Kerry District League
Friday 16th May 2014
Spa Road Fc 2-3 Killarney Celtic
By Tommy Naughton
Killarney Celtic provided their own version of the Friday night Late Late Show when they took all three points from Tralee with the very last kick of the game. Played in glorious sunshine these two teams served up an enthralling match with some excellent passing football on display.
The home side started with a defence minded 5-4-1 formation while Celtic started with a more attacking 3-5-2 formation and the game was only two minutes old when the home side took the lead. Brendan Sweeney intercepted a pass of out defence and from midway between the goals and the half way line he sent a unstoppable shot to the corner of the net to give the relegation battlers the perfect start.
Celtic’ first real chance came in the 7th minute after some good movement involving Stephen Hayes and Farouke saw Hayes shooting over from outside the penalty area. Sweeney again went close after good work from Peter Coffey and Dominic Houlihan saw his toe poked effort go wide the target. Celtic were now getting more into the game as they started to get their passing game going and it wasn’t long before the game was level. A four man move involving Farouke, Paketarus, McCarthy and McDonagh saw McDonagh fire a rocket of a shot into the top corner from just inside the penalty area.
Sixty seconds later and the visitors had taken the lead when Gintarus Paketarus headed home a Billy Goulding cross. Spa Road nearly pulled a goal back straight away but Sweeney saw his header from an Adrian Horan corner just go over the bar. Peter McCarthy then almost the visitors lead when he got on the end of Stephen Hayes deflected shot but quick reactions from Pa Fitzgibbon seen him save and gather at the second attempt.
The final chance the half saw Andrew Hobbert’s effort saved by Roy Kelliher low to his right after another good Adrian Horan corner.
Killarney started the second half with a change in their attacking formation as they went back to a 4-4-2 and this had a negative reaction as the second half was only a matter of minutes old when Spa Road got the equaliser. Shane Fitzgerald picked out the run of Peter Coffey who squared the ball to Joseph Duggan who had the simplest task of rolling the ball into the unguarded net from a few yards out. Ten minutes into the half and Celtic were hit with another blow when Darren Coakley had to retire from the game due to injury and with no subs available they would play the remainder with ten men.
Just after the hour mark Killarney nearly grabbed the lead again when Conor Randal crossed to Peter McCarthy at the back post but his looping header bounced the wrong side of the far post. Spa Road were now having a lot of the possession but lacked the final pass on many occasions in the final third failing to trouble Roy Kelliher and too many occasions from good positions.
Another good move by Celtic saw a one two between Farouke and Paketarus before Peter McCarthy saw his well hit effort saved by Fitzgibbon. Ten minutes left and a great chance for the home side after Joe Duggan played his brother Mike in down the left wing, his first time cross into the box saw the home side have a three vs one situation but as Shane Fitzgerald tried to tee it up for Brendan Sweeney the ball bounced up and hit his arm and was spotted by the referee who awarded a free out to save the visitors.
With just six minutes of the ninety remaining and the best chance so far for either side to take the lead would fall to the home side. Paul Murray who had just entered the game evaded two defenders before crossing to Mike Duggan whose side foot volley from near the six yard box flew over the crossbar and yet another let off for the visitors. Spa Road began to look tired as the game enter its final stages and started to get a little deeper inviting pressure on themselves but seemed to be coping with this comfortably.
In the 92nd minute Spa Road broke again on the counter attack, Paul Murray had the ball along the side of the 18 yard box and with three players rushing into the box he was dispossessed and Celtic broke even quicker, Conor Randal rounded the full back and made his way along the end line before pulling the ball back to Paketarus whose shot was blocked but rolled back into his path and this time he made no mistake and found the far corner of the net. Spa Road players fell to the ground in disbelief and as they touched the ball for the restart the final whistle was blown.
Killarney Celtic will be delighted with this win considering they were missing a number of regular players and played 35minutes with ten men. Spa Road will feel sickened at how they lost this one and maybe trying to kill the game off by taking the ball to the corner with their last attack might have earned them a point but instead they went for it all and ended up with nothing and are still in a tight relegation battle with this result.
Spa Road: Pa Fitzgibbon, Blake Byrne, David o Leary, Jonathan Loughnane, David o Leary, Joseph Duggan , Peter Coffey, Adrian Horan , Dominic Houlihan, Shane Fitzgerald, Brendan Sweeney . Subs, Mike Duggan for Blake Byrne (72 Mins) , Paul Murray for Shane Fitzgerald ( 83 Mins) .
Killarney Celtic: Roy Kelliher , Billy Goulding, Brian Spillane, Alan o Sullivan , Darren Coakley, John McDonagh, Farouke , Stephen Hayes, Peter McCarthy, Conor Randall, Gintarus Paketarus .
Referee: Jason McCarthy .