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Kerry FC v UCD match gallery - May 10 2024

Match Report – Kerry FC v UCD



Kerry FC returned home on Friday evening as they welcomed UCD AFC to Mounthawk Park for the first time. It was a scorching evening in Tralee with temperatures reaching highs of twenty-three degrees. The weather was fit for a great night of football in the Kingdom. Kerry FC came into the game on a streak of four losses with the most recent coming in a 2-1 loss away to Longford Town on the Bank Holiday Monday. Two first-half goals from Longford took the wind out of Kerry’s sails before an acrobatic goal from Ryan Kelliher gave the visitors some hope but unfortunately, they could not find a second.
Sean O’Connell, Ryan Kelliher, Steven Healy, Daniel Okwute and Kennedy Amechi all came back into the starting line-up with Ronan Teahan returning to the matchday squad after missing the game in Bishopsgate.

UCD came to Tralee after last week’s 2-1 defeat against Cobh Ramblers. The side that sits second in the league were unsuccessful in defending a ten-game unbeaten streak. Kerry were hopeful of capitalising on that with their arrival at Mounthawk Park.

First Half
The opening five minutes were mostly made up of UCD possession, but they couldn’t get anywhere near Antonio Tuta’s net with a few long passes going out for goal kicks. The game burst into action however only a couple of minutes later when Sean McGrath put Kerry FC into the lead. A bit of tight passing possession by the right side of the box had Steven Healy in space to pick out the free pass of Sean McGrath who buried the ball into the bottom left corner past Kian Moore in the student’s goal. It was a fantastic start for Kerry FC and Sean McGrath once again showed a cool head to finish the ball neatly to the delight of the home support.

Just ten minutes later, UCD got themselves back level through a fantastic strike from Micheal McCullagh. He found space about forty yards from goal and faked a shot getting Steven Healy away from him and then hit a thirty-yard screamer into the right side of the net giving Antonio Tuta no chance.

Just fourteen minutes after the equaliser, McCullagh was on hand again to put UCD ahead. Luke O’Regan was in acres of space down the right-hand side before cutting it back to McCullagh who hit the ball into the ground and directed his shot in off of Tuta’s left-hand post. It was a huge turnaround for UCD after going behind early in the game.

Kerry FC needed to get back into the game fast as they were in real danger of losing by a bigger margin. After the Sean McGrath opening goal, there was very little being created and nothing at all testing for Moore in the opposition’s net.

Second Half
Kerry made a couple of changes with Kennedy Amechi being replaced by Nathan Gleeson before the end of the first half due to a cut to the face and Daire McCarthy was moved into centre-back as Samuel Aladesanusi was replaced by Ronan Teahan.

Five minutes after the restart Sean McGrath had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled to have fouled Eanna Clancey. Clancey made a mistake in an outward pass which led to pressure from McGrath before going to ground which was a soft call some might say from Lucas Keating.

Kerry FC put in a much more spirited effort in the second half and had a chance sail just over the crossbar from McGrath from some distance out. Keating started dishing out yellow cards all around the place with Sean Brennan, Niall Holohan, Micheal McCullagh, Sean O’Connell, Daniel Okwute, Ronan Teahan and Daire McCarthy all going into the book.

Daniel Okwute missed a couple of tough chances inside the opposition’s box to try and level things up. In added time Harry Curtis saw a straight red card for a conversation between himself and Kerry attackers Nathan Gleeson and Victor Udeze. Whatever was said it was right in front of the referee and he did not hesitate in showing the UCD man the red card.

Although Kerry had the extra man for the last few minutes of added time it did not benefit the home side as the game ended in the ninety-sixty minute with UCD coming out 2-1 victors.

Kerry will be happy with their second-half performance, but it is now five straight losses for Conor McCarthy’s side who travel to Ferrycarrig Park to take on Wexford FC next Friday.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 6. Ethan Kos, 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire McCarthy, 14. Steven Healy, 7. Sean McGrath (Goal ‘6), 12. Kennedy Amechi, 9. Ryan Kelliher (C), 11. Daniel Okwute.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Jack Kavanagh, Ronan Teahan, Valerii Dolia, Nathan Gleeson, Cian Brosnan, Victor Udeze, Graham O’Reilly, Evison Rramani.

UCD Team: 1. Kian Moore, 3. Adam Wells, Eanna Clancey (C), 6. Sean Brennan, 7. Michael McCullagh (Goal ’17, ’30), 13. Donal Higgins, 18. Niall Holohan, 26. Luke O’Regan, 29. Jake Doyle, 30. Hugh Parker, 31. Stephen Mohan

Subs: Dara Kavanagh, Alex Dunne, Michael Raggett, Ciaran Behan, Harry Curtis, Colin Bolton, Danu Kinsella Bishop, Adam Verdon, Adam Brennan.