UUJ FC 4-7 Dunmurry Rec

Irish Cup Round 1 Saturday 17th September 2011

UUJ Line Up 

1. Michael McCluskey
2. Ryan Kelly Sub Off
3. Kurtis Irwin
4. Paul Esler
5. Anto Pelan
6. Dan McAlea Goal
7. Michael McBriarty Sub Off
8. Laurence Lyons
9. Sean Walsh Goal
10. Anto Stuart Goal Goal
11. Michael Brannigan
14. Ryan Rossborough Sub On
15. Ben Harvey Sub On

UUJ were knocked out of the opening round of the Irish Cup to familiar foes Dunmurry Rec. The management were forced to make a number of changes to last weeks team with McCluskey, Kelly, Pelan and McBriarty all coming in to the starting line up. The squad was thoroughly stretched and only 2 subs were available for selection.

After last weeks poor start against the same opposition, UUJ were looking for a steady opening but unfortunately Dunmurry took another early lead. The tricky right midfielder, who would prove to be a constant threat throughout the game, picked the ball up on the right of midfield and raced forward before playing the ball into the feet of the big centre forward. He held the ball up and laid it off to his strike partner who applied the finish into the corner of the net.

UUJ's first threat came when Anto Pelan crossed the ball in from the left and this was flicked on by Walsh. The ball skid off the greasy surface too quickly for Stuart, who then collected the ball out wide before cutting back on to his left foot and shooting narrowly past the far post.

Dan McAlea, making his first start of the season, then blazed over from 12 yards after drifting in from the right and getting on to the end of Brannigan's cut back.

Dunmurry doubled their advantage when the right winger picked the ball up wide and drove at the UUJ defence. He made just enough room between himself and the back tracking Pelan at the edge of the area to get a shot in on goal which ended up in the far corner of the net.

Things then went from bad to worse as Dunmurry were awarded a penalty, the number 10 giving McCluskey no chance in goal with the finish.

UUJ pulled a goal back shortly after. Lyons made room for himself out right and his front post cross was spilled by the Rec keeper, with Stuart lurking to apply the finish for his fourth goal of the season.

Dunmurry then went straight up the other end and won another penalty. A mix up in defence allowed the centre forward to go through on goal and he was brought down by McCluskey. Luckily the referee only booked the big keeper and the penalty was again converted by the number 10.

UUJ decreased the deficit shortly before the break. Brannigan played in Stuart on the left of midfield and just as it looked like the ball was going out of play as the defender looked to jockey it out of play, Stuart slid in to play the ball into the area where Walsh applied a sublime finish with his right foot into the far corner.

HT 2-4

Dunmurry added a fifth goal shortly after the restart. A long ball played out from the right back across the pitch managed to find the unmarked Dunmurry left midfielder at the corner of the box who hit a half volley past the flailing McCluskey in goal.

The spectators were certainly getting their value for money as UUJ pulled back another goal to make it 3-5. Captain Paul Esler won the ball in defence and played a splendid pass over the top of the Dunmurry defence to pick out Walsh on the left. Walsh then showed some Messi-esque skill to skin the full back before laying a pass onto Stuart to add to his earlier strike.

Harvey and Rossborough replaced Kelly and McBriarty shortly before UUJ were again harshly reduced to ten men for the second week in a row, Kurtis Irwin taking down the right midfielder as he looked to break away. A yellow card would have been a more sensible approach in a game that was being fairly contested by both teams.

Although UUJ had a numerical disadvantage, they looked the more threatening side as Walsh passed up a great opportunity to bring the scores closer. Another Pelan cross caused problems in the Dunmurry defence and this was missed by the centre half. The cross fell to Walsh and just as he was about to shoot, the ball was nicked off his toe by the recovering defender. Dunmurry then went straight up the other end and almost added another goal, only for a great save from McCluskey.

UUJ added a fourth goal to set up a frantic finish to the game. Pelan won the ball in defence and laid it of to Esler who played in Brannigan on the left. The energetic Pelan, who had continued his run, picked up Brannigan's pass before laying on McAlea whose sliced crossed ended up in the back of the net.

With UUJ looking for an equaliser, Dunmurry broke up the pitch and won their third penalty of the game. Rossborough was the culprit this time, bringing down the centre forward as he headed away from goal. The penalty again was converted by the Dunmurry number 10.

The final nail was put into the UUJ coffin when Dunmurry added their seventh goal, the big centre forward picking the ball up at the edge of the area before dummying past two UUJ defenders and shooting into the bottom corner.

UUJ had another chance to add to their tally after Stuart flicked the ball onto Walsh. Walsh then raced into the box and rounded the keeper, taking the ball too wide before playing it back into the middle of the box for the Dunmurry defence to clear. Seconds later, the Dunmurry full back gifted Stuart with a golden opportunity, but his shot was well saved by the keepers feet.

Next week it is back to league duty in the form of East Belfast at the Factory Grounds.

FT 4-7

Website Man of the Match: Anto Pelan