Up-‘hill’ challenge for Iveagh Thistle

THIS week Iveagh Thistle was paired against Belfast outfit Newhill in the South Belfast under 13 premierships.

Both teams approached the game unbeaten but Newhill riding top of the table as they had played a game more.

Thistle got off to a bright start moving the ball from back to front with pace but without really creating any clear cut chances.

After the initial jousting, the physical presence of Newhill started to take over winning the midfield battle and had the locals pinned back with central defender Burns being kept busy with some timely interventions.

For all Thistle’s resolve they could not prevent Newhill’s first goal arriving on 15 minutes when a looping ball into the box was mishit by the striker and squirmed across the goal mouth catching out the Thistle defence and keeper Hunter and was tapped in at the back post.

Just before the break Thistle looked like they had levelled the match when a Woods free kick destined for goal was headed off the line and scrambled clear.

Three minutes into the second half it was 2-0 when a great strike from a free kick went top corner which left Thistle with a mountain to climb. Newhill were still bossing midfield and Thistle was finding it hard to get out of their own half reverting to playing on the break when the opportunity arose.

There was more than a touch of good fortune abut the third goal when an attempted cross from the Newhill winger flew into the top corner. Moments later the game was over as a contest when from another cross into a crowded box the ball ended up in the Thistle net via their defender’s head.

Ironically at four down Thistle had their best spell of the match and in the last 10 minutes looked very dangerous attacking down each wing but had not got the penetration to register on the score sheet.

Thistle must take this as a lesson well learnt having to play against a tall physical outfit that refused to let them get their passing game flowing.

Thistle’s top performer of the game was Matty Burns who in the face of adversity stood strong.

TEAM: Hunter, Woods, Scott, Stewart, Burns, Moore, McCavitt, Gallagher, Russell, Kearns, Carroll, Wilson, Hunter, McMillan, Stanage.