Match Reports Div3B - season 2003/2004

Carrickmines 2:3 TCAFC

After 6 weeks waiting for a game it turns out we now have three in a week. First up is the Tuesday evening fixture away to Carrickmines. We beat Carrickmines at the start of the season in a bit of a ding dong (4:3?!?!) and knew this would be a tough enough fixture. Al had organised everything well and we were all the right place at the right time, half the battle. The team saw Sean, Dec, Adrian and Paul at the back, Des and Allan were in the centre again with Dec and Jay on the wings and Kaz and Evan were up front. Al had a strong bench with Graham (still recovering from his recent stroke), the Prince and Gussy kicking their heals. A combination of the pitch been a bit of a meadow, a soft ball and the fact that we haven’t played a game in six weeks made for possibly the worst game of football ever.
The Carrickmines striker was about 6’5 and they were content to hoof the ball up to him, while we looked nervous whenever we had the ball and were content to knock it over the top to Kaz, Dec and Evan. This worked on a few occasions as both Evan and Kaz got clean through but a lack of match practice saw them scuff their chances. Jay was singled out for a bit of treatment a few times as his mazy runs were causing them all sorts of problems. Our first goal came after great work by Evan saw him taken down in the box and Des put away the peno. They got one back shortly after when a corner was half cleared and the shot that came back in took a deflection and went into the top corner.
We kept our cool though and continued to try and play some decent football. At half time Al rightly gave us an earful, we were playing shite and were looking to hit the ball long every time. We had to try and get the heads up and start looking for the pass to feet.
The second half was a bit of an improvement and we started to pass the ball around a bit more. We were coming under a lot of pressure from the high ball at the back but Dec and Adrian were having a super game and really Al had no saves to make.
Our second goal came after good work from jay again saw him taken down on the edge of the peno boc to the right, Des duly stepped up and slotted the ball into the far corner for an excellent goal. Al rung the changes over the next ten minutes and Graham came on at left full, Denis went on for Kaz and Dec gave Gus a run on the left. While the bedding in was going on we were caught napping at the back and from a throw the ball seemed to bounce around for a while before it duly bobbled over the line.
We picked ourselves up tough and got on with the game and went in search of the winner, for the remainder of the game it was all ‘Nure and finally started to settle into playing the football we know we can, the rustiness seemed to be wearing off and we really got into our stride, Des and Allan were controlling things in the middle of the park, Gus was distributing well from the left and getting some great tackles in and Dec and Adrian had the measure of their men. Graham seemed to be enjoying his return to football after his recent stroke but things nearly took a nasty turn when he swallowed a fly, luckily he was ok, no word on the fly though!
Jay went close a few times to setting up Denis and then Allan then Evan had a great shot stopped by the keeper. The winning goal was to once again be set up jay after his mazy run down the right wing saw him push the ball to the far post where Evan got the vital touch. This was to prove the last kick of the game.
Obviously the match sharpness had not been there for the start but the second half saw us getting up to speed and start passing the ball on the deck a lot more. A good three points against a very determined Carrickmines outfit sets up nicely for an away fixture against Park Celtic on Thursday and Ards on Sunday.

TCAFC: A. Leckey, S. Doherty, D. Brady, A. English, P. O'Sullivan (G. O'Sullivan '60), J. Frehill, D. Curran, A. Sweeney, D. Dolan (F. Bishop '75), E. Fahy, K. Drennan (D. O'Frighil'65).

TCAFC 2:2 Earl Celtic

After two bad results against Earl Celtic and then Dunshaughlin Youths it was important for the morale of the team that we got a result out of our home fixture against Earl.
The attendance at training had been excellent and Al and Gus had put us through our paces on both nights. The team was Al, Paul, Adrian, Mark and Sean at the back. In the middle of the park Allan and Des continued their partnership with Dec D on the left and Kaz on the right. Evan and Jay Frehill were up front and Graham, Rafty and Brian O’D were on the line. Graham was ment to start but suffered a mild stroke before kick off due to an over vigorous warm up routine!
The work we had done during the week started to show in the opening exchanges as we grew in confidence and played the better football. The first goal came after excellent work down the left saw the ball pop up in the box and Evan was the quickest to react and placed it wide of the keeper. As the half progressed we created more chances and the best move of the match saw the ball moved from the right wing to the left full spot into the center and then through to Dec D who just failed in his attempt to lob the keeper. The second goal came after Jay was taken down in the box and Des stepped up to take the peno, no stranger to pressure Des slotted home the peno with ease. We continued to create chances in the half, with Jay and Evan giving them all sorts of problems on the deck and in the air respectively, but we finished the half with just the two goals.
Earl started the stronger in the second half and put us under a lot of early pressure. The back four were holding up well though and Adrian and Paul were having excellent games, and Allan Sweeney, having one of his best ever games in a Terenure jersey, was at the heart of everything good in defence and attack, however a simple ball over the top caught us off guard and their no.9 sneaked in to set the game up for a barn storming finish. Al put on Rafty, Brian and Graham and gave Paul, Dec and Kaz a well earned break, Jay moved to the right, Rafty went up front and Brian went to the left wing. The fresh legs seemed to wake us up and we slowly but surely started to get back into the game and get down into their half and create some openings. Rafty went close after slipping the off-side trap but the Earl keeper was quickly off his line and Jay was creating even more problems on the right especially after being put through with an excellent ball from Des C. Disaster struck with 10 to go when we fell asleep at the back after a throw in on the left saw the ball played into the box and come off Adrian’s arm, the ref gave the peno and despite a heroic effort by Al he wasn’t able to keep it out.
The ding dong battle continued for the last 10 and both sides came close to winning the game. Jay continued to skin people for fun on the right and Rafty and then Ev just failed to connect with his crosses, Sean blazed over the bar when in on the keeper, and Brian was unlucky when he missed from a tight angle. It was disappointing to lose a two goal lead and essentially drop two pints, in retrospect though our elegant footballing performance in the first half, our willingness to do the hard work in the second half, and excellent performances from all the players is a huge improvement on the previous two games and gives us something to aspire to against Park Celtic this weekend.

TCAFC: A. Leckey, S. Doherty, M. Hanlon, A. English, P. O'Sullivan (G. O'Sullivan '70), A. Sweeney, D. Curran, D. Dolan (B. O'Donaghue '80), K. Drennan (C. Rafter '70), J. Frehill, E. Fahy.

Skerries 0:1 TCAFC

It was five weeks since the second team played Kilnamanagh in the cup and so it was vital we got a win out of this game to keep up our hopes of a top four finish.
Because Mark, Kaz, and Brian were all away, this weekend there were some initial concerns as to whether we’d be able to muster up 11 players. However Thursday saw the return of Evan and Jay to training after long injury lay offs and this took the pressure off. Starting team was Paul, Graham, Adrian, Sean, Gus, Allan, Des, Liam, Jay and Dec D.
The pitch was small, the ball was soft, and the ground was hard. All in all the game proved a pretty poor spectacle to the large crowd that had gathered. First half highlights for the ‘nure included Jay going close after great work by Allan and Liam in the corner, Dec was very unlucky when his shot just bobbled past the post and Jay ahd another shot that went just over. Down the other end, after some initial scares Graham and Adrian were getting the measure of their men and Paul was doing fine on the left. They had a load of free kicks but good organisation in the wall and marking the men helped us go in at half time 0-0.
The first twenty or so of the second saw us camped on our own goal line. Excellent battling in the middle of the park by Allan, Des and Jay saw that they didn’t get any clear cut chances. One of the stranger incidents of the day saw Gus on the receiving end of a haymaker from Sideshow Bob after he tried to get into his shorts, the ref seemed to take a dim view of Gus’s falling over and gave him a good talking to and gave them a free.
Our goal came after some great work up the left touchline by Liam and Dec saw us get a free kick over near the corner flag. Liam crossed in and a mix up in the box saw the ball drop to Conor Murray who somehow managed to get it over the line. Conor had just come on for Gus so an inspired substitution there, Liam also made way for Freddie Kanoute and Dec gave Evan a run up front.
In true Terenure style it was backs to the wall for the remaining 25 mins. Excellent work by everyone on the field saw Skerries chances limited to long range frees and some long throw ins from their no.5. The last few minutes saw Skerries throw everything at us and in true Terenure style we “circled the wagons”, Paul cleared off the line, Conor cleared over the bar when under pressure and everyone got a toe, head, knee (graham!) to the ball when they had to.
An excellent three points against a strong Skerries side gives us something to aim for in our remaining ten games. It was also great to see Jay, Evan, and Liam all back playing again and the squad is looking in good shape again.

TCAFC: A. Leckey, S. Doherty, G. O'Sullivan, A. English, P. O'Sullivan, F. Bishop (Murray '55), A. Sweeney, D. Curran, Liam (Freddie '75), D. Dolan (E. Fahy ’80), J. Frehill.

TCAFC 3:2 Brighton Celtic

The last time we played Brighton back in Oct. we let ourselves down badly and lost the game in the few minutes after leading twice. We redeemed ourselves out in Clane shortly afterwards when we played some of our best football to win 4-2. Griffith were the last team we played in the college and after beating them 9-1 out in Finglas it failed to dawn on some of out lads that they we would be out to restore some pride and deservedly beat us by a goal to nil.
We started well against Brighton and with Kaz playing in the hole behind Dec caused them a bit of trouble with our formation early on. Kaz went close after good work by Dec saw Sean cross to the far post only for Kaz to miss by a whisker. Again on the right Allan out through Dec and Adrian a number of times and the crosses were causing trouble for Brighton at the back. Kaz was unlucky when a diving header just went wide, as were Brian and Allan who also went close. Brighton has their chances too though and looked dangerous going forward with the number 11 dropping off and got through the back line once or twice but Alex was on his toes to avert the danger. We got the goal we deserved after their keeper’s kick out went straight to Kaz who duly belted it back at him and into the net.
The game was going fine but there was an element of malice creeping in and the hard tackling tactics of the big guys from Brighton were starting to turn their game their way. The equaliser for them came after the ball broke down their left and was squared into the box and the striker found himself one on one with Al and did well to find the corner of the net. We went 2-1 up after a ball over the top got Brian O’D through on the left and the ball was eventually put away by Adrian who was having an excellent match.
The second half saw the match deteriorate further with some bad tackling and a lot of handbags. It came to a head when Richie became embroiled with their biggest player on the edge of our box. Flashbacks of Andre The Giant v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan sprang to mind. The handbags suited Brighton better and we got rattled, we had chances to get another goal but Brighton got the equaliser from a corner after it crept in at the near post.
They were piling on the pressure and despite the odd break out we found ourselves defending a lot of the time, a break was to come our way when there 11 got sent off and they were reduced to 9. We still struggled to get the winner and held on to the ball too long before releasing our forwards resulting in numerous offsides. The breakthrough came when we won a corner.
Sean spooned the corner in from the left and the ball went straight in. Despite appeals from Mark that he got his head to it the goal was later awarded to Sean by Richie back in the Morgue. Brighton had another man sent off for taking a swing at Mark and the game was over as a contest, as a spectacle it had ever really begun!
A hard fought and well deserved three points before the xmas break.

TCAFC: Leckey, Doherty, G. O'Sullivan, Hanlon, P. O'Sullivan (O. Keating ’60), English, O'Loughlin, Sweeney, O'Donaghue, Dolan (Kavanagh ’65), Drennan.
Subs: Keating, Kavanagh, F. Bishop.

Trinity S&L 3:0 TCAFC

A poor start to the game saw us getting to the ground with only minutes to spare. The ensuing rush to the bogs saw Dec Dolan destroy one of the cubicles and get given out to by a very irate Kaz and Kevin.
We started off ok and managed to get our foot on the ball and we got some good early tackles in, the difference though was that every time we got the ball we managed to give it straight back to them. We were defending well though and Kev and Graham were again clicking in the centre of the park and Adrian and Clank were getting things moving on the left side of the park. Dec was working hard up front and had his work cut out tracking their 3rd midfielder and trying to support Evan up front. They scored after about 30 mins when a quickly taken free kick saw the their big number 10 break the line and leave Al with no chance, despite being offside we knew we’d get no change out of the ref.
We finished the half with our heads down but started the second half a bit better and managed to keep the ball down their half a lot more. Disaster struck though after 15 mins when a cross from the left saw one of their guys score despite the fact that the ball was over the line. The third goal came from a peno after a rash challenge by Sean on the no.10, Al managed to save the first shot but the follow up was too quick for any terenure guys to get near it.
Darren came on for Adrian and Allan came on in the middle of the park as Kaz pushed up front and Evan came off. Darren and Clank caused them some problems on the left and Kaz made an immediate impact up front holding the ball up well and bringing the other players into the game. Allan sat deep and helped settle things down in the middle of the park, it provided an outlet for players on the ball and also allowed Des to go on his trademark mazy runs
In the end though we never had too many clear cut chances, and we realised that we need to step up our performance to compete at this level and know the type of football we should be aspiring to play.
Next week sees us back on home soil after two weeks on our travels, with Skerries providing the opposition.

TCAFC: A. Leckey, S. Doherty, G. O'Sullivan, K. Brady, A. English (D. Frehill), O. Keating, K. Drennan, D. Curran, B. O'Donaghue, D. Dolan, E. Fahy (A. Sweeney)

Rush 0:0 TCAFC

Travelling to rush for an afternoon kick off has always been a bit of a dodgy experience for the seconds – after last years win against them in the cup though we knew that we had raised our standard over the past two seasons and we could get the points here we needed to stay in touch with the leaders.
The back four were Sean, Graham, Kevin and Adrian. Brian, Des, Kaz and Allan were in the middle and Rafty, Clank and Evan were on the line. As always we started off a bit nervously and the bobbly ground saw us miskick a few clearances and hit a few stray passes into touch. As the game wore on though our confidence grew and we started to play a bit more ball. Adrian and Brian were causing them no end of problems on the left and Kaz and Des were getting a hold in the middle of the park. At the back it was a delight to see Kevin Brady back for the seconds as he and Graham didn’t give the Rush forwards a sniff.
Dec and Brian both went close after good works down the flanks by Brian and Allan but the half ended scoreless. The free kick routine nearly worked aswell but their keeper was out too fast.
The second half saw a few changes as Rafty came on for Dec. He immediately went close with a volley over the keeper. Kaz was proving to be a bit of a revelation in the middle of the park and his ability to skip by a few players saw him one on one with the keeper but again the bobbly pitch saw him miscontrol and the keeper smothered it. Allan also went close after doing a Maradona from the half way line getting into the box, doing a few George Best hitting the keeper, doing a few more George Best and then hitting the keeper again.
Clank and Evan both came on for the last 15 and helped provide Rafty and Brian with a few more chances but in the last 5 Rush got two corners in a row and put us under some pressure, it could have been a disaster had Al Leckey not produced a top drawer save when faced with two Rush strikers.
In the end a 0-0 draw and not a bad point away from home against a solid Rush outfit who will surely take points off the top teams out there.

TCAFC: A. Leckey, S. Doherty, G. O'Sullivan, K. Brady, A. English, B O'Donaghue, D. Curran, K. Drennan (O. Keating), A. Sweeney (E. Fahy), D. Dolan (C. Rafters), B. Cullen.

TCAFC 4:4 Park Celtic

There were some enforced changes to the squad for this weekends fixture. Rafty had been drafted back to the firsts for their away trip to Disneyland in the afternoon and Des Curran was unavailable.
After last weeks 9-1 win over Griffith Alec warned us against getting in anyway complacent, next week would see three first team regulars back and Des and Rafty would probably be back for selection also. The team Conor Murray was drafted in for his first start of the season at the back beside Graham, Richie and Kaz were in the middle and Brian C was back to join Forlan up front. The rest of the team was as last week and Tom, Evan and Clank were on the line.
We started well and put them under some early pressure with Brian C and Dec working hard up front to deny them any room. They caused us some trouble at the back with the big kick down the middle and this was a sign of things to come. Man of the match Brian O’D was taken down in the box after a great move on the right involving Allan and Brian C put him in. Brian stroked away the peno to the keepers right for his fourth of the season. Another big kick finally saw us get caught out and their striker got away from Conor and finished nicely. Shortly after that they got another one, and it was again the two Brians who got us back on level terms after great work from Brian O’D on the left saw his cross nodded in by Brian C at the far post.
The second half started badly for us and we caught with a sucker punch after 5 mins when they got though at the back and got their 3rd. Al made some changes and put Richie in at the back and Clank into the middle of the park to try and steady the ship.
Brian was again to prove his man of the match status as he set off on a mazy run on the left, he cut inside and unleashed a perfectly placed shot into the top corner to get us back on level terms. With 5 minutes to go we got caught going forward and a long ball over the top forced Al into a super save but we failed to clear the ball and when it came back in again there was nothing Al could do.
Again it was Brian C who popped up to secure the points after a cross was met by Clank at the back post, his shot bobbled around and Brian was on-hand to tap it away for literally the last kick of the game.
In the end it was a lucky escape against a very determined Park Celtic outfit, but it can only really be deemed as two points lost at home. Next week sees us travelling to Rush for an interesting encounter against the team we knocked out of the cup last season.

TCAFC: Alec, Sean, Conor (Clank), Graham, Adrian, Brian, Kaz, Richie, Allan (Tom), Dec (Evan), Brian C.

Griffith Rovers 1:9 TCAFC

1 - 9(nine!)
A few enforced changes to the team after last week’s victory. Darren was still having trouble with his calves (!?!?!) so Adrian went in at left full and richie went in at centre half as there was no Sparky this week. In the middle were Des and Kaz with Brian O'Donaghue on the left and Allan on the right. Up front we had the one and only Ciaran Rafter and the equally individual Decky Dolan was getting a start after a good showing last week.

We started the game a bit slowly but as soon as we realised that these guys weren’t up too much our confidence increased and we soon began to create some chances. Adrian and Brian were creating havoc on the left and Dec and Rafty both went close to converting the crosses. Rafty swung in a good ball on the left that Allan nearly did a Van Basten on from the right side of the box. The goal eventually came after Richie lept like a salmon at the back post and Allan tucked it away. We got two more from Raftie – the pick of the bunch being a corner from Des on the left that was turned in by the big man’s size 14’s. It was 3-0 at half time but we all knew we couldn’t take our foot of the pedal and let these guys back into the game. At the back the Rabbit and Richie were playing brilliantly and the lads in the middle were running the show. After about 10mins the fourth goal came for us and the game was effectively over. We scored another 5 – all good goals but the quick indirect free by Allan to Brian was nice and our set piece move came off nicely this week aswell. So Rafty (2), Allan (3), Des (1) , Dec (2) and Brian (1) all had a good day out and some tough choices for Alec next week with all the rest of the guys doing well and Thomas, Gus and Darren coming off the bench to put in some good work aswell.

Squad. Alex, Sean (Gus), graham, Richie, Adrian, Brian (Tom), Kaz, Des (Darren), Allan, Dec, Ciaran.

Terenure College 4:3 Carrickmines Utd

Our first game of the 2003/2004 season saw us defeat Carrickmines Utd in a bit of an epic. The pre-season work had gone well and Alec seemed to be revelling in his new role of gaffer!

Sparky had been drafted into the back line along side Darren, the Rabbit was left full and Seanaldo was on the right. In the middle were Des and Richie, with Clank on the left and Allan on the right. Gus and the ever youthful Brian Cullen made up the attack.

The game started at a frantic pace and a through ball by Gus to Des saw him taken down in the box, Brian put away the resultant peno but our lead was short lived. Bouncing balls at the back saw a jittery ‘nure fail to clear and Carrickmines capitalised with a well taken goal. A long clearance saw Brian get his second with a nice lob over the keeper but again we conceded a sloppy goal straight after. 2-2 at half time and things got worse after the break when Carrickmines got another straight from the tip off. Dec D came on for Gus and shortly after Brian O’Donoghue came on for Allan on the right. For the next 40mins it was all ‘nure and despite some excellent attacking moves we were unable to get the equaliser with Brian and Dec both shaving the woodwork.

The goal came after good work on the right saw a cross nodded in by Sparky at the back post. The winner followed shortly after when a brilliant run by Des saw him square to Brian who slotted it away.

A nervy first game where it took us a while to settle, on the plus side though we had come back well, Brian had scored a hat-trick (although it was unfortunate to hear that he pulled a hamstring getting out of bed the next day) and our set pieces were becoming quite dangerous. Roll on next week.

Squad: Alex, Sean, Graham, Sparky, Darren, Clank, Richie, Des, Allan (Brian O’D), Gus (Dec D), Brian Cullen.