Moneyslane bows out
after Marshall Cup clash
MONEYSLANE travelled to Markethill at the weekend to play the Intermediate A side in the fourth round of the Marshall Cup on a cold, frosty day with a dense fog surrounding the entire complex.
Slane started brightly and came out pushing the home side back into their own half but they were very good at breaking out of defence with two very speedy strikers.
They went close with an effort from Mark Ervine that sailed just over the top. The home side started to come into the game and were unlucky not to open the scoring when a corner was swung in at near post and it bounced back of the post, going for a goal kick.
Nigel Fry saved well from a powerful effort from outside the box. He was again called into action and he raced off his line to smoother the ball into his mid-rift.
Slane were working hard all over the pitch closing down the midfielders with Davenport, McCann, Bingham and Feeney all working over time.
Slane's defence was good in the air, winning the aerial balls with O'Neill solid in front of Wilson, Boyd and Hanna.
Anderson hit just wide and Feeney could only watch his volley sail over the top when Bingham played a delightful ball to him and he hit it first time.
Anderson and Ervine were a real menace for the Markethill defenders and Ervine was unlucky not to score when he hit just inches wide.
The home keeper was cutting out the high balls and corners with ease and using his big stature to good effect.
With two minutes left to the half time whistle Slane were caught on the counter attack and the ball was threaded through to the centre forward. He converted past the advancing Fry and the ball nested into the bottom corner of the net for the opening goal. Slane appealed that the striker was offside but the referee didn't want to know.
Slane were under pressure from the off with the Intermediate side coming out at a fast pace and launching attack after attack. Fry saved well twice to deny them the second goal and the latter was a brilliant push at full stretch around the post; the resulting corner was headed wide at the back post.
Bingham had a shot charged down and he squared the ball to Davenport who powered a shot at goal that was blocked on the line and the follow up was charged down by the keeper with the ball cleared for a Slane corner. O'Neill rose highest to head just wide from the well delivered corner.
Again as Slane were applying the pressure they were caught on the break. The ball was hoofed up-field by the keeper and the centre forward hit a first time shot that was charged down by Slane but the ball deflected off his boot and into the net past the helpless Fry who was going the other way.
Davenport was working hard up the left and Hanna played the ball up the line. He found McCann who broke free from his marker and squared back to Davenport who hit well and his effort was deflected wide for a corner.
McConville replaced the exhausted Anderson in the middle of the park and Feeney was pushed up front as manager, Glen Moffett searched for a goal to get back into the game. Slane were looking every bit as good as the Intermediate side and have proven over the last few weeks that they can compete at this level with the current squad of players at the club.
Both Ervine and Feeney had efforts saved by the big home keeper.
Bingham ball to McCann and he knocked on with his head to Feeney who squared to Ervine who shot inches wide.
Once again the home side showed how lethal they were on the break out of defence and a long, hopeful ball into the corner was pounced on the striker who slipped past the Slane defence. He was upended in the box for a penalty which was fired into the bottom left hand corner just past an outstretched Fry.
With seven minutes left on the clock the tie was out of Slane's reach but they continually pushed forward in search of a goal.
Ryan Weir and Rodney McCann were both brought onto the field to bring fresh legs into the squad and Slane fought hard to the end.
Well done Markethill to who go into the hat for the next round of the cup. Slane played well on the day and showed they can compete at this level of football and it was a good warm up for the Foster Cup game against Stranmillis at the high School next week.
Best on the day for Slane was Jonny O'Neill who is a rock in the Slane defence with his ability to win the ball in the air.