Sunday 19th July 2009
Kildare County kept their first clean sheet of the season after a game performance at Station Road on Sunday evening. They were living dangerously at times, but they were very composed in defence as recent recruit Darren Kelly was imperious between the posts.
Playing in their all green strip, Limerick enjoyed a good start to the game with John Tierney forcing a decent save from goalkeeper Kelly after three minutes. Kelly has been impressive since he came into the side a couple of weeks back and he made a terrific save two minutes later following a curling free-kick by Shane Tracey from a distance of 30 yards.
This would have been a crushing blow to County if they had conceded so early on, but Kelly tipped it over and County started to settle into the game, with Philly Hughes being extremely alert up front. Limerick were still threatening though, and were beginning to pose some major problems for Kildare from set-pieces, corners in particular.
Indeed, they had the ball in the net after 13 minutes but it was ruled out by referee Sean Grant because of a foul by towering centre-half Niall Donnelly on Kelly. This didn’t put off Limerick though and Kelly once again came to County’s rescue when he saved from Dave Ryan after he had been put through down the left and they also had midfielder Darren O’Brien to thank when he cleared off the line from a Tierney nod on with a quarter of an hour gone.
O’Brien, who scored Kildare’s fourth against Mervue last week, was just as active down the other end seven minutes later when his shot from distance deflected off team-mate Liam Tiernan, forcing Limerick ‘keeper Dave Ryan to save at his feet.
The beginning of this game was quite frantic at times but, as the half wore on, chances were few and far between. A David Jackson shot from 35 yards out was tipped over by Ryan, before Hughes had County’s best chance of the match when his chip from a tight angle on the left-wing had the stranded Ryan beaten all ends up, only for it crash off the crossbar.
Hughes was desperately unlucky to see such as an audacious attempt fail to hit the back of the net, but County were more than happy to go in level at half-time. Joey Somerville has identified the six teams around them as the ones that they need to be picking up points against. Limerick are one of those sides and, going by their performance in the opening period, they were well on their way to achieving this goal.
They would be under the cosh for much of the second half though, and Pat Scully’s side began to up their play to a greater degree. A scuffed Tierney effort from 12 yards let County off the hook and they also got the rub of the green when an effort by Shane Clarke deflected off his own man with ten minutes gone.
They were looking more and more dangerous as the minutes went by, but Kelly was having one of those nights when it seemed like nothing was going to go past him. He excellently turned the ball behind when Tierney was bearing down on goal, and he also saved superbly from Limerick Captain Brian O’Callaghan on 59 minutes.
Kildare had opted to bring on the pacy Orrin Farrell for last week’s hat-trick hero Dean Barrett with half an hour remaining, and the fresh legs certainly did help as County started to gather more possession around the middle third. Christy Doran moved to midfield following this switch and his delivery from a left-sided corner was met well by Baba Isaaka whose left-footed volley narrowly missed the top left-hand corner of the Limerick goal.
Limerick were still very much on top as the game entered the final quarter, but credit must go to County here because they made it extremely difficult for them to make inroads through their midfield. A free-kick from left-back Martin Deady, who put in some telling deliveries throughout the 90 minutes, sailed over the bar from 25 yards with 18 minutes remaining, and this was the last realistic chance from Limerick in the match as they had to be content with a scoreless draw from this game.
Kildare County: Darren Kelly; Craig Purcell, Dean Lawrence, Liam Tiernan, Baba Isaaka; David O’Riordan (David Lee 78), Darren O’Brien (Trevor Bowers 78), David Jackson, Christy Doran, Phillip Hughes, Dean Barrett (Orrin Farrell 55).
Subs not used: Gavin Kinsella, Mattie Byrne.
Limerick: David Ryan; Conor Molan (Gavin Roche 49), Brian O’Callaghan, Niall Donnelly, Martin Deady; Colin Scanlan, Wayne Colbert (Shane Waters 67 (Dave McGrath 82)), Shane Clarke, John Tierney; Shane Tracey, David Ryan.
Subs not used: Michael Sheehan, Andy Moloney.
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)
Attendance: 150 approx
Match Report courtesy of www.extratime.ie