UUJ FC II 4-0 Suffolk Swifts

Junior Shield Saturday 8th October 2011

UUJ Line Up 

1. Michael McCluskey
2. Brendy Mooney
3. Anto Pelan Sub Off
4. Fergal Brannigan
5. Ben Harvey
6. Dominic Friel
7. Dee Magennis Sub Off
8. Michael McBriartyGoal
9. Damian Della Croce Sub Off
10. Chris StrongGoalGoalGoal
11. Arron Canning
14. Anto Hughes Sub On
15. Peter Campbell Sub On
16. Chris O'Kane Sub On

A first round Junior Shield game awaited UUJ II, who played host to 2B side Suffolk Swifts. A break from the league allowed management to make some alterations to the 14, with some boys being rested and others called up to the first team.

UUJ wanted to keep their winning streak going, despite Suffolk being two leagues above the home side and this competition not being high on UUJ's priority list.

UUJ started very brightly, as has been their trademark this season. The tireless working duo of Friel and McBriarty snapped at the heels of Suffolk's midfield and simply wouldn't let them get the ball down and play. In contrast some neat passing between Mooney, Canning and Friel allowed UUJ to settle into their rhythm and the goal came early as a result.

Around 15 mins in, a ball knocked down the left wing allowed Magennis to chase onto. A left footed cross whipped in first time was met by the head of Strong, who powered the ball passed the keeper. UUJ have now scored the opening goal in all of their games so far; a statistic that has allowed them to settle any early nerves and play their game.

A bit of a chess game developed over the next 20 mins with Suffolk trying to get back into the game. They kept and passed the ball well along the back, with Strong and Della Croce jockeying but as soon as they moved into midfield UUJ pressed and forced them to make mistakes.

The second goal came about 10 mins before the break. McBriarty raced onto a through-ball from midfield. Stretching to control the ball with his right foot he took the ball wide of the 18 yard box. As the keeper rushed out he swivelled and struck the ball with his left foot passed the 'keeper and into the empty net.

UUJ should have had a third about 5 mins later when a ball over the top from Strong sent Magennis clear. He headed into the box from the wing and opened his body up as if to place the ball to the far post. Hoping he had given the keeper the eyes he opted to go left but the keeper called his bluff and stood upright as the ball was struck right into his hands.

The difference in leagues never showed and certainly the UUJ defence was rarely threatened. Captain Harvey kept the boys on their toes at the back and was exemplary in the air. Mooney showed his experience with a mastered performance having spent a few games out. Pelan, who shows experience well beyond his young years was full of voice all game, barking orders at those around him.

HT 2-0

A windy and rainy afternoon at Jordanstown meant that some passes and shots went array. Such is the standard that UUJ have set themselves this season, frustration set in and some boys began to get become a bit irritable. This was quickly put to rest by assistant manager Stevie McIvor who reminded the players never to get on their team mates' backs.

Strong got his second of the day picking the ball up on the right of the box. Cutting inside he opted to shoot from a tight angle and the ball squirmed betweet 'keeper and post.

This first change happened on the hour mark. Magennis who had been carrying a slight groin strain was replaced by Campbell following his return from holiday. Campbell almost instantly turned provider when a cross to Strong was headed clear by the defender.

A second change was made with Pelan being replace by O'Kane. With the game effectively over there were little chances for either side as the game played out. Suffolk failed to trouble and any shots from distance were easily dealt with by McCluskey.

With only a few minutes on the clock the third change was made with Hughes coming on for Della Croce. Strong got his third of the day when a deep cross from Friel was volleyed into the far corner. An excellent strike and a deserved hat-trick.

FT 4-0