F.C.
By Neil O’Sullivan
Manager Dan Maunsell made one change to his team with Jonathan Downey returning from injury to replace the injured Stan Divane.
In the opening minutes Athletic were on top keeping the ball well without creating much in front of goal.
Sean Óg Ó Ciardubháin replaced Colin McCarthy after Colin picked up a knock in the early stages. On the 16th minute Athletic took the lead when Shane Lynch headed home from a corner kick.
A disappointing goal to give away after defending well in the opening stages.
A Similar Pattern
The rest of the first half was played out in a similar pattern with Killarney having most of the possession but the home team defended well with Aidan O’Callaghan and Mike Cahill looking solid together. Half time 1-0.
At half time Castleisland changed formation and Tommy Feehan joined Jonathan Downey up front. Ten minutes into the half Castleisland had a great chance to equalise when Downey forced a mistake at the back and drew former Kerry keeper Brendan Kealy out of goals to make a clearance. This fell at the feet of Tommy Feehan but Tommy’s chip was well saved by Kealy.
On the 64th minute Castleisland was punished for missing chances when a ball from the wing bounced around the box before falling to William Courtney who finished well past Steven Bartlett. Now, 2-0 and the game looked beyond Castleisland.
Three at the Back
Dan Maunsell made a double change with Ray Huggard and Mike McCarthy coming in with Castleisland going three at the back and Aidan O’Callaghan moving up front. It was great to see Mike returning to the playing field after five years out after a serious knee injury and a successful stint at management where he led the club to a league and cup double.
Aidan made an immediate impact up front causing the defence all sorts of problems with his hold up play and flick ons.
Jonathan Downey and Pierce Brosnan forced Brendan Kealy into two excellent saves before Mike Cahill hit a strike from the edge of the box which whistled into the bottom corner.
With five minutes remaining Mike McCarthy completed the twin towers strike force when he moved up front along with Aidan, Matthew Browne and Stephen McCarthy.
Credit for Battling
Athletic had a great chance to finish the game in the 88th minute when Sean Cournane was played in on goal one on one with Steven Bartlett who pulled off a great stop to keep the game alive.
In the 90th minute Paul Carmody launched a ball forward which O’Callaghan flicked on and Mike McCarthy was waiting in the box and somehow found the bottom corner with his back to goal.
Two all and a deserved equaliser for the home side.
The boys deserve great credit for battling on and getting what could be a very important point come the end of the year.
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