LEICESTER CELTIC…..0 KILNAMANAGH AFC….10
IN A WEEK when Cristiano Ronaldo was making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Kilnamanagh DDSL Under 14 Major 1 striker Cristiano Bramley made his own mark with a five goal haul against Leicester Celtic at Damien Duff Park on Saturday.
The Paul McCabe and Conor Kenna managed side have now amassed 25 goals in their opening two matches of the new campaign and both games were blown up early. “We’d love to move up to the Premier Division because we feel we are more than capable of operating at the top level,” said Paul McCabe after watching his troops blitz Leicester with a polished and impressive display.
Credit to Leicester Celtic who never gave up and although failing to register a goal did battle manfully and goalkeeper Carl Smiley enhanced his reputation with some excellent saves over the duration of the encounter.
Last time out Kilnamanagh put 15 past St Josephs Boys and this time round Leicester felt the wrath of a highly talented team that is doing the club proud – but they’d like a stronger challenge to help their development.
Kilnamanagh hit the front with just 50 seconds on referee Rory O’Shea’s watch as Leicester stood off and allowed Bramley his first sight of goal which he duly took with a crisp finish across Smiley from the edge of the penalty area.
James Sebrerry doubled the scoreline in the second minute with some neat interplay putting the Kilnamanagh wideman in on goal and he made no mistake with a clinical angled finish.
Leicester rarely broke out of their own half but they did come close with Liam Flanagan’s header in the 20th minute in a rare foray forward, but it was over Alex Forde’s crossbar.
Sohaib Amouche, Lucas Bergin. Ollie Gynor and Liam Flanagan struggled manfully to try to stop the incessant waves of Kilnamanagh attacks and the odd time they broke out of defence Nathan Flanagan up front looked as if he had some nice touches, but he was often isolated or muscled off the ball.
The visitors made it three following a mazy run by Charlie McElroy down the right channel and he fired off a shot which was parried by Smiley but Bramley was on hand to tap home for his second of the day from close in.
Kilnamanagh were excellent on the ball and although a tight pitch used the full width and were particularly pacy down the left flank.
Although rarely tested Callum Kenna and Ryan O’Keane were very solid in the middle of the Kilnamanagh back four and a lot of the play was initiated with their excellent distribution.
With three goals in the bank they could also feel aggrieved as they also had two goals disallowed in the opening 15 minutes such was their dominance. They showed good game intelligence and used the ball very well with good decision making backed up with no little amount of skill.
Skipper Billy O’Neill in the Number 9 jersey was a strong influence and his ability to drop deep and link play meant the Leicester Celtic rearguard was working overtime to try to stem the near one-way traffic
Bramley turned provider in the 24th minute with an incisive run down the right side and using his pace to burn off the Leicester challenge bore down on goal. As Smiley came to narrow the angle Bramley scooped the ball up over the Celtic netminder and O’Neill rose to head home number four at the back post.
Bramley was back in the thick of the action when his blistering pace took him clear of the home side’s defence and while cover eventually arrived he checked back inside two defenders and drilled a low shot past Smiley to the back of the net for his hat-trick and his side’s fifth – and all by the 28th minute.
Goal number six arrived on the half-hour with Daniel Sampson getting in on the goalscoring. On this occasion he used his pace to good effect and showed good finishing with his shot finding the net just inside the upright with Smiley beaten once again.
The interval broke Kilnamanagh’s momentum and on the restart Leicester had their best spell of the game and they displayed good character, tearing into the challenge and nicking balls off the toes of Kilnamanagh players.
Charlie McElroy picked up a yellow as KIlnamanagh were reminded that their first half high standards had dropped off the pace a tad. But the old order was soon restored after O’Neill was fouled and impressive defender Dylan O’Malley came forward to smash the ball home to the net giving the keeper no chance from the spot.
The pick of the goals was Bramley’s fourth as he pivoted on a dropping ball over his shoulder and connected perfectly to arrow a volley past the despairing dive of Smiley in the Leicester goal.
Smiley did thwart Bramley with a stunning save in the 58th minute after great dribbling skills had opened up the route to goal for the Kilnamanagh striker who was revelling in the contest.
A toe poke from O’Neill made it nine nil on the hour and sadly for Leicester double figures for their opponents was reached when O’Neill completed his hat-trick on the 64th minute with an angled shot across Smiley nesting in the home side’s net.
KIlnamanagh were simply at a different level to their opponents and reaching double figures in their opening two league matches tells you clearly that here is a side capable of top flight competition where they would be a genuine addition.
With four of the squad in the emerging talent programme they are clearly a side rich in ability and with experienced Paul McCabe and League of Ireland veteran Conor Kenna coaching, they are well drilled and tick lots of boxes in terms of meeting higher level credentials.
With both matches to date being blown up early, Kilnamanagh feel that their players are missing out on development too.
There is little to be learned in thumping opponents on a week in, week out basis and while Leicester were completely honorable in trying to meet the challenge, they were out of their depth against a classy opponent who were well drilled and extremely talented right throughout a team blessed with blistering pace and good technical ability.
LEICESTER CELTIC: Carl Smiley; Sohaib Amouche, Lucas Bergin. Ollie Gynor, Liam Flanagan, Callum Duffy, Odhran Noonan, Matteo Synnott, Karac O’Kelly, Nathan Flanagan. Oisin O Buchalla. Subs: Yousif Abood, Leo Dodd, Daire Delaney.
KILNAMANAH FC: Alex Forde; Cian Hoey, Dylan ‘Malley, Callum Kenna, Ryan O’Keane, Alex Carlisle, Cristiano Bramey, Charlie McElroy, Billy O’Neill, Daniel Samson, James Seberry. Subs: Braydon Davis, Lennon Lawless, Jack McMahon.
Referee: Rory O’Shea.