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O’Neill Hat-trick sends Wanderers into last 16 nationwaide



wandererssmallCobh wanderers 5-2 Youghal United

Wanderers cruised into the last 16 of the Intermediate cup with a comfortable win over fellow league 2 team Youghal United at Oldchurch Park on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the absence of players of the calibre of Mikey O’ Shea, John Meade and Kyle Downing, Wanderers were able to field a strong side to ensure a trip to Dublin to face Ballymun or Crumlin in the next round. The home side got off to the perfect start with Conor Meade scoring from an overhead kick following a poor fist out from the Youghal keeper. A minute later Fitzy took ball and man in a clearance designed just to “let them know he’s there”.

Youghal had a spell of pressure after nine minutes starting with a free from the right swung in left footed to the far post. Gary Collins managed to force it out for a corner. Four corners in succession later and Wanderers were lucky to survive. On 14 minutes Eddie Nolan was put clean through on the keeper but he put too much on the chip and it went well over. Davin O’ Neill sent in a cross from the right to the head of Ian Stapleton but his effort flew outside of the top corner.

On 21 minutes Meade and Stapleton showed some lovely foot work inside the box to work an opening for O’ Neill but he blasted his shot wide of the post. Davin was not to be denied two minutes later when Bruton cut in from the right and passed to O’ Neill who hit an unstoppable left foot drive to the net. On 26 minutes a thunderous strike from Youghal was bravely blocked by Timmy O’ Shea in the box. Timmy’s next contribution was to weight a perfect ball down the right into the path of Nolan who easily picked out O’ Neill in the box. Davin had time to stop the ball and coolly roll it over the line without a defender in sight for a three nil lead.

Five minutes later and O’ Neill missed the chance to complete the hat-trick when Stapleton knocked on into his path. Davin controlled and volleyed in the one movement but his effort sailed over. Another chance came soon after when an Overhead kick from O’ Neill was headed away to safety from just inside the post following a corner swung in form the right by Shane Geasley. The final action of the half saw Dave Stack hit a right foot effort towards goal but the keeper got down to his right for an easy save. Wanderers had a slow start to the second half and Youghal took advantage seven minutes in. A long ball to the far post was headed back across goal into the path of the Youghal striker and he finished past Green to reduce the arrears to two.

Youghal took charge of the game for a period of time and the home side seemed to lose all sense of shape and composure. O’ Neill completed his hat-trick in the 62nd minute to restore the three goal cushion. His left foot effort deflected off a defender and looped over the keeper to the empty net. On 77 minutes Dave Stack broke down the left and pulled the ball back to Davin who had his effort blocked. The block fell kindly to Geasley whose effort was well saved by the keeper diving to his right. Seconds later Geasley closed down the defender and managed to nick the ball in the tackle. It broke to Davin who crossed to Meade but his diving header looped up to allow the defender to just head over on the line. Another lapse in concentration allowed Youghal in for a soft second and a blot on the defensive copybook.

The scoring was completed in the 87th minute when Davin picked the ball up on the edge of the box and neatly slipped it into the path of the Gerry Dolan. Dolan hit a cracker of a left foot shot across the keeper to nestle in the far corner of the net. Back to the bread and butter of the league next week and an away game against our nearest challengers Leeside on Sunday morning.

Scorers: Conor Meade 3, Davin O’ Neill 23,34 & 62, Gerry Dolan 87. (52 & 80)

Team: Jason Greene, Eddie Nolan(Adam Thompson 78), Dave Stack, Timmy O’ Shea, Brian Fitzgerald, Gary Collins, Stephen Bruton(Owen Kinsella 60), Shane Geasley, Ian Stapleton(Gerry Dolan 62), Conor Meade, Davin O’ Neill.

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