Gardiner applies a finishing touch as Shandon Celtic see off Watergrasshill in the AOH Cup

Gardiner applies a finishing touch as Shandon Celtic see off Watergrasshill in the AOH Cup

Shandon Celtic's Glen Cambridge makes his way past Watergrasshill's Adam Collins in the action at Popham's Road.

Shandon Celtic 4

Watergrasshill 1

SHANDON CELTIC secured a AOH Cup third round spot, thanks to a brace from Jamie Gardiner that saw off the challenge of Watergrasshill United 4-1 in their second round clash at Popham’s Road.

Shandon had to do it the hard way after falling behind through an early goal, but when a few substitutions were made in the second period, the hosts got their game together very well and in the end, were deserving winners.

Shandon imposed from the off with Sean O’Neill looping over from Conor Kelly’s pass and when the ball breaks kindly for Jonathon Coker, the Hill’s Tom Murray gets in the way of what was certainly a goal-bound effort.

Watergrasshill threatened after that and it took a timely intervention by Alan O’Driscoll to deny Dan Nichol a pathway through on goal.

But, the Hill found themselves in front when from Sean Murphy’s corner; Tom Murray was on hand to send a delicate flick into the back of the net on seven minutes.

Shandon responded promptly with Coker feeding O’Neill in a good position, but the winger’s goal-bound effort was blocked by Cormac Linehan.

Shandon then came close when Glen Cambridge found space on the right before dragging his effort agonisingly past the far post.

Nice build up play from the Hill followed with Russell playing it on to Dan Nichol who forces Kenneally to a low firm save.

At the other end, Liam Eager’s corner arrives for Jonathon Coker whose drilled effort cannons off a defender before going narrowly out for a corner.

After surviving a period of pressure from Shandon, the Hill’s Sean Cashman embarks on a run that takes him deep into the final third, but some excellent defending from Alan O’Driscoll put an end to the threat.

The Shandon Celtic side that had a 4-1 victory over Watergrasshill to reach the third round stage of the AOH Cup at Popham's Road.
The Shandon Celtic side that had a 4-1 victory over Watergrasshill to reach the third round stage of the AOH Cup at Popham's Road.

A low effort then from Sean Murphy followed which sees Kenneally collect at the second time of asking.

A deft pass by Coker almost picks out Glen Cambridge in a good position, but Niall Sullivan was smartly off his line to intervene in the nick of time.

Then, from a ball over the top, Dan Nichol had a great chance to grab his side’s second, but he fails to hook over the advancing Kenneally.

This was followed by a first-time effort by Adam Collins that forces Kenneally to a low save.

But, shortly before the break, a turn and strike from Conor Kelly whistled so close past the Hill’s upright.

Shandon applied the pressure from the off as the second half got under way and from a corner, Cambridge headed wide of the target, but the Shandon striker made no mistake moments later when he was on hand to steer home from Kelly’s corner to restore parity on 49 minutes.

The Hill responded immediately with Sean Murphy finding Chris O’Mahony in a good position, but control let him down and with it – a half chance.

Shandon were certainly growing stronger now as the tie progressed and after Kelly combined with Damien Morey before forcing Niall Sullivan to push out for a corner, Jonathon Coker powers his header home from the resulting set-piece to make it 2-1 to Shandon on 56 minutes.

What a chance fell for Watergrasshill next when Dan Nichol found himself in a one on one with Kenneally, but he dallied too much and as a consequence - missed a glorious opportunity.

Shandon’s control of the contest paid off on 73 minutes when Cambridge picked out Jamie Gardiner to coolly fire into the far corner on 73 minutes.

The Hill kept pegging away and it was Steve Leahy who collected from a throw to send a curling effort wide of the far post before Kenneally had to be alert between the sticks for Shandon to deal with an audacious overhead kick from Barton.

But, there was no way back for Watergrasshill when from McCarthy’s cross, Jamie Gardiner produced another lovely finish to wrap it all up for Shandon in the end.

Shandon Celtic's Glen Cambridge (left) with Watergrasshill United's Tom Murray, accompanied by referee Steven Moore.
Shandon Celtic's Glen Cambridge (left) with Watergrasshill United's Tom Murray, accompanied by referee Steven Moore.

Shandon Celtic: Daniel Kenneally, Liam Eager, Johnston Cronin, Paul O’Driscoll, Paul O’Driscoll, Eric Dorgan, Jonathan Coker, Conor Kelly, Glen Cambridge, David Cummins and Sean O’Neill.

Subs: Jamie Gardiner and Damien Morey for David Cummins and Johnston Curtin (half-time), Charlie Daly for Conor Kelly (60), Dylan McCarthy for Jonathon Coker (78), Darragh Forde for Damien Morey (88).

Watergrasshill Utd: Niall Sullivan, Chris O’Mahony, Fergal Murphy, Tom Murray, Dan Nichol, Paddy O’Regan, Cormac Linehan, Steve Leahy, Sean Murphy, Sean Cashman and Adam Collins.

Subs: John Barton for Sean Murphy (63), Adrian Brosnan for John Barton (88).

Referee: Steven Moore.

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