13/10/18 – CYFC Match Reports

13/10/18 – CYFC Match Reports

CYFC U13s 2-1 Valley Rangers 

Cookstown travelled to play Valley Rangers on Saturday in shocking conditions. Despite the poor weather both teams provided an excellent game of football.

After a poor performance last week and some home truths from the management

Cookstown started brightly and were moving the ball quickly. Some impressive link up play between Marcus Boyd and Jake Ballantine was causing trouble down the left hand side. Despite the good start, Valley Rangers took the lead on 11 minutes when the midfielder drove into space too easily before finishing well. Cookstown kept battling and soon had their equaliser when Ben McCormack beat several players with dazzling footwork before playing in Shaun Og Shields who slotted the ball into the bottom corner well.

Going into the second half both sides pushed for the winner. The home side piled on the pressure but the back line of Dylan Hamilton, Sean Devlin, Scott Gillis and Ryan Eccles were fantastic and made several important challenges. Cookstown looked dangerous going forward with Jude Murphy working hard and Ciaran Devlin playing some lovely touches in midfield. Jake Ballantine was returning from injury and was replaced by Connor Moran. Chances fell to both sides but some super saves and clearances from Ethan Gordon kept the scores level heading into the final few minutes. With only minutes remaining Ryan Eccles bombed down down the left wing before finding Connor Moran who fired in the winner from 20 yards out.

Cookstown travel next week to face Ridgeway Rovers in a difficult tie in the second round of the NI Cup.

Team: Ethan Gordon, Dylan Hamilton, Scott Gillis, Sean Devlin, Ryan Eccles (c), Shaun Og Shields, Ben McCormack, Ciaran Devlin, Jake Ballantine, Marcus Boyd, Jude Murphy, Connor Moran

CYFC u13 Youth 6-2 Lurgan Celtic 

On Saturday CYFC U 13 Youth team took on Lurgan Celtic at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena. Lurgan Celtic started the game with conviction and intent with lots of early pressure on the CYFC back line. The CYFC defense struggled with a number of high balls in the swirling wind, putting increasing pressure on the CYFC team. After just 5 minutes the Lurgan team took the lead from a corner which was drilled into the box and slotted into the net after a scramble in the CYFC box. They extended their lead further from a long ball over the top which found the feet of the Lurgan winger and slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.  CYFC did have a number of clear-cut opportunities in the first half which they failed to convert.

A few strong words from Manager Kelly at half time saw a much-improved performance from CYFC in the early exchanges. 10 minutes into the second half CYFC final broke the deadlock. A lovely through ball from Conall Higgins was deftly controlled by Ben Mallon and drilled into the top corner of the Lurgan net. The goal changed the atmosphere around the pitch as the CYFC lads pressed for an equalizer which eventually came after a free kick was launched into the box and following a scramble the ball was eventually tapped in by Jamie Kerrigan. Now playing with flare, passion and determination, the CYFC supporters didn’t have too long to wait to see the young team capture the lead after a great piece of solo play from Jack Kearney.

Having got their nose in front the CYFC team never looked back and were playing some fantastic football, extending their lead with further goals from Higgins, Hawker and Mallon. After a lack luster first half performance the team showed why they are top of the Mid Ulster Youth league with a gutsy show of strength and passion in the second half.

Team: Jack McClure, Tom Pitts, Conall Sheehy, Luke McElkennon, Jamie Kerrigan, James Bell, Peter McClean, Luke Neeson, Conall Higgins, Jack Kearney, Tom Wilkinson (c), Aaron Quinn, Vance McKeown, Charlie Hawker, Chris Ward and Ben Mallon.  

Cookstown Youth 2-5 St James Swifts 

Cookstown took on league leaders and hot contenders for the title St James Swifts last Saturday at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena and went down 5-2 to the Belfast side.

Cookstown got of to a good start and were playing some neat football and it was Conor Rafferty that had a shot just wide after 5 minutes. The strong Belfast side were also very good on the ball and it was them that took the lead on 12 minutes after the referee had awarded a very soft free kick on the edge of the box the St James player found the bottom corner for 1-0 and just a few minutes later it was soon 2 when a fast flowing move from the Belfast side ended with the striker through on goal and made no mistake for 2-0. The home team battled to get into the game and were still playing some really good football when they were on the ball and a good move on the Left wing between  Wilson and Arrell put in Rafferty but his effort was saved. Paul Stewart then hit a great shot from 20 yards that came of the crossbar. Stevie Arrell then had a half chance but shot wide. St james then made it 3-0 when a ball came in from the right wing found their player at the back post who made no mistake and just before half time it was 4-0 when after a corner poor marking from the home team allowed a St James player to have a free header to leave the half time score 4-0

Cookstown kept to the task in the 2nd half and once more were playing really good passing football with chance falling to Raferty and Arrell. Robbie Brown and Johnny McKenna in the heart of the mid field were working really hard and kept driving the home team on, The back line of Turkington, Keane, Watson and Wilson had to work hard to keep the fast following forwards at bay and Donaghy in goals made a few good saves. Cookstown got a goal back on 62 minutes when workhorse Paul Stewart won the ball and put in Raffery who made no mistake for 4-1, Stewart and Sub Gabrysiak linked well and Stewart was in on goal but had his shot blocked, Cookstown then had a great move from the right hand side that started with right back Turkington with Mckenna, Gabrysiak, and Stewart all involved a cross found Rafferty in the box but once more the defender made the block. St James made it 5-1 when the Cookstown team got punished when a pass infield was cut out and a quick move forward resulted in the forward finding the back of the net. This was really disappointing as the home side had been the much better in the half, and the finished the half on a high with Adam Watson Scoring to leave the final score 5-2 to the Belfast side.

Next week Cookstown youth are away to Abbey villa fc in the intermediate cup

Team: L Donaghy, J Turkington, J Wilson, A Watson, A Keane, P Stewart, J Leslie, J McKenna, S Arrell, R Brown, C Rafferty, A Bell, P Gabrysiak

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