Collinstown FC 4
Dublin University AFC (DUAFC) were eliminated from the Herald Metropolitan Cup by Collinstown FC on a damp evening at the Iveagh Grounds on Thursday. Trinity will rue their missed chances as they continuously threatened the Collinstown net.
After a period of nip and tuck from both teams, the students gradually began to settle into the contest and seemed to be the only team with any decent chance of scoring. Collinstown struggled to keep up with the pace of the hosts’ forwards. Trinity took advantage of the visitors’ defensive woes, and the home side were awarded a penalty when team captain Ronan Hanaphy was brought down in the box in the thirteenth minute. The captain stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, giving DUAFC a deserved lead early on.
Over the next ten minutes, DUAFC asked serious questions of Collinstown defence. A cleverly lobbed ball into right midfielder Rory Nairn offered them a serious chance of doubling their advantage before he appeared to be pulled down by the Collinstown defender. This time, the visitors got the benefit of the doubt, as appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee.
Collinstown began to find their rhythm and threaten the Trinity goal. However, on the twenty-third minute, the men in blue levelled things up after a free kick found its way behind the Trinity defence giving the Collinstown player a one-on-one with the Trinity net.
Collinstown took the lead four minutes later and by the thirtieth minute had doubled their advantage after they caught DUAFC on the break. Despite their continuous pressing of the Collinstown end, DUAFC struggled to break through in the final third. The dominance they had shown in the earlier stages of the contest was now a distant memory. After the referee blew for the interval, DUAFC probably wondered how they were behind in the contest despite having more opportunities to score than their opponents along with better discipline.
During the second half, frustrations began to show from the DUAFC side, as the difficulties they faced in converting chances in the first half repeated themselves. Collinstown were testing the patience of the referee at this point with their repeated fouling and they saw a player sent off for a second bookable offence. The resulting free-kick saw a minor scuffle ensue in the box between both sets of players, which saw the referee give a stern warning to both teams.
In spite of their difficulties, DUAFC did manage to find space on the peripheries as Collinstown sought to crowd the middle of the pitch. A fantastic individual display by Steven Ball saw him use fancy footwork to beat three Colinstown defenders forced a corner that once again yielded nothing for the home side.
DUAFC threatened to mount a comeback when Hanaphy scored again in the eighty-second minute after a well-timed pass put him through on goal navigating around the keeper to put the ball into an empty net. Hanaphy threatened to make the contest interesting when he made a break late on but was outnumbered with no support which saw him dispossessed in the box. A fourth goal for Collinstown in injury time effectively extinguished any hopes of a remarkable comeback.
DUAFC will hope to get their season back on track when they face IT Sligo in their next League 1A match in College Park on November 13.