Out of the Cup
UCFL Challenge Cup
This article was originally published in blog:
Out of the Cup
14 September 2013
Ballymount Celtic 4 - 2 Terenure FC 3rds
The time for excuses is rapidly coming to an end for Terenure 3rds as the team again failed to live up to it's potential in this cup encounter. Ballymount have made a poor start to their season a division below us so it was always going to be important to start well and put them under pressure early. Unfortunately the game began in exactly the opposite manner and within two minutes Ballymount had taken the lead. Giving away cheap goals is rapidly becoming this team's Achilles heel and this was no different as we were opened up far too easily at the back, giving the striker an easy chance.
As we struggled to settle and get our passing game going Ballymount continued to be the better team and they had a couple of half chances to extend their lead early in the game. We were then gifted a chance to get back into the game when the Ballymount keeper was punished for holding onto the ball too long in his penalty area. The indirect free kick was rolled to Chris O'Donnell and he smashed his shot emphatically to the net. This should have been the turning point for us and while our attacking play and passing started to improve we didn't get any better defensively.
Ballymount retook the lead with a direct ball down the middle that we failed to deal with and the striker got in behind for his second. When the same player completed his hattrick after we couldn't clear a corner and he was unmarked eight yards from goal things were looking grim. This team does have plenty of ability though, and a bit of fight, and before half time we put together a beautiful passing move that worked the ball up and across the pitch, eventually finding David Fennelly in the penalty area where he produced yet another superb finish to reduce the deficit to a single goal.
We continued to press in the second half and played much better football creating half chances and forcing corners as Ballymount started to look uncomfortable under pressure but some last gasp blocks and clearances conspired to prevent an equaliser and the possibility of extra time. As the minutes ticked down we were forced to take risks defensively and when Ballymount broke free in the 89th minute their number 10 added his fourth goal of the game to put the icing on their victory.
We couldn't argue that Ballymount deserved their win as we just didn't play to a consistently high enough level. A big flat pitch in Walkinstown Park should have suited our passing game but we didn't use it well enough and Ballymount were ruthless with the chances that fell to them. Training this week will concentrate on defending as a team as we must correct the basic errors if we want to start winning more games plus we'll have to work on mental sharpness as this isn't the first game where we've been punished for making a very slow start.