Airtricity League Premier Division
Amond 28, 90+1. Kilduff 87
By Brian de Salvo
Paul Cook wants to add a full time coach to his staff. Far be it from me to keep his chairman’s cheque book in his pocket but on this evening’s evidence somebody’s already doing a good job with this Sligo Rovers team.
Take the enigmatic Joseph Ndo, a former
So where is UCD in all this? On the back foot for the majority of the first half, the Students’ major achievement is to go in at the interval just one goal in arrears. This is achieved by a combination of missed opportunities from the home side and commendable composure on the part of the visitors. UCD never panic and always insist on playing themselves out of danger.
But it takes
The second half showed a remarkable transformation with UCD seizing the initiative. Creevy, on for the injured Corry at the break, adds steel and Keith Ward, revelling in the opportunity to forage midfield fires in a vicious long drive that makes Brush in the Sligo goal look lively in order to turn it over. A little later Ward, with both Ndo and Russell breathing down his neck, performs a sublime dummy to leave them both flatfooted. But UCD’s main penetration again comes from the gangling
Paul O’Conor has had another good game in very good company but when he is replaced by Stephen Roche the UCD revival continues unabated. Michael Kelly, ostensibly the Students’ third choice right back, slots in as if he’s been a regular. When Roche sells him short with a pass, Kelly rescues the situation with a great tackle and he makes an important headed clearance for a corner a little later.
The natives were getting restless. Based on their first half performance Rovers would have been well worth the points but with the game finely balanced in the second there was always the chance that UCD would equalise. Sure enough, Kilduff came close in the 84th minute, whacking a shot just wide of Brush’s left post. Three minutes later he succeeded when his shot from just inside the box deflected off Laughlan to give Brush no chance. It seemed the perfect climax to a thrilling encounter.
But there was more to come in added time. An exquisite free kick from the right by Ndo a perfectly judged run, leap and header from Amond and
SLIGO ROVERS: Richard Brush; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jim Laughlan, Iarflaith Davoren; Eoin Doyle, Richie Ryan, John Russell (Conor O’Grady 77), John Dillon (Gary McCabe 77); Joseph Ndo, Padraig Amond.
UCD: Ger Barron; Michael Kelly, Evan McMillan, Andy Boyle, Ciaran Nangle; Paul O’Conor (Stephen Roche 67), Paul Corry (Robbie Creevy h/t), Keith Ward; Dwayne Wilson, Ciaran Kilduff, Graham Rusk.
Referee: Tom Connolly