Youghal U-16s Soccer
Springfield 1 – 1 Youghal Utd.
This was a game that will have Youghal cursing their luck for weeks to come and 2 points lost that could count against them at the end of the season. A depleted but confident side traveled to Cobh to face newcomers, Springfield. Youghal obliged the opposition with a change of date but struggled to field their strongest team as a consequence. With just enough players to take the field Youghal still put in an excellent performance, particularly in the second half.
The game started evenly and Youghal created some promising openings but were a little too careless in the final third. The breakthrough came midway through the first half when Sarah Roche showed great composure on the halfway line, carrying the ball into the Springfield half. Her through pass to the right evaded the outstretched leg of the left back. Holly Twomey, in deadly form of late, controlled the pass and from just inside the box, slotted home. Youghal may have felt that they had done enough but they allowed Springfield confidence to grow. Youghal were second to the ball on most ocassions and caught out of positions and paid dearly for it. With the Springfield midfielder allowed to collect the ball in Youghal’s half without any pressure, the number 8 danced her way through the area to level the score. Youghal were stung and continued to struggle until midway through the second half when Holly Twomey brought a smart save from the keeper. Holly continued to threaten with Rebecca Kearns also showing great promise on the right. Youghal seemed to realise they were in a match and looked the more likely to score until the Springfield centre-half made her influence known on the game. When Holly Twomey sailed pass two defenders she was almost certain to put Youghal ahead until a crunching tackle took the ball and her ankle inside the area. It was Holly’s last involvement in the game as she was carried off. With Youghal down to 9 players Springfield got hold of the game, hitting the post and having the ball cleared off the line with a great save by Orla Daly. However, Youghal’s outstanding character showed when the excellent Rachel Geary caught Springfield on the break with a fantastic solo run. Unfortunately, as Rachel was about to shoot she too fell foul of the same defender and after another hard tackle was carried off with a similar injury to her team-mate. This time Youghal were awarded the penalty that was 15 minutes overdue. With Youghal’s two probable kickers off the pitch Sarah Roche stepped up to take what turned out to be the last kick of the game. Sadly for Sarah her effort was saved. This was cruel on Sarah as she had been absolutely outstanding in the last 20 minutes when Youghal barely had enough players to finish the game. Certainly, her performance secured a brave and costly point. Youghal will be disappointed not to win the game but can be very proud of their performance in very trying circumstance. The return match with a full team will offer the opportunity to redress the balance on what was a day thay Youghal lost 2 players for a number of weeks but were also extraordinarily brave. Squad: Orla Day, Anne-Marie Geary, Sarah Roche, Katie Manning ©, Claire Keniry, Niamh Roche, Rebecca Kearns, Rachel Geary, Amy Benaim, Holly Twomey. Next Match at Ardrath Park V Riverstown Sun 13.