Town Rue Missed Chances

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Clonmel Town 1 Bluebell United 1
CLONMEL TOWN supporters left Dr O’Callaghan Park yesterday feeling this was a game their team should have won. Manager Paddy Ryan agreed, believing his team had the chances to win the game.
The majority of these chances came early in the match and for the first 45 minutes this was as dramatic a cup tie as you could hope for. Two superb goals, two questionable disallowed goals, a penalty appeal and consistent attack from end to end, gave the sizeable crowd value for money. For Clonmel, it was a half of ifs and buts. Had Ben Hannigan’s header not been ruled out early on, would Bluebell have clawed their way back into this tie? Similarly, had Clonmel made better use of their dominant possession would they now be securely in the quarter finals of the FAI Harp Lager Cup?
Bluebell were the first to settle into the pattern of the match.
In the opening minutes, they seemed comfortable on the ball and despite the conditions, were moving the ball around the field accurately.
However, it was Clonmel who took the lead, when after five minutes uncertainty in the Bluebell defence forced keeper Mark Clohessy to make a scuffed clearance. The ball fell directly to Glen Conway, whose right footed volley gave Clohessy no chance.
The goal gave Clonmel renewed belief with Kevin Waters beginning to assert himself on the flank. He would pose a constant threat to Bluebell all afternoon but his superb crossing delivery was never rewarded with a goal, thanks to a mixture of powerful Bluebell defending and lacklustre Clonmel finishing.
In the 14th minute Bluebell thought they had equalised after Liam Reilly prodded the ball into the net. The goal was disallowed though, much to the bewilderment of the Dublin team. Five minutes later, there was retribution, when Hannigan’s header from Waters’ pass appeared to cross the line.
The crowd started to celebrate only to be outraged when the linesman decreed that the ball never went over the line.
This was the best period of the game with both teams fluid in attack. Bluebell powerfully pressed for an equaliser and only the brilliance of Stephen O’Neill denied Ciaran Duffy midway through the first half.
Duffy was increasingly the main concern for the Clonmel defence, every chance the visitors created seemed to pass through him. When Bluebell, inevitably, brought the game to parity in the 35th minute, it was not surprising that it came from the head of Duffy.
The second half was a pale imitation of what went before. Neither side seemed able, or willing, to scale levels of excitement created before the interval.
So Clonmel must travel to Dublin next Sunday where Bluebell will be strong favourites. That means very little to Paddy Ryan, who was in an upbeat mood following the game, in spite of the glut of chances his team missed.
“I’m optimistic about next Sunday,” said Clonmel’s manager.
“With a dry pitch and a mild day both teams can play a lot better. We went to Rockmount and won a replay. We can do it again.”
CLONMEL TOWN: O’Neill, A. Ryan, Blanche, Hannigan, P. Ryan, Conway, Shanahan, Scully, Moroney, Boland, Waters. Subs. Prendergast for Conway (86 mins).
BLUEBELL UNITED: Clohessy, Curran, Geoghegan, Swift, O’Connor, O’Brien, Flood, Duffy, McGovern, Dunning, Wynne. Sub. Fitzpatrick for Flood, Gill for Fitzpatrick.
Referee: A. O’Regan (Cork).

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 July 2011 16:10