Opening Youths League game won by St Pat’s on the road
St Pat’s got their WDFL Youths League campaign off to a flying start on Saturday afternoon at Arklow Credit Union Park as they put five past the home side in their first fixture of the season.
The travelling side started the game by dominating possession for the first ten minutes, but they just couldn’t threaten Cormac Murray in goal. Winger Adam Arslan was causing absolute havoc on the left wing, his pace and tricky feet caused the Arklow defenders to jump into tackles to try to stop the winger getting into dangerous positions.
It took Pats 15 minutes to open the scoring, a long ball over the top from defender Ryan Kavanagh put in winger James Cardiff who waited for the keeper to come out before lobbing the ball over him into the net.
For all their fantastic passages of play throughout the first 15 minutes of the game it was a simple long ball over the top that made the difference for the away side.
United worked hard after conceding to get an equaliser, Tadhg Powell went close with a well struck freekick. Powell bent the ball around the Pats wall but keeper Cian Timmons got down to parry the ball out of danger.
The away side were unlucky not to double the lead on the stroke of halftime as Cardiff found the back of the net again but referee Gavin Colfer deemed the winger to be in an offside position before he received the ball.
The two sides went in at half-time with the away side on top but could have been 3-0 up, whilst the home side had a lot to do in the second half to try and grab something from the game.
Pats started the second half in the best possible way, with a thunderous headed goal from Ciaran O’Keeffe.
Only two minutes of the second half had been played before Cathal Baker’s corner was met by O’Keefe in the centre of the penalty area to head home, giving his side a two goal lead.
Minutes later James Cardiff grabbed his second of the game. Cardiff made a great run into the penalty area and was picked out by Adam Arslan, Cardiff took a touch and then fired past Murray in goal.
It was one-way traffic for the remainder of the game, Cardiff wrapped up his hattrick on the 72nd minute as he combined again with Arslan to slot home his third of the game.
Arslan got the goal he had been looking for all game, he went unchallenged in the penalty area to slot past Murray to wrap up the three points at Arklow Credit Union Park.
After the final whistle St Pats manager James Murray expressed his delight on how his team played.
“We started very well, we could have had a few more goals but a one goal lead at half time away from home was a good start. These lads have been together for a long time, through GAA and football they know each other very well and that showed today the way they played.
“It’s a small squad of fifteen players which means we have to work extra hard with the small numbers.
“It’s a great start to the season in our first outing, they are a good side so we’re happy to get the win”.
Arklow United: 1. Cormac Murray, 2. Adam Collier, 3. Sean Clane, 4. Tadhg Powell, 5. Saorise Barnes, 6. Adam Vanderleijden, 7. Evan Vanderleijden, 8. Cian Reilly, 9. Davy Harris, 10. Faysal Mouse, 11. Ian Hidalgo. Subs: Adam Walker for Faysal Walker (51min), Finn Scott for Davy Harris (63min), Conor Kiernan for Evan Vanderleijden (63min)
St Pat’s: 1. Cian Timmons, 2. Ciaran O’Keefe, 3. Connor Edwards, 5. Ryan Kavanagh, 6. Josh Mullins, 7. Cathal Baker, 8. James Murray, 9. Niall Sheahan, 10. Adam Arslan, 11. James Cardiff. Subs: Sean Fleming for Josh Mullins (50min), Jack Bailey Johnston for Ciaran O’Keefe (65min)
Referee: Gavin Colfer.