COACHFORD continued to stamp their authority at the top of the Premier League with a hard-earned victory over a resolute Village United in the Murphy’s Stout match of the week at Silverheights over the weekend.
And getting the nod for the man of the match accolade was Adam Murphy who produced a quality display in midfield for Coachford.
The game itself was a terrific contest with Village giving as much as they got against the league leaders, but Coachford took their chances which made all the difference in the end.
The game burst into life from the off and when Ivan Skillington lofted a ball from defence deep into the final third, Stephen Long almost grabbed control, but Coachford’s Ryan Leahy just got an important touch in, to clear the early threat from the hosts.
And when Evan O’Sullivan cracked a firm strike over from 25 yards out, he troubled the Village defence again minutes later when Dylan Keohane had to grab hold of possession at the second time of asking from his low firm effort.
O’Sullivan then found Deckie Keating with a neat pass, but the striker slammed the top part of the upright from a narrow angle.
A chance then fell Village’s way when from Anthony Kiniry’s diagonal cross, Stephen O’Donnell’s first-time effort went straight at Murray.
And when Adam Murphy rifled over from 25 yards out, Jack Murphy saw his looping effort clear the bar by just inches.
But, when play shifted to the other end, Stephen O’Donnell threw his two hands up in despair when Stephen Murray somehow managed to tip his ferocious effort away to safety on 20 minutes.
A lovely ball from Adam Murphy found Evan O’Sullivan free on the flank.
O’Sullivan picked out Jack Murphy with a neat ball ‘round the corner, but a fine piece of defending from Stephen Thompson denied Murphy a pathway through on goal.
Village threatened after that and following some fine work from both Long and Kiniry, O’Donnell had a chance but was denied
once again by a fine save from Stephen Murray.
Then, O’Donnell’s low cross had just too much on it for the lurking Kiniry as Stephen Murray collected comfortably.
And after Aidan Buckley headed over from Evan O’Sullivan’s free kick, Ivan Skillington drove narrowly wide from his free kick at the other end.
A half chance fell for Village minutes later, but when Kiniry found Purcell free, the striker dallied too much and the chance went as he was soon crowded out by Coachford’s defenders.
The ice was broken though on 41 minutes when Evan O’Sullivan forced the ball into the box where Adam Murphy got a final touch to poke home and hand Coachford the lead.
Then, with the interval beckoning, Evan O’Sullivan played it short inside to the influential Adam Murphy who cleared the bar with a fine effort.
Both sides cancelled each other out for the first 10 minutes of the second period until Adam Murphy shaved the bar with a hooked effort following a ping-pong session inside the box.
But, Coachford doubled their advantage in the 65th minute when Village gave away possession which came back to haunt them after Evan O’Sullivan found a way through before slamming home his side’s second – despite Keohane getting a touch with his hand.
Immediately following the center-off, O’Donnell came so close with a cracking audacious effort that flew agonisingly over.
Coachford came close after that when Adam Murphy found Evan O’Sullivan who tried to pick out James Cotter, but the substitute could not get a vital touch near goal.
Coachford were finishing strongly now and after forcing a corner on the right, the ball dropped for Adam Murphy who saw his effort on goal come back off Ivan Skillington before being cleared.
But, following another Coachford corner, the wind was certainly taken out of the sails of Village United when Mark O’Connell rose above everyone else to send his thumping header crashing into the Village net for 3-0 on 85.
With the points very much in the bag now, Coachford managed to control proceedings from there on and in fact, did have another chance, but from James Cotter’s cross, Adam Murphy headed straight at Dylan Keohane.
Dylan Keohane, Kyle Quinn, Graham Cummins, Stephen Thompson, Ivan Skillington, Anthony Kiniry, Colin Hickey, Stephen O’Donnell, Jamie Purcell, Howard Coakley, Stephen Long.
Chris Kiniry for Stephen Long (68).
Stephen Murray, Billy Casey, Ryan Leahy, Aidan Buckley, Keith Linzell, Adam Murphy, Evan O’Sullivan, Mark O’Connell, Deckie Keating, Jack Murphy, Dara Lynch.
James Cotter for Deckie Keating (60), Pat Walsh for Dara Lynch (68).