MAIDEN City Academy Under 15, 13 and 12’s were all in action at the weekend, after their Christmas break.
The U15’s defeated Institute 5-0, the U13’s had a harder encounter when they narrowly defeated Ballinamallard 2-1 and the U12’s cruised to a 7-2 success over Ballinamallard.
Maiden City U15...5
Maiden City Under 15 returned from their Christmas break and they took the game to Institute right from the first whistle.
Despite playing against a very strong wind Maiden controlled play right from the off, with Rory Donaghy in goals for Maiden being virtually a spectator.
All over the pitch City were playing the ball on the ground, with Callum Moorehead and Dylan McCorkell being a constant threat down the flanks. It was from one of these threats that the deadlock was broken, when Callum Moorehead broke inside before unleashing a fierce drive, which was well saved by the Institute keeper, only for him to see the rebound fall at the feet of the in form Thomas Cole, who fired home from close range to make the score 0-1.
Despite playing with a strong wind in their backs, ’Stute were unable to put any pressure on Maiden’s defence, with Michael Gilmore, Cal Ryan, Dylan King, and Bret McGinty all playing well within themselves, and controlling things from the back out.
Maiden started the second half with the strong wind now in their favour, and it was clear very early in the half that the only thing to be decided in this game was how many Maiden would win by.
Their lead was doubled on 43 minutes when Kyle Walker played an inch perfect ball into Adam Dougherty who made no mistake finishing cooly past the advancing keeper. Declan Sharkey and man of the match Jake Francis were very impressive in midfield, with the former getting Maiden’s third goal of the game, after Kyle Walker was provider again, this time setting up Declan Sharkey who, with still a lot to do, left the ’Stute keeper helpless as he finished cleverly from 16 yards to make the score 0-3.
Maiden City were now shooting in and with the introduction of Callum Whiteside, Oran Higgans, Jerome Marshall, and Gareth Muldoon, the signs were ominous for Institute.
It wasn’t long before Maiden had four on the board, when Thomas Cole seized onto a defensive error to get his brace, before Kyle Walker finished off the scoring with seven minutes left on the clock, finishing well from the penalty spot after the stute defender had handled on the line.
MCA U15: Rory Donaghy, Michael Gilmore, Cal Ryan, Dylan King, Bret McGinty, Callum Moorehead, Dylan McCorkell, Declan Sharkey, Jake Francis, Thomas Cole, Adam Dougherty, Kyle Walker, Callum Whiteside, Oran Higgans, Jerome Marshall, Gareth Muldoon.
MCA U13’s took on Ballinamallard in the second round of the NIBFA Cup.
The game was played in very difficult conditions at Lisneal. City were to bounce back well from a disappointing display at Ballymena last week.
The opening period saw City playing against a very strong headwind and found it difficult to create any goalscoring opportunities.
Ethan Coll and captain Jack Doherty both worked hard up front and deserve credit for their tenacity in very trying conditions.
Ballinamallard found it very difficult to break down City’s defence with Ian Maxwell, Ryan Higgins, Michael Kelly and Jack McCloskey all putting in a solid performance.
Ballinamallard had a good opportunity to take the lead before half time when they broke from midfield, however, they were to be denied by a superb, last ditch, blocking tackle by the ever alert Ryan Higgins.
The second half commenced with City having the advantage of the strong wind. They were able to push forward with City’s midfield duo of Josh Green and Odhran McCrossan becoming more influential.
The introduction of Cian Catney, Eoghan Crilly and Oran McGill in attack soon paid dividends. Josh Green threaded a through ball to Oran McGill who outpaced the opposing defence before looping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. MCA were well on top at this stage and were unlucky not to increase their lead. Ballinamallard battled bravely and were rewarded when their centre forward showed an excellent turn of speed and coolly slotted the ball past Shane Wallace.
With the game looking destined for extra time, City were rewarded for their hard work.
Strabane man Odhran McCrossan latched on to a ball on the edge of the box and struck a thunderous shot into the roof of the Ballinamallard goal.
City defended resolutely in the final minutes to ensure a well deserved victory.
It would be difficult to pick a man of the match as the whole team should be congratulated on their performance but Eoghan Crilly picks up the man of the match award.
MCA U13: Shane Wallace, Ryan Higgins, Michael Kelly, Ian Maxwell, Jack McCloskey, Adam Doherty, Josh Green, Odhran McCrossan, Justin McGee, Ethan Coll, Jack Doherty. Subs: Cian Catney, Eoghan Crilly, Adam Gillespie, Oran McGill.
Maiden City Academy U12...7
MCA’s U12’s made the journey to Irvinestown on Saturday morning to take on Ballinamallard in their first league game after the Christmas break.
The visitors started brightly, moving the ball about the pitch quickly and they took the lead when Sean Carlin won back possession high up the pitch and played a pass for the run of Luke Toland who in turn slipped a pass to Cahir McMonagle just inside the box and he then weaved his way past three defenders and finished across the keeper.
Almost straight away City won possession back and a good run down the left by Marc Dixon was spotted by Jamie Robinson who picked him out well.
Dixon then got inside on to his right foot and made no mistake firing across the keeper in the far corner.
City were now in top gear playing some of best football of the season and with ten minutes left before the break the next goal in the game was going to be telling and but for a great save with his feet from Ben Mills in the City goal it would have been the home side who got it.
Shortly after this scare the visitors were 3-0 up when an Odhran Friel through ball picked out Dixon who got there before the keeper and rounded him with ease and slid the ball into an empty net.
There was still time on the clock for a fourth goal and it was Cahir McMonagle who obliged with a typical finish, twisting and turning before firing home.
The home side came out in the second half and gave a much improved performance, but City were still in control for most of it.
The visitors had a few clear cut chances to extend their lead but they weren’t as clinical as in the first half.
Ballinamallard got a goal back when Mills cleared the ball from the edge of his box but inadvertadely hit his centre back which lead to the ball falling to the striker who finished over the head of Mills.
When MCA did settle they extended their lead again when the pass of the day from Jamie Robinson put Cahir McMonagle in with a bit of work to do and when the keeper came sprinting out to close him down he delicately lobbed the ball over him.
Matthew McGarrigle then kept up his run of scoring against ballinamallard every time he has played them when he outpaced the ’Mallard defence when put in by Odhran Friel and finished neatly into the corner.
With only five minutes on the clock there was still time for two more goals.
The City defence got caught out of position for the first time in the game and got punished for it with Ballinamallard’s second goal.
The home side them pushed several players forward to try and get another goal and were undone by Marc Dixon who sealed the win and his hat-trick.
MCA U12: Ben Mills, Ross Barr, Aaron Rush, Tom King, Tom McLaughlin, Jamie Robinson, Luke Toland, Odhran Friel, Sean Carlin, Cahir McMonagle, Marc Dixon. Subs: Tyler Toland, Matthew McGarrigle, Conor Polley, Liam Cole.