Villa 1 Carrick United 2 (AET)
Villa led for the best part of 80 minutes in this game in Connors Park on Sunday morning and for a long time it looked as if they would move on in the Munster Cup.
But this Carrick United team are made of tough stuff and they never stopped battling away and they eventually got the equaliser with time running out. And when the Villa had Glen O’Neill sent off shortly after that goal the fight appeared to go out of the home side.
On Saturday of this week Carrick will be in Dublin to play Trinity Corinthians in the FAI Junior Cup and this tough game was just what the doctor ordered ahead of that game because they will not get a stiffer task for the remainder of the season.
No quarter was asked or given and in many ways it came as no surprise that two players were shown the red card. It was not by any means a dirty match, but both sides were prepared to put in strong tackles in what was a true cup tie in every way.
Villa got off to the best possible start by scoring after only 2 minutes of play. Kevin O’Brien cracked in a blistering drive from 25 yards. The Carrick goalkeeper Adrian Walsh tipped O’Brien’s effort on to the crossbar but when it fell back into the path of Paul Omotoso he made no mistake from 16 yards.
Alan Ryan of Carrick picked out Anthony O’Donnel with a free kick on 11 minutes but his header from a good position went wide. Alan Ryan was back in the action once again on 27 minutes with a strong shot from 20 yards which went wide of Cian O’Brien’s left upright.
Stephen Hahhessy then got on to the end of a ball that broke free just outside the penalty area following an Anthony Power corner kick but he was unable to keep his low strike on target.
Adrian Walsh prevented Carrick from going two down after 39 minutes when he got down low to save a header from Ian Tilson who had met a free kick from Kevin O’Brien.
Straight from the re-start in the second half, Thomas Fitzgerald struck the Villa upright with a shot on the run from 20 yards. Anthony Power then shot low from the left on 53 minutes. His effort beat the Villa goalkeeper but defender Declan Furlong kicked the ball off the goal-line.
Lots more Carrick pressure followed. Ian Cleary got on to the end of a long ball from Alan Ryan on 58 minutes but just as he was about to shoot, the Villa defender Ian O’Sullivan got in a brilliant clearing tackle.
Anthony Power then whipped in a low cross from the left to the back post but Thomas Fitzgerald just failed to make contact. The equaliser eventually on 81 minutes. Keith Walsh got in a fine cross from the right. Wayne Fitzgerald rose high but his strong header came thundering back off the crossbar but when the ball fell to the head of his brother Thomas he made no mistake from close range.
Five minutes later the Villa were dealt a huge blow when their striker Glen O’Neill was sent packing after putting in a bad tackle on Keith Walsh. In injury-time Thomas Fitzgerald passed to Anthony Power who in turn picked out Barry Murphy but he shot wide from a decent position.
What proved to be the winning goal arrived 4 minutes into extra-time. Wayne Fitzgerald played the ball out wide right to Glen Keane who crossed the ball low into the Villa six yards box. The home defenders did not move quickly enough to clear Keane’s cross and Thomas Fitzgerald gleefully slotted home his second goal of the game.
It was all too much for the Villa. A sour end to the game however for Carrick as they had Glen Keane red-carded seconds before the full-time whistle, a sending off that will rule him out of the next game in this competition.
Villa: Cian O’Brien, Dessie Mullett, Owen Ginnitty, Declan Furlong, Ian O’Sullivan, Nicky Corcoran, Ian Cantwell, Kevin O’Brien, Ian Tilson, Glen O’Neill, Paul Omotoso. Sub.: Jimmy Barry for Tilson (100 mins).
Carrick United. Adrian Walsh, James Walsh, Brian Barry, Anthony O’Donnell, John Walsh, Keith Walsh, Anthony Power, Alan Ryan, Thomas Fitzgerald, Ian Cleary, Stephen Hahessy. Subs.: Wayne Fitzgerald for Hahessy (H-T), Glen Keane for Cleary (60 mins), Barry Murphy for Ryan (79 mins).
Referee: Anthony Walsh.