Deputy College Sport Editor
In their last game in the group stage of the Combined Universities Football League, Trinity sat bottom of their group with only one point from their previous four games, while DCU went into the game knowing that a win would do to secure passage to the knockout stages.
With both sides easing themselves into the game that was played on a very heavy College Park pitch, it was DCU who had the better opportunities in the early stages, when two free headers nodded harmlessly wide of the goal.
With twenty minutes gone in the game it was apparent that this DCU side had come to win. They began to completely overrun the Trinity midfield by winning the majority fifty-fifty balls and by stretching the play down both wings with a regular supply of crosses going into their centre forward David Lodola.
With the game moving on towards half time and Trinity looking settled game, DCU’s Shane Keely opened the scoring with a simple tap in at the back post after the ball was drilled hard and fast across the box from a free. It was a lead that did not last for long, however, as Trinity restored parity with 44 minutes gone on the clock. After a hugely deflected shot that ricocheted off the DCU crossbar and out for a corner, Fergal Mullins levelled up the game with a very fortuitous goal.
With the heavens threatening to open, Trinity started the second half in a very positive manner with much of the opening play happening in and around the DCU box. Their hard work was ultimately in vain, as with fresh legs coming off the DCU bench they once again took control of the game.
DCU went back into the lead midway through the second half, when on the counter attack the ball was flicked back across the box and a diving header by Oisin Doyle hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line and then out.
During the next twenty minutes, Niall O’Carroll made a string of fine saves to keep a tiring Trinity side in touch with the visitors and in a position where they could still get a result.
DCU’s final match-winning goal was a carbon copy of a number of attempts they had earlier in the game. A ball whipped in fast from the wing and heading toward the near post was well-saved by Niall O’Carroll at his near post and knocked away for a corner.
From the ensuing corner DCU’s Stephen Traynor knocked the ball in at the near post to close out the game and keep their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages alive.
With a full-time result of 3-1 in favour of the visitors it was a disappointing ending to what has been a poor group stage for this Trinity team.