UCD AFC drew 1-1 with Drogheda United in the UCD Bowl.
UCD (1) 1
Kilduff 23 Fitzpatrick 58 pen
Airtricity League Premier Division
UCD Bowl, Friday 3 September 2010
By BRIAN de SALVO
At half time it was going well. UCD, ahead through a stunning goal, was on course to leapfrog Galway and
This was one of those games where the participation of the referee has a direct bearing on its result. The double whammy of a penalty plus a red card in the 57th minute effectively ended UCD’s quest for three vital points.
Of course, Mr Rogers can only monitor the play that is presented to him but there were aspects to Robbie Creevy’s dismissal that are within the observer’s remit, particularly since the initial yellow card offence took place immediately in front of me; indeed I was better placed to see it than the referee.
Creevy made a great retrieving tackle. The ball broke loose and the Blues midfielder was up in a flash to compete for it a second time. He may have been a fraction late or perhaps the official penalised the manner in which he made the second challenge. Creevy seemed to me unfortunate. It was intense, high speed action but the player seemed to compete with determination not malice and I don’t think the assistant, who shared my viewpoint, flagged. Free kick maybe but the booking was harsh.
What happened next may be significant. Creevy’s response was heated and indignant and I heard Mr Rogers advise him to accept the decision and get on with it. A minute later the player was red carded after one of those goalmouth melees that now seem to accompany every corner kick. If you red carded every transgressor in such circumstances many games would grind to a halt for lack of contestants and custom and practice seems to be to try to man manage these situations rather than apply the laws.
I could not see exactly what took place on this occasion. The press box opted for hand ball. In which case the first yellow card is the only issue. But Martin Russell seemed to believe that Creevy had been penalised for holding on to the man he was marking. Whatever the official position it was an unsatisfactory way to determine a match that had promised much.
UCD restored Billy Brennan in goal, Ciaran Nangle to left full and had Michael Leahy deputising for the injured Andy Boyle in central defence. They had Ward, Creevy, Bolger and Moore in a tight, buzzing midfield with the industrious Graham Rusk playing in the hole behind Kilduff. The home striker could have put UCD ahead as early as the first minute, breaking clear on the left only to shoot across Duggan and wide. Nangle’s return lasted just five minutes before he suffered an ankle injury, the seriousness of which is still to be assessed. Gareth Matthews replaced him but, after an initial
The welcome positive for the home fans was the sparkling football played by a team which has seemed a little browbeaten by the demands of the Premier Division game in recent weeks. Drogheda are not the best team in the competition by some margin but Darius Kierans new look combination are a distinct improvement on the squad that visited the Bowl in April and played with spirit. Yet Kilduff gave the visitors plenty of problems at the back and could have won the game for the Students by half time. In the 18th minute he bisected Drog’s central defenders and lobbed the advancing Duggan only for the ball to glance the outside of the upright. But three minutes later UCD were ahead with an effort worthy of goal of the season, a series of one touch passes masterminded by Keith Ward and involving Rusk and Kilduff which ended with the big striker on the right coolly slotting the ball past Duggan to bring himself into undisputed eighth place in the UCD all time goal scoring charts.
It could have been more. Alan McNally took
McMahon was in action at the other end and almost conceded an own goal when he headed Karl Moore’s effort past his own post. Then the game was turned on its head with Creevy’s red card, Glen Fitzpatrick sending Brennan the wrong way from the penalty spot. But the ten
With ten minutes left Martin Russell sprang Dwayne Wilson from the bench and his speed taxed the tiring
UCD: Billy Brennan; Paul O’Conor, Evan McMillan, Michael Leahy, Ciaran Nangle (Gareth Matthews 5); Keith Ward (Dwayne Wilson 79), Robbie Creevy (s/o 56), Greg Bolger, Karl Moore (Paul Corry 61); Graham Rusk; Ciaran Kilduff.
DROGHEDA UTD: Robert Duggan; Eric McGill, Alan McNally, Mick Daly, Yael Haro; Darren Meenan, Conor Sinnott , Ryan Brennan, Peter McMahon (Ronan McEnteggart 75); Darren McNamara (John Flood h/t), Glen Fitzpatrick.
Referee: Rob Rogers