FAI Junior Cup Second Round Castleisland AFC 1-0 Newmarket Celtic, Clare
The A’s pulled off what was perceived as a bit of a shock in the FAI Junior Cup on Sunday by knocking out one of Munster’s top Junior sides Newmarket Celtic.
The home side went into the game as the underdogs but with a quiet confidence knowing that if they performed at their best, they would be more than a match for any side on home turf.
Bartlett’s Brave Save
The game kicked off at 2pm in front of a good crowd of both home and travelling support at Georgie O’Callaghan Park.
Newmarket flew out of the blocks and really troubled Castleisland in the early stages.
Irish Junior International Eoin Hayes was causing all sorts of problems in the opening stages.
On the five minute mark his cross was met five yards out by a Newmarket striker but was denied by one of the best saves seen at Georgie O’Callaghan Park to date as Steven Bartlett somehow got his body in the way of the shot, with the ball cannoning off his head and away from danger.
Moments after, Bartlett was called into play again as he made a solid save from a shot from outside the box.
Home Side – Close Call
There was to be no let up from the away side as on the ninth minute an attempted one-two on the edge of the box deflected off Colm Murphy into the path of a Newmarket player who was then brought down in the box by Aidan O’Callaghan, penalty to Newmarket. Eoin Hayes stepped up but to everyone’s surprise dragged his penalty left and wide, a big let off for the home side.
After surviving the opening onslaught, Castleisland had the next chance when Colm Murphy played Eamon Nolan in behind but his effort was just wide.
Islanders Getting a Grip
Castleisland were now getting to grips with the game and were defending much better as a team and looking to hit Newmarket on the counter attack.
Aidan O’Callaghan was looking dangerous from set pieces and in the 22nd minute he rose highest to head a corner just wide of the Newmarket post.
Newmarket were to create a number of other chances in the first half most notably on the 27th minute when a defensive error almost cost Castleisland but Bartlett was there again to make a save from a long range effort.
McCarthy and Brosnan Linking Up Well
The home side were working extremely hard to keep Newmarket out with Mike Hanifin putting in a great defensive shift sitting in front of the back four of O’Callaghan, Walsh, Carmody and Brosnan. Newmarket were to have one more good chance before the half time break but this time the striker couldn’t find the target, dragging his shot left and wide.
Castleisland started the second half well with Colin McCarthy and Pierce Brosnan linking up well to win a throw in on the edge of the Newmarket penalty area.
Colm Murphy’s Powerful Shot
Brosnan’s long throw caused havoc in the penalty area and Colm Murphy struck a powerful shot through a crowd of players and found the bottom corner to give Castleisland a valuable lead.
From the restart Newmarket almost equalised but for some last ditch defending from O’Callaghan. Hartnett introduced fresh legs in the form of Cathal O’Donoghue and Stan Divane as the home side looked for an outlet to reduce the increasing pressure they were coming under.
One More Glorious Chance
Newmarket dominated the closing stages in search of an equaliser but Castleisland were looking strong in defence.
O’Callaghan once again was in the right place at the right time to clear a goal bound shot off the line.
In the closing stages Newmarket were to have one more glorious chance but the strike saw his shot cannon off the inside of the post and back out across the face of goal.
After four minutes of additional time referee Tom O’Sullivan blew the final whistle to give Castleisland a famous win against a top side.
Shoulders to the Wheel
This was an outstanding team performance with every player putting the shoulder to the wheel and it was sheer determination that seen the lads get over the line on Sunday.
The A’s now progress to the third round of the FAI Junior Cup where they have been drawn at home to Newcastle West Town.
Denny Premier B
Castleisland AFC B’s 0-1 AC Athletic
The B’s opened their season with a defeat at the hands of AC Athletic.
The game was played under lights in horrendous conditions and both teams did their best to get the ball down and play in the howling wind and rain.
The boys would live to regret a couple of missed chances in the first half which should have seen them one or two up at half time.
Caught on the Break
With the game all square at 0-0 Castleisland gambled in their search for an opening goal and eventually got caught on the break and gave away a penalty. Diggins stepped up and made no mistake with the spot kick. The boys pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages but couldn’t quite make any great chances.
Work to do for the B’s over the next couple of weeks as they look to bounce back from an opening day defeat.
This Week’s Fixtures
The A team has another big game this weekend as they welcome Killarney Athletic to Georgie O’Callaghan Park on tonight for a Munster Junior Cup Tie. Kick off is at 7pm.
The youths are home to Kenmare today, Saturday with a kick off time of 2pm.