Iveagh Thistle 2
Abbey Villa 1
IVEAGH Thistle travelled to Carryduff to face league leaders Abbey Villa in the George Best Under 11 League.
Thistle started brightly winning challenges in the middle of the pitch and getting the ball forward to striker Cairns who showed early intent in shooting just wide.
Abbey Villa also had their attacking moments in the early exchanges but the ever increasingly secure partnership of centre backs Scott and Stewart were alert to all danger.
On 10 minutes the first real goal opportunity arose as Thistle won a free kick outside the box.
Woods took a shot on goal which was saved from the rebound Moores shot was stopped on the line and Cairns’ effort rolled just wide.
The local team were now on top as they pushed forward for the opener but Abbey Villa showed their class with some good counter attack play and infact if not for the brave dive at the feet of an Abbey Villa striker by keeper Hunter they would have taken the lead.
The opening goal of the match came on 20 minutes when after a scramble in the Abbey Villa box the ball was played to a seemingly safe area, wide on the right, but Moore smashed home to the roof of the net from an acute angle.
Thistle neary made it two when Woods played the ball into the box and found Walker who controlled it with one touch and shot with the next but the ball went over the bar.
As half time approached Thistle seemed well on top but again Abbey Villa looked dangerous on the attack and produced a flying save from Hunter to turn the ball round the post for a corner.
The second half started with much the same pattern with Thistle pushing for a second goal, a speculative Woods’ shot went inches wide and a McCavitt effort also testing the Abbey Villa keeper.
The league leaders made a double substitution in a bid to change the game and for five minutes it looked inspired as they also had a shot cleared off the line and several corners.
Thistle replaced Breen with the fresh legs of McMillan and it was from one of his runs down the left that produced a corner from which the second goal came when McCavitt shot from the edge of the box to the roof of the net.
Abbey Villa, now two goals down went for an all out attack with 10 minutes remaining and were rewarded with a goal after a tidy run and finish from their striker.
Thistle, now under increasing pressure replaced, Walker with Hunter in midfield in a bid to stem the flow with six minutes left.
When the final whistle sounded Thistle could reflect on their best performance of the season and can take pride in great individual and collective play from their squad.
Team: Hunter, Russell, Stewart, Scott, Carswell, Moore, Woods, McCavitt, Walker, Breen, Cairns, McMillan, Hunter and Wilson.