ALBION ROVERS 5
Albion Rovers eased over their first hurdle in the PM Blinds & Shutters Challenge Cup with a facile win at home to Division 3 side Oldcastle United on Thursday night.
Even though it was 1-1 at half-time the result was never really in doubt and a second-half blitz ensured Johnny Campbell’s side will have their name in the draw for the next round.
Albion took the lead mid-way through the first half when James Tester played in striker Ryan Carberry who got to the 18-yard box and scuffed an effort at goal which lacked any power but somehow slipped under the Oldcastle goalkeeper’s body.
Oldcastle allowed Albion time on the ball, the Meath side setting up with two banks of four in an attempt to stifle their opponents.
The tactic paid off just before the break when Rovers were caught in possession at the back and the visitors slipped in to level the game.
Albion were clearly frustrated, not helped by the huge number of offside decisions going against them, but the half-time team talk seemed to refocus them and they regained the lead inside 10 minutes of the restart when Carberry struck again, this time with a much cleaner shot at the target.
Ciaran Hartnett then chipped in with a brace to make it 4-1 and Tester completed the rout with a fine goal late in the game.
In the end the victory could have been more comprehensive, but the home side will be delighted just to get the win and they will be looking for a similar performance on Thursday night as they host OMP. A first league win of the season would certainly keep the momentum going.
The big boost though for Albion was the return to action of Jordan Tan and Georgie Hiselhof as they both came on in the second half. Rovers are slowly getting over their injury issues and there is hope that they will bolster the squad in the coming weeks now that the Leinster Senior League season has concluded.
It was the perfect end to a good week after Albion were awarded the FAI 1 Star Club Mark, something which Campbell has poured a lot of time and effort into.
Albion ROVERS: Helder Concalves, Karl Harding, Ken Thornton, Johnny White, Jamie Kirwan, James Tester, Manny Smith, Darren McCann, Gary Maher, Ryan Carberry, Ciaran Hartnett Subs: James Guin, Georgie Hiselhof, Jordan Tan.