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houlahan bags brace for naas

Naas United FC ..................4

Eleson United FC ...............2

NAAS UNITED made their intentions known to Masters Division 2 front-runners Coill Dubh AFC and Leixlip United, by overcoming Eleson United 4-2 to leave them six points off the leaders with a game in hand in this very competitive over 35 Division.

The home side started the brighter, having two early chances cleared off the line after good work by Shane Finnegan.

Finnegan was involved again in the 10th minute as he pushed forward from the left-back position and was brought down by defender Robbie Kavanagh for a penalty.

The resulting spot-kick was calmly put away by Gary Houlahan into the bottom left corner to give Naas a 1-0 lead.

Finnegan and Houlahan had started the game in flying form and they combined down the left on 13 minutes for Houlahan to whip a dangerous cross in.

Under pressure Eleson defender John O'Connell headed to his own net, past the despairing dive of Shane Keely in goal, to give the home side a deserved 2-0 lead.

It was all Naas United at this stage and two minutes later another great cross from Houlahan forced another clearance off the line by Robbie Kavanagh in the back line.

The visitors did have a chance to pull one back mid-way through the first half when Damien McAuliffe won the ball in midfield, but Shane Noone forced him wide before clearing the ball to safety.

Naas were again on the attack on the half hour when Kevin Harrington set up Houlahan who finished low from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.

The leaders came out strong after the restart. But Eleson were slowly clawing their way into the game. From a corner they were awarded a free which was expertly dispatched to the Naas net by John McCoombe, leaving the score at 3-1.

Naas kept the pressure on and from the tip-off Declan Lackey tore straight through the Eleson midfield before being hauled down inside the area for another penalty.

He dusted himself off and powered the ball past Keely to end hopes of an Eleson revival.

McCoombe scored a late consolation goal for Eleson.

NAAS UNITED FC: Henry Drewitt, Cormac Finnegan, Shane Finnegan, Eric Giblin, Shane Noone, Kevin Harrington, Brian Smith, Brian Cooper, Gary Houlahan, Declan Lackey, Leonard Murtagh, Joe Brien, Joe Moore, Eoin Giblin, Dave Mooney, Brian Lynch.

ELESON UNITED: Shane Keely, Robbie Kavanagh, John O Connell, Robbie Dunne, John McCoombe, Jara Jenkikis, Paul Walters, Damien McAuliffe, Padraig Anderson, Will Pigeon, Conor Graham, Frank Maguire, Leonard Jacob, Liam Doyle, Owen Dockery. Ref: Peter Furlong.