Wexford Football League: Avonmore FC 4 Tombrack United 1
A late John Coleman stunner wasn't enough for Tombrack United as they lost out to Avonmore in the second round of the Leinster Junior Cup at Pat O'Toole Park on Sunday.
The away side showed a lot of grit and determination throughout the match but were limited to very few attacking opportunities due to the quality of their opponents. After looking solid very early on, Tombrack faced an uphill battle following a piece of quick thinking by Avonmore goalkeeper Jason Porter.
The game was less than ten minutes old when Porter gathered the ball in his box and showed fantastic vision to pick out an unmarked Adam Tuke deep inside the opposition area. Tuke brought the ball down beautifully and with his second touch fired a low shot past goalkeeper Eoin Carton to put his side 1-0 up.
Tombrack were struggling to keep hold of possession as Avonmore continued to play the ball out of defence. When pressed, Porter was showing the passing ability of a top-class midfielder, as he spread the ball out inch perfectly on numerous occasions.
Avonmore would soon come close again after fantastic link-up play between Eugene Dunne and Cian O Hannáin, with Dunne's shot fizzing just over the bar. Minutes later Paddy Kennedy was almost in on goal, but his shot was well blocked by midfielder Evan Maher. Kennedy came very close again from the resulting corner, but his headed effort was just over.
On the 20-minute mark, Tombrack put together their first meaningful attack through Jamie Walsh. Walsh picked up the ball and drove forward down the right wing before swinging a dangerous cross into the box. The ball came to Eoghan Murphy who struck a first-time volley into Porter's arms.
Tombrack would immediately rue their missed opportunity as O Hannáin took control of the ball in midfield and picked out Tuke with a swerving pass. Tuke showed lightning pace to sprint through and bury another low shot between Carton's legs, doubling his team's lead.
Thirty minutes in, Tuke almost turned provider as his pinpoint cross arrived right on the head of Mark Miley.
The forward made good contact, but Carton's quick reflexes prevented the away side from conceding another.
Despite Carton's best efforts, however, it wasn't long before Avonmore did make it 3-0. Darragh Hendrick attempted to boot O Hannáin's corner from the area, but his clearance ricocheted off the leg of Mark Miley and back into his own net.
Despite their 3-0 lead, Avonmore's tide of pressure didn't subside. Kennedy was shown a yellow card for a bad tackle from behind, as he tried to stop Tombrack defender Kieran Kenny shepherding the ball out of play for a goal kick. Kennedy was slightly fortunate not to see a second yellow before the half was finished, when a free-kick was awarded against him for the follow through on one of his tackles.
Both sides had half-chances just before the break, with Walsh's shot being tipped over the bar by Porter. At the other end, Tuke tested Carton again with a driven shot which was well saved.
Five minutes into the second half though, the game was all but over. O Hannáin was first to react to a loose ball in the box and smashed home in style.
To their credit, Tombrack still showed a lot of determination following the goal and started to enjoy a better period of play. Substitute Danny Byrne latched onto a ball over the top of Avonmore's defence, to go one-on-one with Porter, but the 'keeper spread himself well and came out on top.
Next it was Walsh who found himself in space. The striker received the ball and whipped in a dangerous cross-shot which looked like it was going to deceive the 'keeper, but Porter managed to tip it over the bar. Avonmore, however, were still looking very dangerous on the counter-attack, as after a great run Tuke showed fantastic skill to buy space, but his shot flew past the right-hand post.
With just five minutes to go, substitute John Coleman grabbed Tombrack the goal their second-half performance deserved. Coleman took control of a stray ball in midfield and unleashed a superb thunderous effort into the left-hand top corner from almost 30 yards out. Avonmore tried to respond immediately as Darren Beaver struck a clean half-volley from a ball into the box, but his effort narrowly missed, in what was the last piece of action in the game.
Despite the disappointing result, goalkeeper Eoin Carton was very humble in defeat.
'Avonmore played very well and very quick. It was a missed opportunity for us. We played well but weren't up to standard on the day,' he said.
The result sees Avonmore continue their fine run of form after winning their first five league matches this season. The team now look forward to see who they'll be drawn against in the third round of the Leinster Junior Cup.
Avonmore FC: 1. Jason Porter, 2. Callum Pursey, 3. Fiachra Ryan, 4. Zach Cullen, 5. James Byrne, 6. Paddy Kennedy, 7. Mark Cullen, 8. Mark Miley, 9. Eugene Dunne, 10. Cian O Hannáin, 11. Adam Tuke, 12. Darren Beevor, 13. Danny Byrne, 14. Johnny Arthur, 15. Ryan Cahill, 16. Paudie O'Toole, 17. Cody Reid.
Tombrack United: 1. Eoin Carton, 2. Dan McGarry, 3. Kieran Kenny, 4. James Coleman, 5. Kevin Kelly, 6. Niall Maher, 7. Evan Maher, 8. Darragh Hendrick, 9. Eoghan Murphy, 10. Jamie Walsh, 11. Josh McMullan, 12. James Newe, 13. John Coleman, 14. David Power, 15. Harry Fitzgibbon, 16. Tom Browne.