Freshford Town looked a team of world beaters when they annihilated Derry Rovers of Kildare in this latest FAI Junior Cup clash.
A nine-goal tally was more than any of the clubs players or management could have hoped for as they ruthlessly demolished their opposition.
The hosts got off the mark early on when Paul Guinan was the benefactor of a quick first-time ball from Liam Hickey.
Racing down the right wing, Guinan whipped in a low cross. David Lynch was on hand to slot the ball home after just three minutes.
The game could have taken a different course entirely when, after six minutes, Derry’s Ian Dunne was brought down as he charged into the Freshford box. Up stepped James Fallon to take the penalty, but he blasted his spot kick over the bar.
Let off the hook, Freshford quickly set about adding to the Derry misery. Robbie Dowling quickly added to their woes when he netted Freshford’s second, Lynch turning provider to allow Dowling to finish from close range.
The day went from bad to worse for the visitors, who were reduced to ten men. James Fallon was the first to see red, earning his marching orders for bringing down Eoin Vaughan, who was racing through on goal.
Despite the sending off Rovers pushed hard to gain a foothold in the game, yet for all their efforts they couldn’t get the goal that would give them a fighting chance.
Their task took on uphill proportions when Paul Guinan grabbed the third goal of the game.
Things got even worse soon after. Eoin Vaughan found himself through on goal once more - this time he coolly slotted home. It meant that at the break Freshford were 4-0 to the good. In reality, the game had all but been put to bed by that stage.
What kept the second half interesting was the Kilkenny side’s desire to keep testing themselves and to put as many goals as possible past their hapless opponents.
A bad day got even worse for Derry Rovers when Mark Denehan was red-carded just five minutes after the restart. The game simply opened up for Freshford after that, the tie resembling a training session for much of the second half.
Safe in the knowledge the result was secure, Freshford set about opening the floodgates. Liam Hickey added his name to the scoresheet when Graham Flaherty sent him through clear on goal. Hickey didn’t wait long to add his second, this time blasting home from range.
Centre-half Jimmy Kenny almost got in on the act, but his shot from distance rocketed off the post. Instead it was Eoin Vaughan who made it seven, exposing Rover’s frail defence when left with no option but to play with three at the back.
Substitute Philip Russell showed his worth when he drove the ball over the head of ’keeper Darren O’Neill for Freshford’s eighth.
The final say went to Liam Hickey, who completed his hat-trick with a sprinkling of magic.
Dribbling deep into the opposition’s half, Hickey drew keeper O’Neill to the edge of his area before turning back outside the box. Twisting and turning, he floated the ball over the ’keeper and defenders for Freshford’s final goal.
Freshford Town: Seamus Hayes, Michael Farrell, Jason Stanley, Jimmy Kenny, Davie Brennan, Graham Flaherty, Paul Guinan, Liam Hickey, Robbie Dowling, Eoin Vaughan, David Lynch. Subs: Shane Donnelly, Philip Russell, Tommy Donnelly.
Derry Rovers: Darren O’Neill, Alan Carter, Aidan Dunne, Jason Mooney, Brian Mowles, James Fallen, Lazzlo Kovalsk, Mark Denehan, Ian Dunne, Anthony Kavanagh, David Sherrie. Subs: Mick Cleary, Tomas Mielczarek, James Banks.
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