Ark­low ad­vance on penal­ties

SOC­CER S.F.A.I UN­DER-12 NOR­TON CUP

Bray People - - Sport -

CUP FOOT­BALL al­ways brings out the dra­matic and few games in this round of the SFAI U-12 Nor­ton Cup will have pro­vided as much drama as the meet­ing be­tween Beech­wood (SDSL) and Ark­low Town.

High winds and a small pitch were both fac­tors in Town’s slug­gish start to the game as they were un­able to ap­ply any width to their game.

In­stead, the di­men­sions of the pitch en­sured Town opted for a more di­rect ap­proach; through the mid­dle or over the top.

Ei­ther way, the Ark­low side got go­ing and were soon ahead. Kyle Jor­dan and Jor­dan Gan­non, both ex­celling in mid­field all game, cre­ated an open­ing for Kae­lim Broughan to put Town ahead and he did not need ask­ing twice.

Two min­utes later, Ark­low’s lead was dou­bled. Keith Byrne’s inch per­fect pass played in Broughan to score his and Town’s sec­ond, ham­mer­ing into the top cor­ner.

Town al­most made

it three be­fore the break, with Kyle Hil­liard go­ing close from a Cor­mac Mur­phy free-kick on the edge of the Beech­wood box. Af­ter the half time in­ter­val, it was Town once again looking the like­lier to score and even though three chances were spurned it looked as though they might still cruise to a comfortable win. Not so, as the fi­nal ten min­utes, and be­yond, pro­vided enough drama to keep RTE in busi­ness for a win­ter sea­son.

The home side dragged them­selves back into the game with a shot from dis­tance, de­flect­ing off a Town de­fender and loop­ing be­yond the de­spair­ing hand of Town keeper Aaron Jack­son and nestling in Town’s net. With just three min­utes re­main­ing the Dublin side lev­elled, a de­fen­sive blun­der gift­ing the home side an equaliser.

Into ex­tra-time, Town re­couped and re­ally should have put the game to bed. Chances in both first and sec­ond halves were not con­verted en­sur­ing the lot­tery of penal­ties would de­cide the out­come.

Town’s Cor­mac Mur­phy stepped up to slot home the open­ing spot-kick. Aaron Jack­son then made a won­der­ful save to give Town a slen­der ad­van­tage, but that too was short lived as the Beech­wood keeper de­nied Kyle Hil­liard with the fol­low­ing spot-kick. Kyle Jor­dan re­stored Town’s edge and when Aaron Jack­son again de­nied Beech­wood it fi­nally be­gan to look like Ark­low’s day. Kae­lim Broughan in­creased Town’s ad­van­tage and with the next Town penalty it was Keith Byrne smash­ing home that fi­nal nail in Beech­wood’s Cup as­pi­ra­tions and en­sur­ing Town ad­vance to the next round, where they will wel­come a Newbridge Town side to Ark­low.

Ark­low Town's Jor­dan Gan­non, who was highly in­flu­en­tial in Town's dra­matic win over Dublin side Beech­wood.

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