Brave Carnew 'B' are no match for Rovers
Wicklow Cup: Ashford Rovers 6 Carnew AFC B 0
Reigning Wicklow Cup champions Ashford cruised into the last 16 of this year's competition with a comfortable victory over a brave Carnew AFC 'B' last Sunday at Ballinalea Park.
A screamer of a free kick from Robbie Eyre was followed up by goals from Anto Byrne, a double from ace marksman Danny Byrne. and second-half strikes from Ruadhain Fallon Verbruggen and Fiachra Ryan to see the favourites home.
A freezing cold morning saw Ashford start brightly and early chances fell to Danny Byrne and Robbie Eyre who both tested keeper James Joyce in the opening stages.
Early nerves were settled however when Eyre beat the visiting keeper with a sublime curling free kick after six minutes.
This opened the way for the hosts to push on and it was all one way traffic in the opening exchanges. Eyre, again from a free kick, tested Joyce before Byrne, with clever skill and quick feet, beat two Carnew defenders before Joyce once more proved an insurmountable wall at the back.
Finally, in the 22nd minute, Ashford got their reward.
Cian O'Hannain put a dangerous ball into the area a miscued clearance saw the ball slice of a Carnew defenders foot onto the post and the alert Anto Byrne bundled the ball home despite Joyce 's best efforts.
Moments later the lead was extended, O'Hannain the tireless worker found Shane Dunne in the middle of the park and he instinctively fed a delightful through ball to Danny Byrne who had timed his run to perfection and he made no mistake as he went through on goal.
The match was as good as over at this stage and further chances came and went as Ashford threatened to run riot .
Carnew through sheer bravery, luck and heart managed to repel the blue wave till the stroke of half time.
However, O'Hannain found space in the area after a delicious pass by Eyre as he looked to jink his way through he was upended and referee Carl Doyle pointed to the spot.
Danny Byrne stepped up and drilled home to close out the first half scoring.
The second half seemed to lack the intensity of the first and both teams seemed to be going through the motions.
Ashford made a raft of substitutions and they brought on a number of gifted youth players.
Two of these Jamie Byrne and Ruadhain Fallon Verbruggen combined for the fifth.
Byrne with time 30 yards out slid a beautiful ball into the path of Verbruggen who guided past the onrushing Joyce.
Carnew, despite being well outplayed, never dropped their heads and in Joyce and centre half Jack Kearney had real leaders.
The icing on the cake was provided by Fiachra Ryan as he got on the end of a Ross Brown cross to close out the scoring.
A last minute penalty from Mick Taylor was saved by Joyce as the centre half tried to dink an effort down the middle but Joyce stood tall to easily stop the strike.
It could have been alot worse only for Kearney and Joyce.
For the victors Shane Dunne was dominant in midfield and his repertoire of passing was a joy to watch, Danny Byrne was his normal ball of energy and chipped in with his goals but for me Cian O'Hannain was man of the match.
His willingness to be the out ball and do the simple things well was what set him aside. He took hardship but never shirked his responsibility.
Ashford: 1. Cathal Moody, 2. Anto Byrne, 3. Fiachra Ryan, 4. Mick Taylor, 5. Ross Brown, 6. Robbie Eyre, 7. Callum Pusey, 8. Shane Dunne, 9. Danny Byrne, 10. Cian O'Hannain, 11. Karl Earls. Subs: 12. Jay Taylor for Danny Byrne, 13. Jamie Byrne for Pursey, 14 . Ruadhain Fallon Verbruggen for Eyre,15. Paul Conyard for Moody, 16. Kian Marah for Anto Byrne.
Carnew AFC: 1. James Joyce, 2. Owen Mu, 3. Seamus Mulhall, 4. Jack Kearney, 5. Robert Elliott, 6. Stephen Murphy, 7. Thomas Kinsella, 8. John Walshe, 9. Anthony Coseley, 10. Niall O'Gorman, 11. Cian O'Hara. Subs: 12. David O'Rourke for Coaley.
Referee: Carl Doyle