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U12 Plate spoils shared at Whitegates

WICKLOW ROVERS B… 2 GREYSTONES UNITED AFC A… 2

It a game that could have gone either way, Wicklow and Greystones had to settle for a WDSL U12 B Plate Group 1 point.

Amid sunshine at Whitegates last Thursday evening, the home side led 1-0 with an early goal. But United rallied to turn the tie on its head to lead 2-1 at the interval. However, Rovers equalised late on to snatch a draw.

With Newtown Juniors defeating Aughrim Rangers 5-0 at the Community Grounds, Newtown now top the table on seven points from three fixtures so far.

Greystones are second, unbeaten after three games on five points.

Rovers are on two points from three outings with Rangers having a single point from three starts.

The match was unusual as United play in the Donal O’Leary U12 Premier Division, while Rovers line out in Division 2.

Having lost 3-2 away to Newtown; and drawn 1-1 with Aughrim at home in their previous two fixtures in the competition, Wicklow flew out of the gates to take the lead after just 15 SECONDS.

From the tip-off, Filip Stykpala attacked down the right flank. He sent in a low cross. That saw Jack Neville get ahead of his marker to score with a close-range finish.

It could have bene even better. But Jayden Murdiff made vitals blocks to deny Stykpala in the fifth and tenth minutes.

Then in the 12th minute, James Dunne’s corner came back to him. He squared to Callum Hodgkinson whose 14-yard shot came back off the cross-bar.

Those chances seemed to wake-up the Seahorses.

From Paul Tilson’s 14th minute corner, Rhys Fitzpatrick’s first effort was brilliantly parried by Bhaile Thomson. Fitzpatrick’s follow-up then crashed back off the post.

However, United equalised in the 19th minute.

From another Tilson corner from the right-wing, the ball bounced at the front stick. And Ethan Brennan arrived at the back upright to head in.

Play had barely restarted when the away side went 2-1 ahead just 45 seconds later.

Brennan attacked down the left channel. Both Thomas Downing and Harry Golby both had shots charged down close in. The ball fell to Sam Bell who showed good foot-work to dig out a ten-yard low shot that went in.

United went close to a third just after the restart. But Thomson made a fantastic save to deny Callum Merriman.

Five minutes later, the cross-bar thwarted Downing after good work by Ewan Mullins.

Yet with six minutes to go, the hosts got back level.

From Hodgkinson’s through ball, Neville beat the offside from the halfway line. And raced through to find the net with a fierce 12-yard drive.

WICKLOW ROVERS B: Bhaile Thomson; Joe Kenny, Aaron Kavanagh, Arran Czwalina; Filip Stykpala, James Dunne, Callum Hodgkinson, Jack Neville, Milli Phelan. SUBS: Tom Phelan, Jack Lambe, Sammy Doyle, Oscar Finn-O’Brien, Elliott Gaynor, Cillian Rice.

GREYSTONES UNITED AFC A: Jayden Murdiff; Hugo King, Donnacha Naidoo, Paul Tilson; Louis Hanrahan, Daniel Hogan, Rhys Fitzpatrick; Thomas Downing, Sam Bell. SUBS: Harry Golby, Callum Merriman, Ethan Brennan, Oscar Walsh, Liam Booth, Ewan Mullins.

REFEREE: Willie O’Brien.

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