Saturday 23 March 2019

Poor Swords plunge deeper into drop zone

Soccer, Senior Div Sunday: Swords Celtic 0 St Mochta's 2

Paul Byrne

Swords Celtic's poor run continued as they struggled to create any chances of note in a 2-0 defeat to St Mochta's at Balheary last Wednesday night.

Swords have been unlucky in recent weeks, losing in rather unfortunate circumstances to both Crumlin United and Cherry Orchard, but they could have no complaints here as they were completely outplayed by a St Mochta's side who have lost just once this season.

The most disappointing aspect of the defeat for manager Brendan Kennedy would have been his side's lack of inventiveness in the final third where they failed to test Mochta's former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Craig Hyland.

The home side looked second best from the first whistle as the Porterstown outfit bossed proceedings early on.

Having tested Swords keeper Stephen Trimble with a couple of long-range efforts early on, the visitors deservedly took the lead after a quarter of an hour thanks to a magnificent free kick from Sean Byrne. Trimble was left with no chance as the ball whistled past him into the top corner.

St Mochta's continued to push forward in search of a second goal and went close on the half-hour mark when Somers' header went just wide.

Swords huffed and puffed as half-time approached, but they were guilty of poor final balls in the final third as St Mochta's comfortable kept them out.

Swords were left with a lot to contemplate at the break as they went in after a less than inspiring opening 45 minutes.

The management were looking for a reaction from their side as the second half began, but the game followed a similar pattern, with St Mochta's bossing proceedings and the home side failing to create any notable chances as the game progressed.

The visitors could and probably should have doubled their lead on the hour mark but were denied as Byrne's effort from just inside the box was excellently tipped around the post by Trimble.

Swords were beginning to see a bit more of the ball as they tried to play the ball around midfield, but once they got into the final third the move would inevitably break down due to a bad pass or some good defending by their opponents.

The game looked to be petering out until the visitors wrapped it up late on with a deserved second to kill off the game.

That second goal arrived on 81 minutes when former Drogheda United defender Michael Daly cleverly flicked the ball over a defender and headed over Swords goalkeeper Trimble to wrap up the points.

It was a decent result for the visitors, but in truth they didn't have to get out of second gear against an unusually under-par Swords side who remain second from bottom in the Senior Sunday division with just nine games remaining to drag themselves out of trouble.

Swords Celtic: Stephen Trimble, Adam Boulton, Craig D'Arcy (Jack McGlade), Sean Kelly, Jonathan Lyons, Graham Leahy (Stephen Breen), Eoin Jones, Andrew Timmins, Anthony Burke, Andrew Bermingham (Andy Baker).

Fingal Independent