Leeside 1 Castleview 2
CASTLEVIEW boosted their title hopes with a hard-fought and entertaining 2-1 victory over Leeside at Leeside Park.
It means they top the Roy Keane U13 Premier Division with 19 points, three ahead of Midleton who have a game in hand as the season comes down its final few games.
Castleview opened brightly, creating a number of chances and confined their hosts to well inside their own half as the visitors looked for an early goal.
Their first chance came in the first minute when Brady Walsh’s shot from the edge of the area went inches wide of the far post, followed by another chance from Justice Ikechukwla whose effort went across the face of the goal.
Such was Castleview’s dominance of the first half, Leeside were forced to defend and when they did manage to cross the halfway line were beaten back into their own half by a dogged Castleview backline.
Castleview’s Luke Hurley had a chance with a header which was caught by Leeside keeper Rory Cullinane who also had other chances which went over the bar, while the Leeside keeper had to be sharp to hold onto the ball ahead of Walsh in the 16th minute.
Cullinane managed to hold onto Scott Hyde’s long-range free-kick before Leeside started to come forward, their best chance falling to Ryan Dineen whose goal-bound effort was blocked by a defender for a corner as the teams went in at the break scoreless.
Two minutes after the resumption, the home side took the lead when Aidan O’Shea met a cross into the area and made no mistake from 18 yards.
Six minutes later Castleview had equalised when Scott Hyde’s free from inside the centre circle bounced in front of the Leeside keeper and trickled under him and into the net.
Play was now going from end to end, Hyde’s shot gathered by Cullinane, while at the other end Leeside’s Darragh Morley won a corner as Castleview were forced to defend a forward move from the home side.
Chances fell to Castleview’s Hyde and Luke Hurley whose header was flicked in towards the goal only to be caught by the keeper, while at the other end Castleview keeper Ryan Cronin did well to save from Aaron O’Mahony’s effort as both teams were looking for the all-important second goal.
It came Castleview’s way five minutes from time when Brady Walsh’s distance effort was assisted by the wind and deceived the keeper as the ball went into the top right corner much to everyone’s surprise.
It made for a frantic few minutes, with Castleview’s Luke O’Donovan almost getting a third only to be denied by the keeper in the area.
In the end, Castleview hung on for the win and all three points, although Leeside could still be in with a shout of the title if other results go their way in the next couple of weeks.