Crumlin United 2
EVERGREEN’S dreams of a home clash with Airtricity League side Dundalk crumbled as Crumlin United advanced at their expense to the next round of the Leinster Senior Cup.
It was the Dublin side’s ability to let the ball do the work, coupled with clinical strikes when it mattered most, that paid dividends at Scanlon Park. The visitors were the sharper outfit while Evergreen, who have coasted along in this season’s Premier Division (unbeaten in their ten games, they have conceded just six goals in nine wins and a draw), struggled at time to match the intensity of their Leinster Senior League opponents.
It could have been so different for Evergreen though had Chris Whearty’s 12th minute free hit the net and not the bar.
Awarded a free outside the D, Whearty’s left foot shot left goalkeeper David Meehan grasping at thin air. The free seemed destined for the net, but thundered off the bar and bounced back out.
Crumlin heeded that scare and quickly hit back. With the likes of Carl Forsyth, James Lee and Darren Forsyth linking up well they began to spread play across midfield and into the danger zone.
One such move, started by Niall Cooney’s zipped ball down the line, saw Darren Forsyth spring the offside trap after 20 minutes. He fired in a low cross which Martin Cramer grabbed, but Niall Andrews got back to block the shot.
Gradually, getting on top in the middle third paved the way to Crumlin taking the lead eight minutes before the break.
Played onside down the right, Carl Forsyth pulled a low ball across the box. James Lee couldn’t get his shot off but the ball squirmed out to Ger Rowe, who made no mistake with a close range finish.
The hosts almost made a perfect reply within minutes. David Grincell latched on to Tommy Earls’ quick free. Dashing down the right he skipped inside Ciaran Kenna’s challenge, but his low shot clipped the near post and ran across the face of goal, staying out.
Luck was against Evergreen there, but it was most definitely with them when they escaped conceding a penalty in the dying seconds of the half. A spot-kick seemed to be the only option when James Lee was upended in the box but referee Nicky Marnell waved play on, allowing the advantage as Carl Forsyth latched on to the loose ball.
His shot was blocked – Evergreen had survived.
On the attack
The city side came out on the attack in the second half, but couldn’t find a way back into the game. Mathew Wong went close when he rose highest to meet Chris Whearty’s teasing 50th minute free, but he couldn’t get the direction needed to beat Meehan.
They had an even better chance after the hour after working the ball across the flanks. Tommy Earls, Vinny O’Brien and Declan McQuillan linked up well before providing Chris Whearty with the ammunition to drive in a cross, but his delivery was just over the head of Joe Mulcahy.
Crumlin kept pushing for a second goal, but it proved hard to come by. James Lee saw a close range shot well stopped by Pierce Dargan, while Niall Andrews was well placed to head Alan McGreal’s corner off the line.
With Evergreen pushing everything into attack in the closing stages, they were caught out by a Crumlin counter-attack that wrapped up the game with five minutes of normal time left.
Pressure on Tommy Earls saw Darren Forsyth block a clearance into McGreal’s path. He dashed into the box, drawing Dargan from his line before squaring to an unmarked Lee to apply the simple finish.
Evergreen: Pierce Dargan, Tommy Earls (Brian Jordan, 87 mins), Jack Poyntz, Mathew Wong (Jamie Owens, 69 mins), Robbie Quan, Niall Andrews, Vinny O’Brien (Sammy Johnson, 79 mins)), Declan McQuillan, Joe Mulcahy, David Grincell, Chris Whearty.
Crumlin United: David Meehan, Niall Cooney, Paul Connaughton, Derek Griffin, Ciaran Kenna, Ciaran Kenna, Martin Cramer, Carl Forsyth (Michael O’Connor, 87 mins), James Lee, Darren Forsyth, Ger Rowe (Alan McGreal, 71 mins), Daniel Loughran (Jack Doyle, 63 mins).
Referee: Nicky Marnell. Linesmen: Eoin Walsh, Tristan Eardley (all Kilkenny).