Treaty Utd 3-1 Kerry FC
By David Moriarty • Photos by Adam Kowalczyk
Kerry travelled to Markets Field on Friday evening for the second and final time this season to take on Limericks Treaty United. It was Kerry FC’s third last Munster derby of the season and with the Kingdom still yet to win one of them, they came to Limerick full of hope and optimism.
Last time out between the two a five-goal thriller ended in Mounthawk Park with Treaty picking up the three points in a 3-2 win that had everything. A goal in the first minute from Sean McGrath, three then scored to no response from Treaty and a goal that was snubbed in the running for goal of the month, that will surely be in the frame for goal of the season from Leo Gaxha late on.
Treaty won comfortably in the reverse fixture in Limerick in late April when goals from Success Edugon, Dean George, and Ben O’Riordan helped the home side claim all three points. A game that was one of many harsh lessons that Kerry FC needed to be taught this season and the Kingdom will want to right the wrongs of the past especially for the decent away support that made their way to Limerick on a blustery and wet August evening.
During media duties on Monday, Kerry FC manager Billy Dennehy, said that the team and the coaches are in a decent way now of competing with the sides they are facing in terms of tactics and formation that they know what way they need to play against certain opposition which will be helpful and hugely important for the remaining nine games of the season.
Kerry started lively in the first couple of minutes with an effort from Leo Gaxha just going wide from inside the box. As the time went on in the first half Treaty started to get a foot on the play. Stephen Christopher had Treaty’s first effort, but it did not startle Nganou in the Kingdom net.
Leo Gaxha had another effort from outside the box go just over as it looked like Kerry were getting closer to an opener.
Contrary to the opening fifteen minutes possession stats it would be the home side that would strike first on their special night. A cross into the box on the right side was not dealt with by the Kerry defence and Treaty talisman Enda Curran was there to finish the opportunity from a tough angle into the bottom left corner.
Treaty then started to up the ante. A free kick from Curran was struck well but was deflected out by Kevin Williams for a corner which would not lead to anything. Kerry started to dip out of the play and did not have a meaningful attack for quite some time. That would quickly change in the twenty-seventh minute when the away side would draw back level.
A decent bit of passing between Leo Gaxha and Sean McGrath opened the number seven to drive a low cross into the danger area. The cross was swiped in an attempt to clear it from Mark Walsh, but it ended up directing itself into the back of his own net to bring the Kingdom back into it at 1-1.
Just two minutes after the equaliser. Sean McGrath had a tame effort from just outside the sixteen-yard box go easily into the hands of Chambers as Kerry looked to turn the tide in the latter stages of the first half.
Treaty United came fast out of the traps at the start of the second half with a decent shot from Conor Barry low on the ground looking goal bound but Arthur Nganou did well to get down and collect the shot.
Five minutes later Kerry responded with a chance of their own and what a chance it was. Ryan Kelliher did well to open a bit of space for himself inside the box. His shot was saved by Corey Chambers but the follow up landed to Sean McGrath which looked to be a tap in. Unfortunately for Kerry Robbie Lynch would block the effort on the line clear it away to the home crowd’s relief.
Corey Chambers would be called into action again, this time Sean O’Connell had a superb effort from outside the box curling into the top right corner. But again, the Treaty number one was there to put the effort over the crossbar excellently.
Despite all the demanding work and by far being the best team of the half, Treaty took the lead again. The ball could not be cleared on the left side of the box and a cross back into the area on the deck reached Enda Curran who found the bottom left corner and doubled his tally on the night.
Kerry did not give up despite the setback and kept ticking away. A fantastic chip through pass into the area from Leo Gaxha reached Ryan Kelliher. But unfortunately, Ryan could not get enough power behind the header to trouble Chambers.
The introductions of Daniel Okwute and Cian Brosnan injected pace into the Kerry attack and helped but it would also impact the defence as Treaty would score a third to seal the game. A corner into the box on the left side reached substitute Sean Guerins who was free at the back post to fire home and stretch Treaty’s lead to two.
Another disappointing away result for Billy Dennehy’s men as the game finished 3-1. Based on the second half performance, the side definitely did not deserve to lose but like many times this season were caught lacking in the important stages both offensively and defensively.
Kerry returns to Mount Hawk Park next Friday as they face Bray Wanderers for the fourth and final time of this debut season in the first division.
Kerry FC Team: 16. Arthur Nganou, 3. Sean O’Connell, 5. Ethan Kos, 15. Kevin Williams, 18. Sam Aladesanusi, 11. Sean Kennedy, 6. Alex Ainscough, 23. Ronan Teahan, 7. Sean McGrath, 10. Leo Gaxha, 9. Ryan Kelliher.
Subs: Richie Healy, Rob Vasiu, Togor Silong, Martin Coughlan, Daniel Okwute, Cian Barrett, Jonathan Hannifin, Cian Brosnan.
Treaty United Team: 24. Corey Chambers, 3. Marc Ludden (C), 5. Lee Devitt, 7. Conor Barry, 11. Stephen Cristopher, 16. William Armshaw, 19. Enda Curran (Goal ’19, 70), 25. Mark Walsh (Owon Goal ’30), 26. Darren Nwankwo, 27. Robbie Lynch, 34. Adam Lennon.
Subs: Conor Winn, Sean Patrick Guerins (Goal ’88), Dean O’Shea, Success Edugon, Dean George, Nikodem Kozlowski, Scott Kirkland, Colin Conroy.