Monaghan/Cavan Football partnerships U19s came away with a disappointing result on Sunday after their clash with Athlone in Cootehill.
The partners were looking to bounce back following a poor performance and defeat away to Shelbourne the previous week.
The game started at a blistering pace with Athlone’s direct play testing the partners back 4, Tim Mc Can stepped up to right back for the injured Dylan Garrigan and was excellent in the opening exchanges, Ify Nzewi led the line up front in place of the injured Callum Lynch and had an excellent start to the game combining well with Tristan Knowles in midfied to create some early half chances.
The partners played really good football, maintaining possession and pressing the Athlone back line, Eli Ward and Cianan Kelly controlled midfield with Scott Prendergast and Shane Hickey working tirelessly out wide.
It looked like the partners were in control of the game until a good attacking move broke down, Athlone countered quickly and a well struck cross found the right winger unmarked at the far post for a tap in to give Athlone the lead.
The home side responded well and continued to play good football, with composed patient build up play creating some chances, however they just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.
On the stroke of half time Athlone doubled their lead when a well placed corner kick was unfortunately volleyed into his own net by Cianan Kelly.
The second half was much the same as the first, played at a high tempo with the partners really turning up the heat to get back into the game, on 55 mins the partners changed their shape and introduced Callum Lynch and Chad Mc Eneaney to go with 2 up front, both lads have been in great form this season and instantly created problems for the visitors.
Lynch had a great chance on 60 mins but his headed effort went over the bar, Mc Eneaney had a well hit shot go just wide soon after, this was the case for the remainder of the half as both could have had a couple of goals each but had to watch their efforts go narrowly wide.
As the half progressed the visitors went down to 10 men and again the partners reshuffled with Tautyvdas Semelevicius coming on to play up front along with Mc Eneaney and Lynch.
With the home side on all out attack it led to a very frantic and exciting finale to the game with chances at both ends, unfortunately the clock was against the partners and despite having played so well came away with nothing to show for their valiant effort.
Very positive performance despite the result, great to see players with long term injuries now returning, Tav and Adam played their first minutes since the season opener against Longford and Seosamh Sheerin is now back training after serious ankle ligament injury has kept him out of the squad since preseason.
Subway Man of the match :- Ciaran “Tim” Mc Cann.
Luke Perkins, Tim Mc Cann, Dylan Molloy (Adam Boyle), Lorcan Murnaghan, Shane Kierans, Cianan Kelly, Eli Ward, Tristan Knowles (Chad Mc Eneaney), Ify Nzewi (Callum Lynch), Shane Hickey(Tautvydas Semelevicius) Scott Prendergast.
Subs Unused, Jack Drumm, Oliver Clerkin, Michael Mc Cann.