Coolboy see off Wicklow
WICKLOW ROVERS 1 COOLBOY RANGERS 2
IT WAS take two in the under-16 Premier Cup semi-final between Wicklow Rovers and Coolboy Rangers.
The tie was originally played two weeks ago with Coolboy coming out 2-1 victors but the fixture was replayed this week due to confusion over a Rangers player's suspension.
The end result of this game matched that of the previous with Coolboy winning by two goals to one. It had all the ingredients to be a cracker with Rangers winning the under-16 Premier League and Rovers finishing runners up earlier this season.
Coolboy took the lead after 11 minutes. Adam Barnes went on a run down the left flank, Barnes swung a deep cross into Rian Daunt Smyth who fired past Callum Vickers to give the visitors an early lead. Rovers nearly hit back immediately.
Kevin O'Halloran saw a gap in the Rangers defence, firing a low shot from range inches wide of the post.
The game seemed to be wide open in the first period; there was potential goals in it for either side if they could create the chances. Mid way through the half Adam Barnes went on a similar run to the one that lead to the earlier goal but the winger only managed to shoot across the box and harmlessly wide.
Ten minutes later Wicklow had their best chance of the half to level the scoring. Colin O'Toole laid off Kevin O'Halloran who let fly from a distance, Coolboy custodian Nathan Keane parried the effort but nobody was there to tap in for Rovers.
Rovers were coming into the game towards the end of the half, enjoying a fair share of possession inside the guests half without creating many noteworthy chances. Stoppage time of the first half saw Kevin O'Halloran shoot wide once more.
Wicklow made two changes at the break in the hope of pulling the game level and in their favour.
The introduction of Ben Fleming brought fresh hopes as he has bagged plenty of goals from the bench this campaign. Coolboy had a great chance to double their advantage in the 54th minute but Callum Vickers confidently came out off his line to narrow the angle and stop Rian Daunt Smyth's shot. The rest of the game followed the same pattern that was in place at the end of the first half with Rovers enjoying large amounts of the ball. Despite this Coolboy nicked a second goal up the other end in the 62nd minute when Adam Barnes coolly slotted the ball into the Rovers net to make it 0-2.
Coolboy always looked dangerous in attack and the hosts got caught out over committing going forward in search of the equaliser.
Wicklow then had a great opportunity. A massive cluster of players in the penalty area lead to a scrappy scramble in the box with Colin O'Toole and substitutes Ben Fleming and Oisin Breen having chances to turn the ball in, the latter of the attempts was deflected wide.
Andrew Earls swung the corner that followed into the box, centre back Brian O'Sullivan headed in the direction of Kevin O'Halloran who blasted the knock down over the bar.
Time was running out for the green and white's, in the 78th minute Andrew Earls forced Keane into his first save of the half with a low and hard drive. Once again the shot was parried and nobody was home to stick the ball in the net.
Plenty of injury time was added due to numerous stoppages throughout the half. In the fourth minute of added time Rovers were awarded a penalty when the ball struck the hand of a Coolboy defender. Kevin O'Halloran stepped up to take the spot kick, smashing the ball underneath the keeper and into the back of the net. This was the very last kick of the game, it was too little too late for Wicklow.
Rovers had lots of possession and if they could of created just a few more clear cut chances they may have scored earlier on. Coolboy showed what they were made of going forward, attacking with lots of pace.
Top Form: Colin O'Toole (Wicklow Rovers): Despite being on the losing side, the Rovers front man never stopped running and never gave up. If he was deployed a bit more he could of done damage.