EA Cup R1
Date: 8 p.m. April 13, 2010
A Philly Hughes hat-trick and a brace from Sean Brennan helped United on their way in a match in which the spirited visitors actually started the brighter, forcing a number of early corners, from one of which Ken Doyle flashed a header narrowly wide.
United scored with their first meaningful attack, Cathal O’Connor’s cross from the right evading the head of Hughes but falling for Barry Clancy to nudge in near the post. The Mons moved progressively into command of the game but goals looked initially scarce on the ground for them.
Hughes wasted two virtually open-goal chances before, at the very end of the half, he swept a curling free-kick from the very edge of the box into the top corner. Mick Cooke’s men ruthlessly exploited the defensive limitation of Tullamore in the second half.
Substitute Brennan ghosted in at the far post to convert O’Connor low cross (54), and four minutes later, after a crude challenge by Cathal Joyce in the box, Hughes blasted home the fourth from the penalty spot.
A poor clearance from Town was pounced upon by Brennan who beat Joe Mooney with an elegant finish in the 63rd minute. Then Hughes completed his hat-trick with another free-kick from the cusp of the penalty area, this time a low drive through the wall that left Mooney stunned.
Town never gave up the fight, however, and got a little reward in the 78th minute when Mick Hoey got clear of the United defence and drove past the advancing Gabriel Sava. Four minutes from the end, Sean Brennan, who had claimed a hat-trick in United’s weekend demolition of Salthill Devon, threw away the chance of a memorable repeat when he blasted over the crossbar from the penalty spot.
Monaghan United: Sava; McMahon (McKevitt 53), Flynn, Gartland, Costigan; O’Connor, Tierney (McCrossan 64), Byrne, Clancy; Bermingham (Brennan 51), Hughes.
Subs not used: Kelly, Donnelly.
Tullamore Town: Mooney; Gorman, Doyle, Corboy, Kenaney (Francis 26); Sholola, Francis, Joyce, Salaudeen (Buckley 55); Hoey, Keegan (Pohl 70).
Subs not used: Molloy, Goodings.
Referee: Paul Tuite