Sean Mc Caffrey kicked off a new season with a new batch of Under 19’s with a win over Ukraine in Terryland Park last night.
Back Row:(L to R) Madden, Gleeson, Spillane, Henderson, Dennehy, Bayly
Front Row: Nolan (capt) Mason, K Treacy, S Tracey, Judge
Pictures from the match
The game the first of two friendly matches against Ukraine in preparation for the Under 19 UEFA Qualifying tournament to be played in Macedonia against Macedonia, Belarus and Holland.
Sean Mc Caffey’s squad had been decimated by withdrawals but he showed he has the strength in depth at his disposal with a workmanlike win over a strong Ukraine side.
The Terryland pitch in immaculate condition – the best I have ever seen it – obviously the torrential shower shortly before the game made the pitch soft underfoot.
Ireland were first to show and Keith Treacy got in the first cross however nobody could get on the end of his cross to make it count.
Simon Madden made one of his telling runs down the right wing and crossed for Keith Treacy but centre half Hryhoryk got in ahead of Treacy to clear.
Good combination play by Shane Tracey and Alan Judge led to Ireland’s first corner after 14 minutes. Shane Treacy took the corner but over hit it and the Ukraine defence managed to clear it.
After 23 minutes goalkeeper Zagladko – a huge lad probably 6 ft 5 came out for a cross and fumbled it but Ireland were unable to take advantage and the Ukraine defence cleared.
After 25 minutes Ireland should have taken the lead when a long strike by Gleeson fell invitingly for Simon Madden on the edge of the box but he tried to place it when “whacking” it might have been a better option.
Ireland were now taking control and Robert Bayly saw a well struck header tipped over the bar by Ukraine keeper Zagladko.
Ireland deservedly took the lead when Keith Treacy beat the defence and with the keeper advancing had the calmness and composure to slot the ball under his body for the opening goal after 32 minutes.
Ireland went in at half time leading by the only goal after Simon Madden took a ball off the line following a Ukraine corner.
Sean Mc Caffrey introduced Alan Power for Shane Treacy at half time.
The second half saw Robert Bayly make a great run from one box to another leaving Ukraine players in his wake but his final shot was weak and Zagladko saved easily.
Anthony Mason increased the Irish lead with an individual goal that had a slight touch of luck attacked as the ball hit Pashayev on its way into the net. It was no more than Mason had deserved following a good performance.
Ireland defence fell asleep for a minute and Ukraine scored their only goal - scored by Rudiuk a tricky winger who got on the end of a cross to slot past Henderson.
This was the only time that the Irish defence was breached with Nolan and Spillane a rock in the centre of the defence.
For the remainder of the game Ireland played with composure and purpose that belied their inexperience at this age group.
Sean Mc Caffrey manager of the team was delighted with the performance “There were some great performances out there. Considering that we only got them together this week I ma impressed with the performance and their discipline both on and off the pitch”
Ireland:Stephen Henderson (Aston Villa); Simon Madden (Leeds Utd) Darren Dennehy (Everton), Edward Nolan (Blackburn Rvrs ) Capt, Michael Spillane (Norwich)
Robert Bayly (Leeds Utd), Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers)Stephen Gleeson(Wolves), Keith Treacy (Blackburn Rvrs) Shane Treacy (Arsenal) Anthony Mason (Plymouth Argyle)
Subs:Emeka Onwubiko (St Kevisn Boys) for Mason 71 mins; Alan Power (Nottingham Forest) for Shane Treacy ht,Andrew Jackson (St Johnston) for Keith Treacy 81 mins
Ukraine:Roman Zagladko (Dynamo Kiev), Oleksandr Demchenko (Dynamo Kiev)
Pavid Pashayev (Dniro Dnipropetrovsk ) Capt; Maksym Pashayev (Dniro Dnipropetrovsk ); Andriy Hryhoryk (Krivbas Kryvy Rig); Anton Postupalenko (Metalist Kharkiv); Igor Rudiuk (Dynamo Kiev)Mykola Morozyuk (Dynamo Kiev);YevhenNadtochiy (Obolon Kiev);Stanislav Honcharuk(Dynamo Kiev);
Yuriy Brovchenko (Dniro Dnipropetrovsk )
Subs: Volodymyr Bidlovskyy (Karpaty Lviv) for Brovchenko 52 mins; Oleg Golodiuk (Karpty Lviv for Morozyuk 63 mins; Maxym Zaynchkvs’kvy (Dniro Dnipropetrovsk ) for Honcharuk 71 mins; Artem Semenenko (Metalurh Zaporizhia) for Postupalenko 81 mins
Referee: P Sutton, Assistants; T Ryan, M O’Brien H Whoriskey