Tullamore Town dominate in impressive victory

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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Tullamore Town dominate in impressive victory

Tullamore Town dominate in impressive victory

Tullamore Town 3 TEK United 0

Tullamore got their season up and running in some style last Friday when they put three goals past a defiant TEK United in Leah Victoria Park and, while the result was not quite as clear-cut as the scoreline might suggest, this was nevertheless a hugely impressive performance.

The Dublin side made the brighter start with Robbie Shine charging down Brian Horgan’s effort and Paddy Byrne firing past the left post after he had latched onto a weak clearance.

The home side sprang into action on 15 minutes when Brian Francis picked out Stephen Francis and he cracked a great 25 yard shot off the crossbar. Brian Francis was again in the thick of the action when he got on the end of Shane O’Connell’s
fine cross, but Dean Mahon brilliantly turned his header around the post.

He again went close when he was put through by Robbie Bracken but, as the keeper advanced, his attempted lob just cleared the bar. As they continued to press, Kevin Williamson and Enda Carroll combined to send John Drummond clear but his effort flew across the face of the goal while, at the other end, Paddy Byrne played in Shane Barnes but Brian Gill managed
to get back to tidy up.

With half an hour gone Williamson played in Drummond but he elected to pass when in a shooting position and the opportunity was lost. Brian Gill played a great cross-field ball to Robbie Bracken but he was denied by a tremendous block from
Darren O’Connor as TEK refused to give ground.

Tullamore were put on notice when a mix-up allowed Brian Horgan to race clear but once again Gill got back to knock the ball
behind. With 33 minutes gone the home side should have taken the lead when Kevin Williamson sent Enda Carroll clear on goal but his effort curled inches outside the left post.

Williamson again created danger when he picked out Stephen Francis but he was denied by a fine save from Dean Mahon and then a lovely flowing move involving Williamson, Drummond and Stephen Francis ended with Brian Francis firing narrowly past
the far post.

TEK continued to pose a threat and Tullamore were given a real fright on 40 minutes when Shane Barnes pounced on a half clearance and chipped the keeper only to see his effort drop inches over the crossbar. The first half ended in controversy when
Kevin Williamson appeared to be manhandled as he burst into the area, but the referee waved play on as the interval arrived with the scores tied at nil all.

Tullamore went straight into the attack on the resumption with Brian Francis nearly latching onto a back pass and Shane O’Connell firing in a great cross that Robbie Bracken volleyed wide when well placed. With 52 minutes gone Bracken made up for his earlier miss when he picked the ball up wide on the right and cut inside before drilling it into the bottom right corner for a superb goal.

TEK hit back with Brian Horgan making a surging run through the middle, but he was denied by a fine save from Alan O’Connell down low to his right. With Macdarragh O’Neill coming on up front the home side again went close when, following a free kick, Robbie Shine’s glancing header flew inches outside the left post. Brian Francis caused havoc in the visitors defence when his low cross was inadvertently returned to him by Darren O’Connor and his follow up just failed to find the
near corner.

The visitors nearly got back in the game when Freddie McCreadie cut in from the left but his pass just missed out Shane Barnes as he bore down on goal. The introduction of Anto Kavanagh and Ben Connolly ensured that TEK remained under
pressure as Shane O’Connell threaded the ball through to Stephen Francis, but he was denied by a great relieving tackle from Stephen Flynn.

Good play by Ethan Doyle on the left saw his cross headed over by Robbie Mullen but, with 90 minutes on the clock,
Tullamore struck for the insurance goal. Brian Francis got on the end of a long clearance from Stephen Francis and powered past his marker before driving the ball into the back of the net.

Credit also goes to the referee for playing advantage as the defender tried to haul Francis down as he raced in on goal. With TEK still reeling Enda Carroll picked out Brian Francis on the right and his low cross was rifled into the roof of the net by Ben Connolly to put the icing on a very entertaining game of football.

Once again Tullamore demonstrated that, at full strength, they are a match for any team in the Division and they will certainly need to be at their best this Friday when they travel to Dublin to take on top Leinster Senior League side Drumcondra. Closer to home, the club sends best wishes to senior coach Tommy Naughton who is heading to the Republic of Mali in Africa for a 6-month term of duty with the armed forces, he will be greatly missed by management and players.

In what was a wonderful team performance there were excellent contributions from Brian Gill, Enda Carroll, Robbie Bracken and Kevin Williamson, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s one-man strike force, Brian Francis.

Tullamore Town: Alan O’Connell, Ross Kinnarney, Brian Gill, Robbie Shine, Shane O’Connell, Kevin Williamson, John Drummond, Stephen Francis, Enda Carroll, Robbie Bracken, Brian Francis.

Subs: Macdarragh O’Neill, Anto Kavanagh, Ben Connolly, Stuart Carroll, Shane Martin, Dean Molloy.

TEK United: Dean Mahon, Darren O’Connor, Josh Adams, Adam O’Brien, Stephen Flynn, Padraig Murray, Jonathan Farrelly, Paddy Byrne, Shane Barnes, Brian Horgan, Freddie McCreadie.

Subs: Rory McLoughlin, Ethan Doyle, Robbie Mullen, Thomas Marsh, Dylan Davenport.