Celtic be­gin with a bang

Im­pres­sive Sham­rock put Ark­low United to the sword

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - GAVIN FORDE

SHAM­ROCK CELTIC started their league cam­paign with an im­pres­sive 4-0 thrash­ing of Ark­low United B at Fern­dale Park last Sun­day.

Last sea­son Celtic failed to per­form away from home, drop­ping points to­wards the tail end of the sea­son but with a start like this Sham­rock Celtic are likely to be com­pet­ing at the top of the league ta­ble.

The first 15 min­utes of the game was very even for both sides in terms of pos­ses­sion with both teams look­ing to get an early goal but both de­fences stood solid for the first ten min­utes.

Sham­rock Celtic’s Scott Meaney was look­ing very lively straight from kick-off, the winger beat his op­pos­ing left back Drew O’Hal­lo­ran for pace in the open­ing five min­utes and whipped a ball across the box for striker Thomas Duffy but Duffy’s header didn’t trou­ble United keeper Dean Hayes.

Meaney grew in con­fi­dence the more he got on the ball and proved to be a mas­sive threat down that right hand side for O’Hal­lo­ran.

Meaney’s hard work paid off af­ter 20 min­utes when the winger ob­tained the ball deep in his own half, he then found Stephen Morris with space in the cen­tre of the pitch.

Morris made a great run to­wards goal and was heav­ily chal­lenged by the United de­fence but Morris wouldn’t go down and the mid­field pow­er­house un­leashed a shot that smashed the inside of the cross­bar and rat­tled the back of the net to make it 1-0.

It was only a mat­ter of time be­fore Sham­rock Celtic’s Glen McCarthy pro­vided that killer ball to break down the United de­fence.

The mid­fielder was pulling the strings from cen­tre mid­field as ev­ery­thing was go­ing through him.

McCarthy started an­other counter at­tack on the 32 minute mark when he took the ball from keeper Stephen Doyle and found Meaney who was mak­ing an­other great run.

McCarthy pulled the ball out to Meaney on the right wing who then made a dart­ing run down that right hand side, Meaney then squared a per­fect ball across the box to Duffy who couldn’t miss.

An­other great counter at­tack from the trav­el­ling side to take a com­fort­able 2-0 lead into the sec­ond half.

Sub­sti­tu­tions from the home side added more ex­pe­ri­ence on the pitch with Den­nis McAuliffe and Nathan Carr in­tro­duced at half-time for Joe Reid and Drew O’Hal­lo­ran.

United got more into the game from the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond half.

Den­nis McAuliffe worked hard with and with­out pos­ses­sion, win­ning ev­ery header and tackle from cen­tre mid­field.

His per­for­mance af­ter com­ing on led as an ex­am­ple for his fel­low team mates as they started to grow into the game, but un­for­tu­nately it was all too late for the Ark­low side.

They did have op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sec­ond half to get back into the game, winger Paul Ka­vanagh made a great run down let hand side be­fore hit­ting a pow­er­ful shot that looked like it was go­ing to nes­tle into the top cor­ner but Celtic keeper Stephen Doyle pulled off a great save to tip the ball over the bar for a cor­ner.

Mark Nolan changed po­si­tion in the sec­ond half from mid­field to striker along­side Luke Walker, Nolan had won the ball on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions and tried to get a knock down for Walker to run on to but the Celtic de­fence stood firm through­out the game and the two strik­ers were left with­out many chances through­out the sec­ond half.

Morris grabbed his sec­ond of the game as he found him­self in the right place at the right time af­ter an un-cleared ball from a cor­ner dropped in front of him.

Morris took his chance and got the fi­nal touch on the ball to put it over the line on the 76th minute.

McCarthy fin­ished off the game with a bul­let header from a well de­liv­ered cor­ner from Meaney to make it 4-0 on the 80th with no way back for United.

McCarthy took his header well and de­served a goal af­ter his con­tri­bu­tion through­out the game for his team mates.

United just didn’t get go­ing in the first half and it was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult try­ing to take the game to Celtic in the sec­ond half who had a two goal cush­ion, but the home side kept fight­ing un­til the fi­nal whis­tle, but un­for­tu­nately for them Sham­rock Celtic were well or­gan­ised at the back and that proved to be the dif­fer­ence in the two teams in the end.

Sham­rock Celtic, who be­gan the sea­son with an im­pres­sive win over Ark­low United.

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