U18 Div 2, Newport Town AFC 4-2 Shelbourne

Sunday, January 27 2019 (Derryleigh Park)

Scorers: Jack O’Carroll 2, Darren Collins & Jack Ryan Cooper

The U18 Youths bounced back from last week’s disappointing result in the Ger Ryan Youth Cup with a solid 4-2 win at home to Shelbourne courtesy of 2 goals from in-form striker, Jack O’Carroll, and one apiece from team captain, Darren Collins and Jack Ryan Cooper on his debut for the Youths.

Newport started brightly but conceded a soft goal in the 6th minute from Shelbourne’s first attacking move of the game. Fortunately it took Newport just 4 minutes to score the equaliser through a sweetly struck shot from Jack O’Carroll just outside the box. Newport begin to grow in to the game but were dealt a sucker-punch in the 29th minute, when a Shels player struck a sweet half-volley from 20 yards out when he latched on to a cleared corner, which gave Newport keeper, Josh White, no chance. The frustrating first-half ended with Newport 1-2 down and scratching their heads as to how they were behind.

The lads came firing out of the blocks at the start of the second half and in the 48th minute, team captain, Darren Collins, led by example by powering foward from his centre-half position to expertly curl the ball into the far corner past the Shels keeper from 25 yards out. This goal really lifted Newport and just 2 minutes later, Jack Ryan Cooper, who was making his debut for the U18s was in the right place at the right time to fire home ball from close range after the Shels keeper could only parry a well-struck shot from Jack O’Carroll. Newport had turned the game on its head and now were 3-2 up.

Newport were well on top at this stage and any threats that did come their way were snuffed out by the well-drilled Newport rearguard of Killian O’Malley, Darren Collins, John Ryan Rose & Jack Noble. The Newport keeper, Josh White, also made some vital saves in the second half to keep Shelbourne at bay. With U16 players Daniel Egan & Jack Ryan on the flanks and not looking out of their depths at the older age grade, and the hard-working, impressive Jack O’Carroll leading the line, Newport continued to threaten and create chances. They got their reward in the 73rd minute when Jack Ryan was taken down in the box and Jack O’Carroll fired home his 10th goal of the season for the U18s to make it 4-2. Newport did have some more chances late in the game but failed to convert them. And the game ended 4-2.

This was a hard-earned but well-deserved win for the lads. Brendan McMahon, Devon Ryan & Ciarán Flynn worked hard in the middle of the park and Kark Kelly, especially in the second half, put in some great tackles and made some great surging runs that created great space for his team-mates.

All the bench got a run during the game and replacements Jack Ryan, Seán Freeney, Jay Ryan & Cian O’Connell all played their part in a very important win for the Youths. It was great to see the younger players in the squad really step up to the mark and there is now very healthy competition for every position in the starting eleven. This win closes the gap to league leaders, Cals to just 3 points. Cals will be the visitors to Derryleigh Park next Sunday at 2.15pm in a top of the table clash.

Match Squad: Josh White, Killian O’Malley, Jack Noble, John Ryan Rose, Darren Collins, Brendan McMahon, Devon Ryan, Daniel Egan, Jack O’Carroll, Ciarán Flynn, Karl Kelly, Jay Ryan, Jack Ryan, Seán Freeney & Cian O’Connell.