FAI Cup R3
Date: 7:45 p.m. June 3, 2011
Venue: The UCD Bowl
Att: 300 (est)
The Premier Division side started the better. Midfielder Paul O'Connor struck a fine effort in the first minute which was well saved by Keith Gallagher in the Cherry Orchard goal. The “away” team continued to dominate the early possession. They should have gone in front in the 16th minute. Darren Meenan passed to Sean Russell. Russell's precise cross picked out Dean Marshall. However, Marshall somehow headed over from 6 yards out.
The Ballyfermot club had their first shot of the game in the 21st minute. Striker Philip Sheppard tried to chip UCD keeper Ger Barron but his effort just went over the crossbar. Orchard missed a much better chance in the 33rd minute when striker Adam Crowther, will feel he should have scored. Crowther raced onto a hopeful through ball but shot wide from 6 yards.
Crowther was made to rue that miss just a minute later. UCD midfielder Paul Corry struck a hopeful shot. Gallagher in the Orchard goal spilled the ball, with Sean Russell first to react and he fired home the rebound to give Martin Russell's team the lead.
However in the 38th minute the blues nearly pressed the self destruct button again. Left back Ciaran Nangle let the ball bounce. Philip Sheppard raced onto it but shot tamely at Ger Barron from close range.
UCD could have gone two up in the 47th minute. There was some fine approach play from Nangle down the left. His precise cross picked out Samir Belhout however Belhout's effort was well saved by the busy Keith Gallagher.
Chances were limited after that until a moment of brilliance from UCD midfielder Paul O'Connor in the 67th minute. O'Connor turned brilliantly and played an excellent through ball to Belhout. Belhout pulled it back for Sean Russell. Russell hit the crossbar but the ball rebounded to substitute Stephen Doyle who made it 2-0.
It looked like it was game over then but Paul Doyle's team had other ideas. Substitute Philip O'Connor had two chances in the space of a minute. The second, which was the better of the two saw him shoot across goal when it seemed easier to score.
However in the 79th minute, Orchard got the goal that their performance deserved when captain Alan McNevin headed in Ian McNeil's corner to set up a frantic final 10 minutes. In the 82nd minute Orchard number nine Philip Sheppard hit a stunning shot from outside the area which hit the crossbar. The rebound fell to Crowther who shot straight at Ger Barron from six yards out.
Indeed the Cherry Orchard number 10 knew that it wasn't going to be his night in the 87th minute. Crowther raced onto Kevin Brennan's excellent through pass and whilst he shot on target, he was denied once again by the diving Barron in the UCD goal.
The Ballyfermot club pressed for an equalizer right until the end but UCD just about held on for a nervous and unconvincing victory against the intermediate team who showed tremendous spirit and can be very proud of their efforts.
Cherry Orchard:Keith Gallagher, David O'Sullivan (Kevin Brennan 82), Matthew Roche (Darren Byrne 79), Marc Nataro, Ian Maher, Alan McNevin (captain), Ian McNeil, Graham Curran, Philip Sheppard, Adam Crowther, Lee Collins (Philip O'Connor 64).
Subs not used:Kevin Brennan, Michael McLoughlin, Colm Daily, Luke Kelly, Craig O' Brien.
UCD: Ger Barron, Sean Harding, Ciaran Nangle, James Scallon, Michael Leahy (captain), Paul Corry, Dean Marshall (Stephen Doyle, 62), Paul O'Connor, Samir Belhout (Cillian Morrison 71), Darren Meenan, Sean Russell.
Subs not used:Tomas Boyle, Daniel Ledwith, James Kavanagh, Robbie Benson, Mark McGinley.
Attendance: 300 estimate.
Referee: Damien Hancock.
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Ger Barron (UCD)