Friday evening saw Kerry FC face Treaty United for the second time this season and kicked off a double Munster derby game week for the April bank holiday weekend. They travelled to Limerick to face the side they picked up their first point of the season last time around in Mounthawk Park. With Kerry taking the lead in that game and unfortunately not being able to hold on they hoped to do one better and start off the long weekend in high spirits.
When the sides first met back at the start of March, Kerry came out of the traps very quickly with a goal after just eight minutes from Sean Kennedy, but only kept a hold of the lead until the half an hour mark.
Ahead of the clash in Marketsfield, Kerry FC boss Billy Dennehy talked about the challenge of playing two games in the space of three days but insisted that the focus was totally directed at preparing towards the game versus Treaty. He also mentioned Jonathan Hannafin who came off with what looked to be a painful injury against Galway, but Dennehy revealed that with his physio programme in place he would hopefully be involved in the fourth Munster derby of the season.
In the week leading up to the game, many from the Kingdom had a feeling this would be the night Kerry got their first win, due to much better team performances as of late. The best way to put it would be confident but still wary of the threat ahead.
Treaty started the first half the more in control of the two sides with Kerry finding it immensely difficult to get out of their own half and just ten minutes into play they got punished. A long pass up the pitch from Shane Hallahan found its way through to Stephen Christopher. An inverted pass into the left side of Dean George set him up well to get his shot off and he put it away to give the home side the lead.
Kerry down early would have you believe they would have dropped their heads, but they kept plugging away and looked to have found a way back into the game through an award of a penalty. A good piece of attacking persistence between the forward line led to a high pass being intercepted in the box by the hand of Andy Spain. The referee on the night Ian O’ Keefe did not think twice and pointed to the spot. Unfortunately, the penalty taken by Leo Gaxha had his effort saved by the feet of Shane Hallahan.
The luck just did not look to be on the side of the Kingdom and that was evident just two minutes later when a pass played forward was not dealt with and a ricochet off a couple of players in the box found its way to Success Edugon who finished off the opportunity.
Nothing was going the way of Kerry in the first half, and it worsened just eleven minutes after the second goal. Dean George found space down the right wing and delivered the ball across the box into Edugon again, who received and struck the ball very well to make it 3-0 to United. Kerry closed out the half with a decent chance for Leo Gaxha. A short corner was played through to the number ten who tricked his way in and out of the tackles to find space for a shot which just went wide of the left post.
Kerry started fast out the traps in the second half and knew it would take a huge second half performance to take anything from the game. An attempt straight away in the opening seconds of the half from Gaxha was saved and the rebound from Ryan Kelliher who scored last time out at home to Galway had his shot go narrowly wide of the post.
Another chance came for Kerry when a free kick delivered in from the right side of the box found substitute Alex Ainscough. He had his effort from close range blocked and put out for a corner that was dealt with by Treaty.
Kerry’s pressure at the start of the second half would cruelly go undone. Treaty added a fourth when a corner delivered into the area by Conor Barry was headed in by Ben O’Riordan. The goal was a bit controversial however when the piece of attacking play looked like it should have been stopped due to an injury to Gaxha which led to the corner being awarded. With that said, the goal stood, and the home side went away comfortable 4-0 winners.
Kerry head to Cobh on Monday evening where they will look to put things right after this tough lesson for the new side in league of Ireland football.
Kerry FC Team:
1. Wayne Guthrie (C), 2. Rob Vasiu, 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 15. Kevin Williams, 22. Cian Barrett, 23. Ronan Teahan, 4. Shane Guthrie, 10, Leo Gaxha, 9. Ryan Kelliher, 7. Sean Mcgrath, 11. Sean Kennedy.
Subs: Callan Scully, Andy Quaid, Sean O’ Connell, Matt Keane, Alex Ainscough, Trpimir Vrljicak, Kennedy Amechi, Nathan Gleeson, Cormac Buckley.
Treaty United FC Team:
13. Shane Hallahan, 2. Ben O’ Riordan (Goal ‘74), 5. Lee Devitt (C), 6. Anthony O’donnell (Darren Nwankwo ‘46), 7. Conor Barry, 8. Alec Byrne, 9. Success Edogun (Goal 26’, 37’) (Colin Kelly ‘75), 10. Dean George (Goal ‘10) (Enda Curran ‘63), 11. Stephen Cristopher (William Armshaw ‘63), 15. Andrew Spain, 21. Colin Conroy (Martin Coughlan ‘75).