Three and easy for Iveagh Thistle
Iveagh Thistle 3
AFTER a five week lay off due to bad weather Iveagh Thistle welcomed Belfast team Loughside to Woodlands Park in the George Best U11 league.
Both teams started off a bit frantic with most of the play in the middle of the pitch wiht the ball being ping-ponged about.
It wasn't until five minutes in that Thistle settled and started to use the whole pitch getting the ball out wide to wingers Moore and Cairns who provided some dangerous balls into strikers Donnelly and McCavitt whose attempts were well dealt with by the Loughside keeper.
After 10 minutes Thistle were having the lions share of the play and winning the mid field battle with captain Woods collecting all loose balls in mid field and dispatching them left and right. It was from one of these passes that the first goal came on 20 minutes the ball finding a well timed run by Donnelly who clinically found the bottom corner with his shot.
The home side were now piling on the pressure and could have gone two up when Moore beat his marker for pace on the wing and played in McCavitt for a one on one with the keeper who bravely saved at his feet.
As the first half was coming to an end Loughside reminded Thistle they were still in the game as they pushed forward but the Thistle defence marshalled by Scott held firm confidently dealing with all advances.
As the second half started Loughside continued to push forward looking for an early equaliser but there was no way through the back four of Russell, Scott, Stewart and Carswell who were giving keeper Hunter superb cover and never really looked like conceding. Thistle regained their dominance of the game with Moore looking increasingly dangerous on the wing providing chances for the strikers.
The deserved second goal for Thistle came in the 15th minute when another great run from Donnelly paid off finding himself some space for the second time and again the ball was dispatched clinically to the corner giving the keeper no chance.
The second goal had now given Thistle a confidence boosting cushion and they were now passing the ball about creating openings up front at will and had it not been for a great performance from the Loughside keeper the third goal would have been scored.
With 10 minutes left the third goal did arrive with the move of the match. Full back Russell dispossessed the Loughside attacker and played the ball into centre mid field where Breen and Woods combined helping the ball wide to Moore, who glided passed the first defender, held off the challenge of the second and coolly rounded the keeper to slot the ball home.
From that stage on it was one way traffic and the home team really should have added to their tally as they now had Loughside pinned in their own half defending gamefuly.
Thistle made a double sub with Cairns and Breen being replaced by the fresh legs of Hunter and Hickey in a bid to add to the score but it was not to be as fifth minutes later the final whistle blew.
After the match the Thistle management team were thrilled with their teams mature performance and are looking forward to the rest of the season with great optimism. Iveagh Thistle would like to thank the match ball sponsor, Eagle Overseas.
Team: Hunter, Russell, Scott, Stewart, Carswell, Moore, Woods, Breen, Cairns, Donnelly, McCavitt, Hunter, Hickey.