SFAI National Cup U16 Boys
Kiltimagh/Knock hosted Strand Celtic in this keenly contested the 3rd Round SFAI National Cup U16 boys fixture in sunny calm conditions.
In a high tempo, very entertaining match the teams could not be separated in normal time.
It took two late strikes from the hosts in the second half of extra time to get over the winning line.
Strand started the stronger, dominating the early midfield battles and were rewarded in the 11th minute when Conor Mulligan crossed from the right wing for Thomas Kinane to slot the ball home.
Kiltimagh/Knock grew into the game and netted just after the half hour mark only for it to be ruled out for offside.
They came close again with a shot coming off the inside of the post across the goal line but just outside the opposite post.
Their efforts were rewarded with two goals in quick succession in the 35th and 38th minutes when they broke through the Strand’s defensive cover to go into the break with a deserved 2-1 lead.
Early in the second half Strand got back on level terms when Patrick Murphy found Oran Harte in the box who found the back of the net.
Both sides worked tirelessly for the remainder of the half to get in front, but some determined defending meant it remained 2-2 at the full time whistle.
Into extra time and the engaging battle continued.
It was end to end with both teams mixing it up with good passing moves, counter attacking and set plays they both continued to create chances but it remained deadlocked at the extra time break. Kiltimagh/Knock made the breakthrough shortly after the restart with a well taken goal.
As the clock ticked down Strand had to gamble and commit more forward, but were unable to break down the Kiltimagh/Knock defence and with less than two minutes remaining the hosts struck again on the counter to seal victory.
Kiltimagh/Knock go through to the 4th round of the cup in what was a hard earned but deserved victory as they edged it in terms of better chances created overall.
A special mention to referee on the day Damien McGraith who put in a great performance allowing the game to flow with good use of the advantage, good communication with the players throughout and only stopping play when necessary, in what was a great game of youth soccer to watch.