Saturday 7 December 2019

Mals take league form into FAI Cup

FAI Inter Cup: Malahide United 2 Tolka Rovers 0

Paul Byrne

Malahide proved too good for Senior 1A Sunday Tolka Rovers as Ger Coughlan's in-form side eased to a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Anthony McKay and Cillian Timmins.

The Fingal side have been in sensational form in recent weeks racking up four wins and two draws in Senior Sunday to move up to third place in the league. Their previous three matches saw them score ten goals without conceding all of which meant Tolka had a huge task on their hands in this FAI Intermediate Cup tie.

Tolka are a club with big ambitions and they are well positioned for a promotion push this season from Senior 1A having lost just one game so far this season. However, this game represented a step up from the opposition they have been playing thus far and it became clear from an early stage that the hosts were that bit quicker and more skilful on the ball. The home side pushed Tolka back right from the first whistle with the visitors seemingly content to defend in two banks of four and trying to hit Malahide on the counter.

The first big chance of the game fell to Anthony McKay who headed just wide after a great cross from Cillian Timmins. Malahide continued to pile on the pressure against an increasingly stretched Tolka Rovers defence and midway through the half they got the goal their good play deserved as Anthony McKay finally found space in behind before rifling home a low shot which flew into the bottom corner. That goal forced Tolka to come out of their defensive shell and they almost hit back immediately as striker Conor McCarthy saw his effort fly just wide of the Malahide left hand post. That proved to be the only shot of note for Tolka in the opening half and they almost fell further behind on the stroke of half-time as Timmins forced the visiting keeper into a smart save.

The second half began with Malahide continuing to put pressure on the Tolka Rovers defence and the visitors had their keeper to thank for keeping them in the game with a number of excellent saves. With the score only 1-0 Malahide knew they were still in a game and with this in mind they began to push hard for a second goal to finally kill Tolka off. That goal finally arrived just after the hour mark when a lightening quick counter-attack resulted in the visitors left short at the back which allowed Cillian Timmins the opportunity to steal in at the back post to tap home the second goal of the game.

That goal finally ended the brave resistance of Tolka who knew at that stage that the game was up with Malahide shutting up shop and seeing out the game for a comfortable 2-0 victory. Not quite the free flowing football that Malahide have been displaying over the last number of weeks but a good solid performance nonetheless which sees them through to the next round of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

Fingal Independent