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UCD Bowl

Match Report – UCD v Kerry FC



Kerry FC headed to the capital on Friday night as they took on UCD AFC for the second time at the bowl. Last time out in Dublin it was a one-all draw that saw goals from Ciaran Behan and Daniel Okwute share the points on the night. The Okwute equaliser came with half an hour to go where Kerry FC could have got the winner with many chances in the minutes that played on. Ryan Kelliher was denied the winner with a minute to go in normal time as he tapped the ball into an empty net from an offside position.

Since then, UCD have come to Tralee where they managed to pick up a 2-1 win. Sean McGrath put Kerry FC in front after just seven minutes before two Michael McCullagh goals in the first half secured all three points for the students.

Kerry FC came into this game off the back of another home victory this time against Treaty United. Kerry got themselves back-to-back home victories for the first time ever with that result but as First Team Coach James Sugrue mentioned a couple of weeks ago when talking to the local press, the side needs to start winning away from home which they are yet to do this season.

First Half
The opening exchanges of the game were dull to say the least with both sides having very few concrete chances between them. Danu Kinsella Bishop had three half chances in the opening stages but all three were nothing too worrying for Kerry FC. The first was a shot that was deflected out for a corner from Kevin Williams which was cleared. The second was closer to goal even making Antonio Tuta work but the Croatian got under the ball and managed to cover his posts. The third all in the space of sixteen minutes was the worst of the bunch with the shot sailing well over the crossbar.

The early chances from UCD, although not serious, were a sign of what was to come as they took the lead in the twenty-ninth minute thanks to a header from Eanna Clancy. The corner was whipped in on the right side and Clancy was first up to head it straight into the back of the net.

Ryan Kelliher tried to get the sides level with a shot from distance, but it sailed well wide of the goal. Kelliher was just finding his feet with his first shot of the night as just eight minutes after going behind it was Kelliher who got Kerry FC level with a header from a corner. Like UCD’s goal, the corner was taken on the right side from Sean O’Connell and Kian Moore could not fully claim the ball before Kelliher headed home into an empty net.

Kerry FC have struggled to equalise when going down in the first half in the time that remains in the past. It was vitally important for the away side to get back into the game before halftime if they had any hope at of claiming at least a point in the time that remained.

As the whistle blew to signal the end of the first half, there was very little to separate the sides as both lacked real creativity, this was evident as both goals came from corners. The sides needed to step up in the second half to earn anything from the game.

Second Half
Six minutes after the restart the students nearly got themselves back in front as Michael Raggett’s effort forced Antonio Tuta into a save that hit the post. The Croatian saved Kerry FC from falling apart in the early stages of the second forty-five.

With twenty minutes to go UCD were awarded a penalty as Sean O’Connell took down Danu Kinsella Bishop inside the area. It was a pull on the arm of the UCD player which was awarded without any question. Bishop stepped up to finish off his duty before Antonio Tuta got down and saved the spot kick. Kerry FC were hanging by a very thin thread at this point and changes were needed as the players looked visibly tired on the pitch. Nathan Gleeson, Victor Udeze and Graham O’Reilly all came on to give Kerry an extra bit of life for the time that was remaining.

It was a scrappy affair for the remainder before UCD regained their lead in the ninety-fourth minute. A corner was taken in low at the left side which caught all Kerry FC players off guard before Eanna Clancy met the ball again to turn it home at the near post. A devastating way to lose the game for Kerry FC as they worked very hard defensively for ninety minutes only to be out done to a lack of awareness in the six-yard box.

Kerry FC need to pick themselves back up again now as they take on Longford Town next Thursday night to finish off before the week break which of course heads straight into the Munster Senior Cup final game against Waterford FC in Turners Cross in just over two weeks time.

UCD Team: 1. Kian Moore, 2. Alex Dunne, 3. Adam Wells, 4. Eanna Clancy (Goal ‘29, ‘90), 8. Ronan Finn (C), 9. Michael Raggett, 10. Ciaran Behan, 18. Niall Holohan, 21, Danu Kinsella Bishop, 24. Adam Verdon, 29. Jake Doyle.

Subs: Dara Kavanagh, Michael McCullagh, Matthew Alonge, Colin Bolton, Luke O’Regan, Hugh Parker, Stephen Mohan, Kyle Donoghue, Sean Anthony Brennan.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 6. Ethan Kos, 5. Andy Spain (C), 3. Sean O’Connell, 8. Ronan Teahan, 7. Sean McGrath, 21. Daire McCarthy, 10. Valerii Dolia, 9. Ryan Kelliher (Goal ‘38) , 11. Daniel Okwute.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Jack Kavanagh, Samuel Aladesanusi, Graham O’Reilly, Nathan Gleeson, Togor Silong, Victor Udeze, Cian Brosnan.