AUL Premier: Fintan O'Leary strikes late as City Wanderers draw with Village United

Tight affair at MTU saw the spoils shared
AUL Premier: Fintan O'Leary strikes late as City Wanderers draw with Village United

City Wanderers before the game at MTU. Picture: Barry Peelo.

City Wanderers 1 Village United 1

A late leveller from Fintan O’Leary ensured the points would be shared as City Wanders and Village United ground out a 1-1 stalemate in their Premier clash at the MTU over the weekend.

And what a tight affair it turned out to be.

Both sides cancelled each other out for large chunks of this encounter and although there were some gilt-edge chances missed, a draw was arguably the fairest result in the end.

Village started brightly and did apply the early pressure, but when Wanderers’ Cian O’Flynn played it forward to Francesco Sabela who in turn worked it inside to Shane O’Brien, he made Thomas Butler work to save from his low firm effort.

A battle royal for possession around the centre ensued and when the congestion eased off, Anthony Kiniry seized on to a loose ball before trying to loft the out-of-position keeper, but, it failed to materialise.

After working to win possession, Kiniry would have picked out the available Colin Hickey were it not for the sharpness of the Wanderers keeper who intercepted promptly to collect.

The Village United side that had a 1-1 draw with City Wanderers in their Premier clash at the MTU. Picture: Barry Peelo.
The Village United side that had a 1-1 draw with City Wanderers in their Premier clash at the MTU. Picture: Barry Peelo.

A nice Village move ensued after that when Kiniry found Kelly who linked with Colin Hickey, but after getting in behind the Wanderers' defence; Kelly could not get his balance right to get a shot away.

At the other end, Gillan fed Shane O’Brien who picked out Cian O’Flynn in a good position, but a superb tackle from Alan O’Connor saved the day for Village.

An accurate delivery from Shane Hickey followed which reached Tony Kelly who failed to make proper contact with his head while unattended.

Village had a narrow escape when Shane O’Brien played a lovely ball into space for the overlapping Paul Desmond and after progressing past the advancing Village keeper, he failed to fire home into an unprotected goal.

The contest continued to be very close, but at the same time, exciting and what a chance fell for Wanderers when Abadda found a way through, but with the goal in view, he blazed over.

Then, when play shifted to the other end, Alan O’Connor tried his luck from 25 yards out, but his effort never really bothered Brennan.

A glorious chance for Village then followed when Stephen O’Donnell did ever so well to find a way through down the left channel, but when he crossed for the unmarked Colin Hickey, he failed to make contact.

Another chance soon afterwards came Village’s way and when Colin Hickey crossed into the box, Tony Kelly pounced and got a touch goal-wards – only to see the Wanderers keeper push out for a corner.

And after Kyle Quinn’s effort was well held by Brennan, Anthony Kiniry headed straight into the arms of the Wanderers keeper from a corner to see the final action in the first 45 minutes.

The second half started with both sides sharing possession until Tony Kelly’s cross lacked that bit of power to enable it reach the lurking Colin Hickey as Wanderers’ net-minder seized possession.

Wanderers captain Paul Desmond (left) with Village United captain Anthony Kiniry, accompanied by referee Denis Cronin. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Wanderers captain Paul Desmond (left) with Village United captain Anthony Kiniry, accompanied by referee Denis Cronin. Picture: Barry Peelo.

Then, when Colin Hickey played it on for Shane Hickey, the midfielder found Kelly whose turn and strike whistled past the upright.

And after Shane O’Brien’s free was gathered by Butler, Colin Hickey set up Stephen O’Donnell who drilled low, but straight at Brennan.

Then, after Paul Desmond tried his luck from distance which sailed over, what a chance fell for Village when Tony Kelly found Colin Hickey in space, but the striker went for power and was denied by a firm save from Phillip Brennan.

Minutes later, Village’s Anthony Kiniry saw an opportunity to try and loft the out-of-position Wanderers keeper and his plan worked to perfection as it looped into the net to break the deadlock on 76 minutes.

Just when it looked like Village United were home and dry with a victory, Wanderers were awarded a free kick on the left and after Paul Desmond floated his free kick into the box, Village failed to clear their lines and it was Fintan O’Leary who pounced to bury it into the back of the net to ensure the points would be shared in the end.

CITY WANDERERS: Phillip Brennan, Fergal O’Connor, Paul Desmond, Gavan McCarthy, Fintan O’Leary, Sean Gillan, Aoyina Abadda, Shane O’Brien, Francesco Sabela, Colin O’Hare, Cian O’Flynn.

Subs: Pierce Harris for Colin O’Hare (83).

VILLAGE: Thomas Butler, Kyle Quinn, Graham Cummins, Stephen Thompson, Graham McCarthy, Alan O’Connor, Colin Hickey

Sub: David Malone for Alan O’Connor (54).

Referee: Denis Cronin.

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