DUAFC outmuscled by physical IT Sligo

Today’s defeat leaves Trinity without a win in the CUFL


Sligo IT 1

Dublin University AFC (DUAFC) suffered another defeat in the Colleges and Universities Football League (CUFL), in a 1-0 loss at home to IT Sligo. Trinity have yet to win a game in the CUFL Premier Division North this season and will look to get back to winning ways when they face Dublin City University (DCU) on November 21.

Sligo settled into the game quickly, and it was the visitors who controlled the game during the early stages. Constantly threatening the Trinity net, they managed to cause serious problems for the Trinity defense in the first five minutes and forcing several corners.

The home side began to find their feet midway through the first half, with winger Christopher Straessle and captain Ronan Hanaphy exposing gaps in the Sligo back four. Trinity had several chances but failed to convert when the opportunity did arise.

The physicality was not absent in this match as there were several clashes of heads, most notably between Trinity’s Rory Nairn and a Sligo player in the 14th minute. A hard challenge on Trinity’s Jason Boateng warranted a stern warning from the referee to Sligo.

Sligo’s chances were beginning to bear fruit and they forced an acrobatic save from Trinity goalkeeper Devin Connolly on the 34th minute; an open goal loomed and Killian Doyle bought time by heading the ball away before Connolly made another save.

Trinity managed to settle into the second half quicker than they did the first. A breaking ball into Nairn saw him fouled at the edge of the square and saw the first yellow of the contest. Trinity repeated the defensive mistakes they had made in the first half, and Sligo’s diligence paid off when they scored on the 60th minute into the far corner of the Trinity net.

The goal appeared to spark life from Trinity and five minutes later, Peter Healey managed to make a break and put Hanaphy through on goal for a promising chance. It came to nothing as the skipper was ruled offside.

Trinity continued to threaten, as they managed to string several promising attacks together. A cross from right-midfielder Chris Straessle to Hanaphy saw him have a free header, but his attempt went wide of the upright. This became a recurring theme for the remainder of the contest, as their inability to finish mirrored their problems against Collinstown in the Metropolitan Cup last week.

Jason Boateng in his role as sweeper managed to beat two defenders and put a well a timed pass through to Straessle who had not one but two chances to score an equaliser at the 81 minute mark.  A free kick from Straessle on the 89th minute saw Nairn have another chance for the home side to draw level but his header couldn’t stay on target. Sligo finished the contest with 10 men after one of their players saw red in injury time for verbally abusing the official. It did little to affect the outcome, as it allowed Sligo to regroup and crowd space and hinder any chance of Trinity rescuing a point.

In speaking to Trinity News, DUAFC captain Ronan Hanaphy attributed the loss to bad luck in their inability to find a goal. “We’re lacking a bit of luck at the minute. I think we’re playing well, but it’s a luck aspect. We will come back around at some stage, we will get the luck back. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the win today, or even get a point, but that’s the game, we have to go and beat DCU now next week.” Trinity’s next game is away to Dublin City University as they aim to get back to winning ways.

Cian Mac Lochlainn

Cian Mac Lochlainn is an Economics and Politics student, and a Contributing Writer for Trinity News.