Bridge United A0
EVERGREEN said goodbye to 2012 in scoring style, but they needed a little time to get the party started.
Five goals in 23 minutes did the trick, Chris Whearty and Ciaran Snype contributing a brace apiece, as the men from the Kells Road blew off the cobwebs with an impressive second half spell against Bridge United A.
Having struggled to impose themselves on the game in the opening half, Evergreen took just three second half minutes to get in front. Craig Eardley’s raking ball from midfield did the damage, giving Whearty time and space to dash through and slot past the advancing Aidan Hynes.
They could, and should, have doubled their lead when David Grincell collected Robbie Quan’s pass and skipped past several challenges five minutes later. The striker weaved his way through a crowded box and seemed certain to score but Hynes made a super save, stretching out his left foot just far enough to turn the ball around the post.
The goalkeeper had no such luck when Whearty struck again 60 seconds before the hour mark. Tripped just inside the Bridge half of the pitch, Whearty stood over the free-kick and caught the hosts off-guard. United, who were busy preparing to defend what they thought would be a deep ball into the area, were undone when Whearty floated the ball over the entire defence and into the back of the net.
That double whammy sucked the life out of Bridge, who could feel a little hard done by for ending the game empty-handed. The hosts were very impressive in the first half, Conor English and Sean Murphy going on countless runs down the flanks while Murty Broaders pulled the strings in midfield.
Chances were at a premium, however. James Barcoe saw two efforts deflected out for corners, while Cathal English’s mazy run from defence set up Sean Barcoe in the 16th minute, but he couldn’t keep his shot on target.
Barcoe had another chance, Bridge’s clearest of the half, to break the deadlock on 22 minutes. Sparked by Michael Brennan’s break down the right United went on the attack. James Barcoe lofting a teasing ball into the centre of the box. Sean Barcoe did well to control the delivery, spin goalwards and let fly, but his shot was straight at Pierce Dargan, who had time to take the sting out of the ball before holding it at the second attempt.
Evergreen began to get a hold on the game once Oisin Corr was introduced to midfield, slowly shutting down Bridge. The visitors had a great chance to steal in front when David Grincell pounced on a United throw-in and slipped Vinny O’Brien through, but Hynes did well to stop the shot at his near post.
Bridge finished the half as strongly as they had begun it, forcing one last chance before the interval. Picking up possession on the left corner of the box, Sean Murphy had Evergreen in a panic when he curled a wicked shot towards the inside of the far post but the ball flashed just wide of the mark, much to the city side’s relief.
It was all change in the second half, as Evergreen quickly took control of the game. Ciaran Snype was urged to bomb forward at every opportunity and used one such chance on 62 minutes, springing the offside trap as he stole in from the right to make it 3-0.
United were caught light at the back again seven minutes later. Grincell was the architect this time, threading a pass that sent Snype and Niall Andrews racing clear from halfway. Andrews was unselfish, waiting for Bridge to commit to the tackle before teeing up Snype to tap home his second. Grincell added a fifth two minutes later, wrapping up an emphatic win.
Although well out of it, Bridge didn’t give in. Sub Craig Wall had some great chances late on, but he and United knew it wasn’t to be their day when the best shot - a thundering 85th minute effort - beat Pierce Dargan but hit a post and bounced back into the ’keeper’s arms.
Bridge United A: Aidan Hynes, William Hennessy (Michael Hutchinson, 46 mins), Cathal English, Murty Broaders, James Bolger, Colin Madden, Conor English, Michael Brennan, Sean Barcoe, James Barcoe (Craig Wall, 61 mins), Sean Murphy.
Evergreen A: Pierce Dargan, Robbie Quan, Jack Poyntz (Oisin Corr, 25 mins), Dylan Whearty, Karl Keogh, Craig Eardley (Tommy Earls, 78 mins), Ciaran Snype (John Brett, 73 mins), Niall Andrews, David Grincell, Chris Whearty, Vinny O’Brien.
Referee: Ollie Falsey.