Bohemians 2; Kentstown (Navan) 2
(Bohemians won 4-3 on penalties)
Bohemians march on in the SFAI Under 14 Cup following this hard earned victory in Ben Wadding Park on Saturday afternoon. They took an early lead but then they drifted out of the game completely before charging back after falling behind in the second half.
When they equalised they regained their composure but following an extra 20 minutes they had to depend on a sudden death penalty shoot-out to book a date away to Crumlin in the next round.
The penalty decider was thrilling to say the very least as fortunes swung one way and another during the course of the 14 spot kicks that were taken.
This was a very gritty display by the Bohemians team who were not as big as their opponents, but they never allowed that fact get them down. All in all this was a smashing return to action for Schoolboy football in Waterford following the recent two week break due to the poor weather.
Bohemians got off to a dream start by scoring after only 2 minutes of play. Conor Morrissey swung over a free kick from the left which was met superbly by striker Jack Fitzgerald and he directed his header past the visiting goalkeeper Robert Bermingham.
One would have thought that the home side would have built on that superb start but it was Kentstown who took up the running and they remained on top during the remainder of the first half. Conor McGrain cracked in a rasping drive on 5 minutes but his effort went inches wide of Niall Cook’s goal.
The visitors from Navan went close once again on 18 minutes. Conor McArdle fouled Nicholas Bailey just outside the penalty area. Conor Sheirdan took the free kick but Niall Cook produced a fine save in between the Bohemians posts. Kentstown continued to press forward and they had a chance on 32 minutes when Amier Kahalta sent over a very dangerous corner kick from the left but defender Conor Morrissey headed the ball off the goal-line.
On the stroke of half-time Killian Corcoran got into the Bohemians penalty area to meet a knock down from Nicholas Bailey but he shot straight at Niall Cooke from a very good position.
Kentstown did not waste anytime going about their business when the second period got underway and they got back on level terms one minute in the half. Colin McGrain sent over a nice cross from the left.
The home defender Kevin Barry headed the ball backwards trying to clear and that caught Niall Cooke by surprise and Killian Corcoran took full advantage and cracked the ball to the net from close range.
Shortly afterwards David Donnellan went close with a stinging shot from 20 yards. Bohemians fell behind for the first time on 51 minutes in unfortunate circumstances.
Derek Cullen sent over a corner kick from the left to the near post and such was the power of his flag kick, the ball finished up in the back of the Bohemians net. That goal was the signal for a Bohs’ fightback and a great run down the left by Craig Connelly almost produced an equaliser but the front runners were unable to finish off his good work.
Richard Walsh did however come to the rescue of the home side after 58 minutes as he was the player who brought the teams level once again. Jack Fitzgerald cut in from the left, leaving two defenders in his wake and when his shot across the face of the goal fell to Richard Walsh he duly hammered the ball to the roof of the net with his left foot.
The remainder of the second half and indeed the extra 20 minutes produced plenty of good play but no further goals.
Sudden death penalties
Bohemians were put in the driving seat in the penalty shoot-out as they scored from their first two kicks, while Kentstown missed their opening two kicks.
Conor Morrissey and Kevin Barry were the players on the mark for Bohs. Robbie Clarke had his penalty saved by Niall Cooke aand Teehan Cummins shot well wide. Everything was thrown up in the air however when Bohs missed their next two penalties (Thomas Whitty and Jason Keane both wide) while the visitors scored their two (Nicholas Bailey and David Donnellan).
Chris Kervick then scored for the Waterford club as did Conor Sheridan for the team from Co Meath. It was down to sudden death at this stage and Luke Browne had Bohemians 6th effort saved by Robert Bermingham.
Niall Cooke then saved from Derek Cullen so it came down to the 7th penalty for each side. Mark O’Keeffe made no mistake for Bohs and Mark Gardiner blazed over the crossbar for Kentstown so it was the young Bohemians players who celebrated a marvelous victory.
Bohemians: Niall Cooke, Luke Browne, Conor McArdle, Kevin Barry, Conor Morrissey, Chris Kervick, Thomas Whitty, Jack Fitzgerald, Richard Walsh, Jamie Sage, Craig Connelly. Subs.: Jason Keane for Sage (52 mins), Sean Purcell for Connelly (59 mins), Mark O’Keeffe for Walsh (65 mins).
Kentstown: Robert Bermingham, Amier Kahalta, Derek Cullen, Conor Sheridan, Teehan Cummins, David Donnellan, Colin McGrain, John Davis, Nicholas Bailey, Killian Corcoran, Robbie Clarke.