UCD progressed to the quarter-final of the FAI Cup on Saturday night as they dispatched a spirited Janesboro side in a 3-1 victory at the UCD Bowl. Collie O’Neill will be pleased with his men who overcame a resilient Boro side in challenging weather conditions.
The Students started brightly and showed their intent when Ryan Swan, who caused problems for the visitors all night, finished superbly from outside the box in the 5th minute, pulling a shot just past the despairing dive of John Mulready and into the corner of the net.
UCD kept pressing and refused to allow Janesboro to settle into the match; Swan and Marty Waters linked well throughout and their fluid passing penetrated the often porous defence of the visitors.
Waters claimed a goal of his own with 26 minutes gone when he expertly swept the ball past Mulready following some slick UCD build-up play to carve out space on the edge of the area.
With the Students firmly on top and the game settling down, Janesboro pulled one back through Michael Ryan whose triggered run enabled him to burst through the UCD backline and one-on-one with Niall Corbet whom he edged the ball over and into the net.
The start of the second half was an even affair, with both sides cancelling each other out whilst genuine goal-scoring opportunities were at a premium.
The unrelenting effort of the Janesboro players allowed them to keep pace with their opposition from a higher level and the Limerick side can take immense pride from keeping this game in the balance until UCD got their third in the 78th minute.
A Liam Scales cross appeared to have faintly brushed the head of substitute Daire O’Connor before sailing past the hapless John Mulready in the Janesboro goal to restore UCD’s two goal cushion.
In the closing stages the guests grew tired and a string of excellent Mulready saves kept the gap to just two which in the end was a fair result.
UCD’s attention will now return to their ongoing quest for promotion back to the Premier Division and the visit of runaway leaders Limerick FC to the Bowl next Saturday.
UCD: Niall Corbet, Mark Langtry, Liam Scales, Josh Collins, Maxi Kougoun; Greg Sloggett (Jack Ryan 91), Kieran Waters, Gary O’Neil, Jack Watson (Daire O’Connor 65), Jason McClelland (Jason Byrne 80); Ryan Swan
Subs not used: Conor Kearns; Dan Tobin, Sean Coyne; Adam Harney
Janesboro: John Mulready; Lee O’Mara (Robert Lowe 87), Craig McMarlow, Aiden Hurley, Donie Curtain; Michael Ryan, Arron Noonan (Evan Lynch 87), Steven Bradley, Shane Clarke; John Tierney (Adrian Healy 80), Aled Harkin
Subs not used: Jason Cross; Thomas Clarke
Bookings: Michael Ryan (65) Robert Lowe (92)
Referee: John McLoughlin
Attendance: 120 (est)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ryan Swan