Friday 19 April 2019

Five-star show bears fruit in Orchard rout

Soccer: FAI Inter Cup third round - Malahide Utd 5 Cherry Orchard 0

Paul Byrne

Cherry Orchard proved to be easy pickings for Malahide United as the Fingal club continued their rich vein of form with a second successive five-goal showing last Friday night.

Just five days after a 5-2 away victory at Firhouse Clover, Ger Coughlan's side once again showed their attacking prowess with an excellent display which secured their place in the fourth round of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

The formbook suggested that this would be a close tie, with both sides level in the Senior Sunday table on 14 points.

Orchard have proved difficult to beat this term, with only high-flying Bluebell and Bangor Celtic turning them over to date, and they travelled to Gannon Park high on confidence, having lost just once on the road all season.

However, the home side were not short on confidence either thanks to an eight-match unbeaten run which now stretches back to early September.

Malahide began the game well and attacked from the outset, with Gareth Craven leading the line for the men in red and black.

It didn't take long for the hosts to break the deadlock, with recently capped Irish junior international Gareth Craven continuing his red-hot streak in front of goal. Craven received the ball with his back to goal before turning his man and finding the bottom corner of the net with a neat finish.

That goal was no more than Malahide deserved, having looked extremely lively in the opening stages of the contest.

That goal brought Orchard out of their shell slightly, but they were caught out once more just three minutes later as Craven notched his second goal of the game.

A Cherry Orchard attack was broken up by Rob Duggan who looked up quickly before playing a wonderful ball through for Craven to latch onto. The strapping centre-forward took a touch before placing the ball low to the left of the sprawling Cherry Orchard keeper - 2-0 to Malahide after just 11 minutes.

Malahide continued to push forward, seemingly hungry for more goals, as the visitors struggled to cope with their high-tempo approach.

As the clock hit 20 minutes the hosts scored a third goal to virtually seal the game. The move began at the back before the ball was played up to Duggan. Not a lot seemed to be on for Duggan who was 25 yards out from goal, but the midfielder had other ideas as he took a touch before drilling a piledriver low and hard inside the keeper's left-hand post.

Malahide were playing some excellent football now and they deservedly scored a fourth goal just before half-time to cap off an excellent 45 minutes for the hosts.

This time it was Jordi Ebanda who supplied the finishing touches as the teenager scored his second goal in as many games to put his side 4-0 up at the break.

The second half was a much more sedate affair, with the home side seemingly content to defend their lead.

Cherry Orchard looked a beaten team, however, and failed to trouble the home defence and a miserable day at the office was capped late on with the concession of a fifth goal as Cillian Timmins found the back of the net to seal an excellent victory for his side.

Fingal Independent