Ashford B 3- 4 Arklow Utd A
Goals: B Travers, A O’ Neill, J Quinn x 2 (2 pens)
Arklow United’s 1st team travel to Ashford:
UNITED’S WINNING STREAK CONTINUES
United travelled to Ballinalea Park earlier this morning, missing a few key players to injuries and the dreaded man flu. United started the brighter of the two sides with Cian Li threatening to score long before Ben Travers finally broke the deadlock on the 25th minute, with a simple tap in following a stinging shot from Cian Li that bounced off the keeper’s chest into the path of Ben Travers.
United were once again guilty of switching off, conceding 3 minutes later when a speculative strike from 30 yards out sailed over Jamie Hawthorne to make it 1-1. Four minutes later United gave a soft goal away from a free header at the back post following an Ashford free-kick on the left side.
Disaster struck on the 38th minute when the referee harshly adjudged that an Alan O Neill challenge should result in awarding a penalty. A very harsh decision considering the challenge was well outside the box from our view on the sidelines. A cool finish from the spot saw Ashford take a 3-1 lead despite United looking solid in defence.
United responded brilliantly within a minute when Alan O Neill put a thunderous header past the Ashford keeper following a super delivery from a United corner. United continued to create chances for the remainder of the half but some fine goalkeeping kept Ashford with a slim 3-2 lead at half time.
United’s management made two changes in the second half introducing our pacey winger Shane Roche and the ever-constant threat of Jonny Quinn up front. Ashford had no answer to the power and pace of Roche on our left wing and Roche constantly threatened with every run and quality delivery to United’s forward line. This pressure resulted in a free kick on the 52min, Higgins unlucky to hit the cross bar with a rasping free kick.
Jonny Quinn demonstrated his strength in leading the front line and was a constant threat throughout the second half. Ashford’s defence had no answer to his movement on and off the ball. Jonny got his just rewards on the 78th minute when he was pulled down in the box. Jonny stepped up to draw United level with a composed penalty kick.
United were dominating at this point and much of this was down to our box-to-box midfield of Niall Higgins and Karl Kirwan who started to impose themselves more on the game. With 9mins left on the clock some fine interplay saw Higgins pulled down in the 18-yard box and an unquestionable penalty awarded to United. Up stepped Jonny with his second of the day to make it 3-4 to United.
United emerged as deserved winners and the scoreline did not reflect the many chances United had throughout. More focus from the squad is needed throughout the 90mins and whilst this side will always score goals we need to start work on not conceding after we score and learn to shut out games.
Man of the match – Mark Wixed – solid and composed in central defence.
Previous results : Arklow United 4-3 Shamrock Celtic