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Thursday 13 December 2018

Saints off the mark

Soccer, Division 1: St Anthony's 4 Newtown United 'B' 0

Patrick Woods of St Anthony’s and Dean Taylor of Newtown United battle for possession
Patrick Woods of St Anthony’s and Dean Taylor of Newtown United battle for possession

Paddy Hickey at Finn Park, Kilcoole

St Anthony's bounced back in style from their opening round defeat by Avonmore, as they coasted to an emphatic win over Newtown 'B' in this Wicklow League Division One clash at Finn Park, on Sunday morning.

A low strike by left-back Kyle O'Reilly helped the Kilcoole side to a 1-0 lead at half-time. And on the resumption, additional goals by Darren Collopy, Patrick Woods and by right-back Charlie Maguire underlined the superiority enjoyed by Wes Dempsey's side throughout a contest in which three Newtown players were sent off in the second half by referee David Jameson.

Centre half Aidan Carthy and half-time sub Stuart Odlum both received straight red cards from the match official, and striker Luke Martin was handed two yellow cards.

Afterwards, St Anthony's manager Wes Dempsey said: "After losing our first match in the League, it was great to get off the mark today, and I was delighted with the performance that the lads put in.

"Their attitude right throughout the game was super, they showed great composure, and I couldn't have asked for more from them.

"The wind was against us in the first half, so it was good to be a goal up at half-time.

"And in the second half we started to play extremely well and we took our chances well when they came.

"As well, we were probably a bit unlucky not to score another goal or two, as we went very close on a number of occasions.

"The performance was additionally encouraging as it was more or less a new team that we had out there today, as the team fell apart during last season in the Leinster Senior League.

"And it was great to get Patrick Woods back playing with us, as he played Gaelic last season," added Dempsey.

And Newtown boss Trevor O'Brien commented: "It didn't go to plan for us today. We brought a few new lads in and it didn't work out unfortunately.

"St Anthony's were the better team on the day, but it was our first time together in a game in nearly three years, as we didn't have a 'B' team.

"So there were a lot of young lads out there today, and a few lads who hadn't played for a few years.

"St Anthony's were tidy and they caught us on the break. They used their pace and, in fairness, they were disciplined.

"We weren't disciplined and we deserved to lose. The three sending-offs could have been three straight red cards, and we have no complaints," he added.

Playing with the wind at their backs, and with the advantage of the slope, in the opening half, the visiting side created the first clear-cut scoring chance on 10 minutes.

But from a corner, Karl Carthy headed wide of the target.

Four minutes later, Newtown's Luke Martin set up James Crean with a scoring chance, but the left-full's low shot was well saved by goalkeeper Robbie McNamee.

And almost immediately the home custodian also dealt very capably with an effort from Conor Eccleston.

Gradually, St Anthony's began to come more and more into the game, stringing some nice moves together, before Jordan Murray was not that much off target with a low delivery which flew wide of the left post on 20 minutes.

Four minutes later, the home side's Lorcan Kenna fired wide from a free, and on 28 minutes referee Jameson caused some controversy when after awarding St Anthony's a penalty, following a collision between goalkeeper Sean Carthy and an opposing forward, he reversed his decision.

But seven minutes from half-time the Kilcoole outfit finally took the lead when O'Reilly found the net after being played by the impressive Woods whose industrious and enterprising performance really caught the eye.

From that point on to the break, St Anthony's went close to adding to their tally on a number of occasions.

After being set up by Woods, Collopy was narrowly off target, and then Philip Doyle forced a corner off Dean Taylor from which centre half Darren Byrne half-volleyed narrowly wide with the goal at his mercy.

On the restart, with the wind at their backs, the superiority of the home side became even more pronounced, and only three minutes had elapsed when the energetic Collopy, who also plays with Garden County in the Wicklow over-35 League, fired in a 25 metres free which was deflected past the Newtown 'keeper.

The pressure on the visitors' goal continued to mount, and 10 minutes later the Newtown No 1 was called into action once more when he saved a delivery from Daniel Lacey, and almost immediately Collopy headed just over the Newtown crossbar.

And Newtown's hopes of salvaging anything from the game effectively went up in smoke on 65 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men as a result of the dismissal of Martin.

Within a minute, Woods, Jordan Murray and Collopy combined in a neat move which saw the last named fire narrowly wide, and on 71 minutes Newtown centre-half Aidan Carthy was sent off, considerably adding to his side's difficulties.

Then, Collopy's delightful cross found the head of Woods who sent the opposing netminder the wrong way with an expertly placed header.

And just before the final whistle, Maguire emulated the achievement of his fellow full-back O'Reilly, when he fired a low shot to the corner of the net.

ST ANTHONY'S: Robbie McNamee; Charlie Maguire, Kyle O'Reilly, Stephen Hunt, Darren Byrne, Lorcan Kenna, Jordan Murray, Daniel Lacey, Patrick Woods, Darren Collopy, Philip Doyle. Subs: Alex Ward (for Philip Doyle, half-time), Craig Meehan (for Darren Collopy 70 mins).

NEWTOWN 'B': Sean Carthy; Dean Taylor, James Crean, Cathal McNicholas Aidan Carthy, Karl Carthy, Michael Heffernan, Conor Eccleston, Steven Coughlan, Luke Martin, Conor Odlum. Subs: Stuart Synnott (for Steven Coughlan half-time), Sean Odlum (for Conor Odlum half-time), Terry Murray (for Karl Carthy half-time), Tom Fitzsimons (for Michael Heffernan second half), Craig O'Keeffe (for Conor Eccleston second half).

REFEREE: David Jameson.

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