Arklow Under-15s out of Evans Cup
Mervue United 2, Arklow Town 1: Lady luck deserted Arklow Town U15s on Saturday last as they exited this season’s SFAI Evans Cup after a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Galway’s Mervue United.
Town, unbeaten all season, made the long journey west fully appreciative of the tough task facing them against their respected opposition. Mevue started brightly, dictating the pace of the game and their early dominance yielded a fortuitous goal after one of their forward players was clearly in an offside position before scoring. However, much to Arklow’s annoyance, the goal was allowed to stand.
The setback appeared to focus the efforts of the Town side as they began to get a foothold in the game. Midway through the half Mark Hardy thought he had levelled but his goal-bound strike was superbly saved by the home keeper.
Alan Sunderland and John Kearon both went close with efforts before half time but once again the Mervue keeper stood firm. Arklow maintained their drive for an equaliser in the second-half and the game opened up with chances falling to both sides.
Sunderland shot narrow- ly wide and in the following Arklow attack Ian Reid saw his effort from outside the penalty area beat the Mervue keeper, but not the crossbar. In the scramble John Kearon agonisingly saw his effort rise above the bar and over.
Mervue went close to doubling their lead but were foiled by a magnificent save from Town’s Anthony Nolan. But ten minutes from time the Galway side grabbed that precious second goal, converting from a corner-kick.
Arklow pulled one back with five minutes remaining after excellent work from Ian Reid allowed Mark Hardy in to shoot low past the Galway keeper. Town pressed for a second goal in a frantic end to the game but to no avail as the full time whistle ensured, for a second season running, that Town’s interest in national cup competition ended.
There was genuine disappointment in not advancing to the last 16 of the competition having put in an excellent team performance, each and every player playing their part. Galway has proven to be an unlucky hunting ground for this Town side as last year they exited the SFAI Goodson Cup at the quarter final stage having lost 3-1 at Salthill Devon.