RATHNEW AFC 3 WICKLOW ROVERS U12 A 0
RATHNEW booked their place in the Quarter Finals of the WDSL Under 13 Premier Division JAKO Cup with a deserved but hard-fought win over Wicklow.
Two first half goals laid the groundwork for the Qualifying Round success at Shamrock Park on Thursday evening.
The result paves the way for the Villagers to take on Greystones United AFC in the two-legged last eight meeting.
The two teams had already met at Whitegates last March with Rathnew winning 5-0 in the U13 Wicklow Advertiser Premier League.
Rovers are playing a year above their natural age-group.
They played some nice football, out from the back starting with goalkeeper Joseph Jacob. Dangerous at times, it nearly cost them on occasions. But they kept to their convictions.
However, the 12-months they were giving away to their opponents told in the end. Physically bigger and stronger, the Yellow and Green’s stature told in the end.
They went ahead after just five minutes.
Bill Moorehouse weaved his way in from the left end-line. His pull back found Lennon Byrne-McGettigan 12-yards out. The home skipper placed a low right-footed shot back into the bottom corner of the near post.
But Rovers responded on 16 minutes. Former Rathnew player Cian Nolan broke down the left-wing. He fed Sonny McHale whose 15-yard left-footed shot struck the crossbar.
Somehow, the Green and White’s didn’t restore parity in the 24th minute.
A cross from the left flank bounced awkwardly in front of home custodian Matthew Keane. It squirmed from his grasp and appeared to be bouncing over the goal-line. But the covering Tynon Reid got back and prevented the ball going in before it was scrambled clear.
As is often the case, the hosts doubled their lead right on half time.
A bout of head-tennis and high balls eventually ended when sub John Hunter reacted to hit a spinning 20-yard right-footed volley that dipped into the bottom right corner of the net.
The second period was just four minutes old when the Villagers grabbed a decisive third.
Bill Moorehouse started the move up the middle and he played in Sidhaadh Santosh. The sub slipped in Adam Doyle – an ex-Wicklow player – who lashed a stunning 20-yard shot on the run that brushed Jacob’s fingertips on his way to the roof of the net.
Rovers went close to a consolation in the last minute of normal time.
Joe Culleton played in Nolan who beta the offside. Jacob out to narrow the angle as the attacker shot, He got a deft touch to the ball which diverted just wide of the upright for a corner.
RATHNEW AFC: Matthew Keane; Izzy Richardson, Adam Doyle, Lennon Byrne-McGettigan, Tynon Reid; John Hanrahan, Jamie Moorehouse, Bill Moorehouse, Brandon Battens; Charlie Mernagh, Jerimiah Moorehouse. SUBS: Patrick Grzesko, Sidhaadh Santosh, Alex Earls, Emmet Ronan, Callum Douglas, John Hunter, Alex Moore.
WICKLOW ROVERS U12 A: Joseph Jacob; Senan O’Donovan, Zach O’Toole, Deon Fielding, Adam O’Brien; Conor Williams, Joe Culleton, Cian Nolan, Sonny McHale; Finn Dunne, Steven Kavanagh. SUBS: Chris Smit, Alfie Doyle, James Majewski, Arthur Curran, Matteo Loueko Nkenzo.
REFEREE: Tony Doran.