Smyth stars for U17s in their first game of the season

THE U17s travelled to Newry on Saturday to play Ashgrove Rovers.

This was to be Slane’s first competitive game as the last time they took to the field the opposition didn’t show up.

For the first 20 minutes Slane were in complete control of the game with some slick passing and great movement of the ball.

Slane have added two new recruits this season in the form of Andrew Bickerstaff and Adam Rowland. Both lads played really well. Adam hadn’t much to do in nets but what did come at him he dealt with great ease. Andy was a great target up front and was spreading his passes all over the field.

With some players missing it gave some of the other players a chance to make their mark for a starting spot in the next game. Curtis Gibson and Kurtis Bain were a thorn in the Ashgrove side all game. Matthew Ervine and Stevie Adair were running the show in midfield. Jason Crawford and Jason Corr were causing all sorts of problems for the Ashgrove defence.

The defence of Adam Gibson, Neil Kirk, Gareth McCabe and Matthew Smyth didn’t give Ashgrove a chance at goal closing down their attacks.

Matthew Smyth was the best player on the pitch as he covered every blade of grass.

On 20 minutes Slane took the lead when Matthew Ervine swung in a great corner and there was Kurtis Bain to powerfully head the ball into the net.

Slane continued to play some lovely football but they got caught when for the first time the Ashgrove left winger ran at the Slane right back and sent in a great cross which was met by their striker to fire in a low shot past the Slane keeper.

The second half was a more even contest as both teams cancelled each other out in all areas of the pitch. With six minutes left Slane scored and again it was Kurtis Bain, his time he skipped past two Ashgrove players and fired in a fierce shot which the Ashgrove keeper saved but Kurtis didn’t stop and got to the rebound and poked the ball into the Ashgrove net.

Slane deserved this for all their hard work over the course of the game. Slane should have had a couple more goals but for some good saves from the Ashgrove keeper.

Man of the Match was Matthew Smyth who put in a very impressive display.