Congratulations to our Under 18 squad and their fine achievement of qualifying for the semi-finals of the FAI Youth Cup. The squad travelled down on Sunday stopping off in Abbeyleix for breakfast and arrived at ground at 1:00pm.
Pats had a full squad to choose from as both Alan McCann and David Fagan passed late fitness tests. The team was also bolstered by the addition of first team squad player Noel Haverty.
As the game got underway very little good football was played by either side as both were understandably nervous and neither wanted to make any mistakes. No player was given any time to settle on the ball because of the game's initial frantic pace and a lot of the game was route one. The Saints were nearly caught out by long ball from Fermoy's centre half which put their centre forward through on goal but Pats keeper Mark Gibbons was equal to the stinging shot - making a fine save.
The Saints couldn't find any rhythm to their game and it was looking like the bus trip down was taking its toll. Fermoy were causing Pats all sorts of problems from their set plays and long balls over the top whenever they had the opportunity.
Manager Ryan was delighted to hear the half time whistle and get his lads in at 0-0. A different Saints appeared in the second half. They began to impose their game by playing some lovely football. Pats had settled into their rhythm and began to pass the ball around with great link up play and created some excellent chances. Both Andy Haran and Ciaran O'Connor went close.
The break through finally came on 60 minutes. A throw in from Bonny found Flynn a quick look up saw Haverty in space - a thunderous shot from 30 yards and the travelling Inchicore support were celebrating with Haverty being mobbed by his team-mates.
The previously noisy 400 strong home crowd were suddenly silent but soon found their voice again singling out goal hero Haverty for a little bit of friendly banter. With Fermoy now forced to chase the game and with Pats passing football now flowing the Saints had more space and time to exploit.
Numerous chances were created before the final whistle - Jack Flynn had the best coming really close right at the death. The final whistle soon sounded after that - allowing Pats to celebrate a great win.
“It was a great win,” enthused manager Ryan after the game. “Fair play to our lads, Fermoy is a tough place to come and win but we showed some great character. Also fair play to the Fermoy lads and supporters who were understandably noisy during the game but afterwards they showed us some real Cork sportsmanship and hospitality.”
“Also a word of thanks to Brian Dalton who looked after the organizing of the trip leaving me to concentrate on the football side of things and also to Dave and Ken for their help on the line. Not forgetting the supporters who made the long journey down to cheer us on. We can now look forward to the semi-final draw on Wednesday.”
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