Derriaghy CC II 1-2 UUJ FC II

NAFL 3A Saturday 24th September 2011

UUJ Line Up 

1. Michael McCluskey
2. Chris McKeown
3. Anto Pelan
4. Fergal Brannigan
5. Colin O'Neill
6. Ben Harvey Sub Off
7. Aaron Canning
8. Ciaran Murray
9. Chris Strong
10. Ryan Kelly GoalSub Off
11. Dee Magennis
14. Anto Hughes Sub On
15. Chris O'Kane
16. Brendy Mooney Sub OnGoal

Hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season, UUJ II played a tough away fixture to Derriaghy, who had also started the season brightly.

Last year was UUJ II's fledgling season in their top flight and the corresponding fixture last season resulted in a home win. However, with a year's experience under their belt UUJ knew that to get anything from this game they needed to add steel to their game.

Derriaghy were caught cold when UUJ got off to a flying start inside 10 minutes. A clearance by McKeown deep inside his own half had the Derriaghy defence turned and Kelly set off in pursuit. Kelly's pace was no match for the cumbersome defenders, taking one touch and confidently striking the ball left footed into the right-hand corner.

Whether it was as a result of that early goal or perhaps Derriaghy's style of play, but a few heavy tackles started to rain in from the home side. UUJ however, were not getting any protection from the home ref and persistent fouls on Canning and Strong and a few two footed challenges somehow failed to warrant a yellow. In contrast, the ref didn't hesitate to book a multitude of UUJ players for relatively minor incidents.

The sides were very equally matched and there were little goal mouth incidents for either side with both teams' defence and midfield really shaping the game.

About 25 mins in, Kelly picked the ball up about 30 yards from goal and played it to Strong's feet. Strong played a lovely ball over the top to Magennis who had drifted in from the wing, collected the ball, rounded the keeper only for the ref to blow for offside. A tight decision that in this case did not favour the attacking team.

At the back, UUJ again excellently marshalled by O'Neill kept the house in order. Brannigan was fast and strong in the tackle and is flourishing in his new position at centre half. GK McCluskey had little to do until late in the first half.

On the half hour mark, a deep cross from Derriaghy went straight to the UUJ keeper who jumped to make a routine catch. However, a push in the back by one player and a shoulder by another forced the 'keeper to drop the ball. As every UUJ player raised their arm for an obvious foul, the ref played on and the ball was struck goalward. Pelan, who had raced to cover the net could do nothing as the strike hit his chest, brushed his arm and was cleared from goal. Astonishingly the referee gave a penalty. Even more astonishingly the referee failed to send off the UUJ player, prompting angry reactions from the home side.

Derriaghy confidently put away the penalty low into the bottom right hand corner just out of reach of McCluskey who had guessed correctly. The first half petered out with again, both defences giving little away in terms of chances.


The second half was very much 'as was', with the two teams being so good defensively that each attack was broken down. Both teams pressed, got shots off from distance and crosses into the box. Kelly was full of running and Strong bullied the Derriaghy back line, but, as the game progressed you could see that it was going to take a set piece or a bit of class from either team to get the winner.

UUJ made some substitutions around 70 mins into the game in order to get some fresh legs on and possibly some fresh ideas. Harvey made way for Hughes for a straight swap in midfield. Kelly came off for Mooney who went up front with Canning, moving Strong out right.

With minutes to go it looked like the spoils were going to be shared. However, a quickly taken free kick by Murray found Hughes in midfield around 30 yards from goal. Mooney stepped a few yards off his marker and received the ball to feet around 16 yards from goal. A lovely first touch took the ball out of his feet and he swivelled onto his left striking an inch perfect shot into the top left hand corner.

There was no time for Derrighy to reply and UUJ took a hard fought 3 points back to Jordanstown.

FT 1-2