Weekend Round-Up

Monaghan United vs. Drumkill Rovers 

CMUL U15 League 

It was probably the thinnest it’s been this season with only 12 players available. Debutant Alan McMahon played a part in the game coming on in the second half in midfield and doing very well. Besorah, Soki, Ethan, Jordan and Alvaro Soriano were all missing from the squad for different reasons.

United were very slow off the blocks and they struggled to get their passing game going at all. They had a bit of luck winning a free-kick at the edge of the Drumkill area. James Bourke stepped up and scored his second freekick of the season chipping into the back post with style. Rovers’ posed problems and asked questions of Monaghan’s centre-halves Darren Geoghegan and Mathew McQuaid who dealt quite well apart from the odd error. Two of these nearly proved fatal as both players were let off the hook after mistakes though Drumkill couldn’t capitalize. Finbar McGinn lined out up front alongside Conor Doyle. United played there new formation of two banks of 2 in the middle. Lewis Gibson and Marc Treanor holding the midfield allowing James Bourke and Eli Ward to push forward. Indeed without Soki John’s pace as an outlet United seemed too narrow and lacking options. Though Tommy Croarkin did get up and down the right wing very effectively. Niall Crawley put in a very solid defensive display at left back against some good opponents. Monaghan finished the half strongly dominating possession and playing fluid football but got nothing from it.

In the second half the game continued to be a messy affair with the ball constantly changing hands. Monaghan cleared a Drumkill effort off the line and they had a few shots go wide after some good chances. United weren’t their normal clinical selves and Conor wasn’t getting it all his own way but he still came up with a well taken goal. Put through on goal by Eli Ward he finished past Luke Perkins in nets with his left foot to make it 2-0. Thomas switched roles with Finbar, going right wing and Finbar filled in at right back. The game finished at 2-0, Drumkill played really well and were unlucky not to bag a goal. United weren’t at their best but still got the 3 points which is important at this stage of the season.

Monaghan’s Man of the Match Thomas Croarkin who gave 100% throughout the game and always looked to go forward. He was positive and tackled well.

Monaghan United Squad:Abraham Dixon, Thomas Croarkin, Niall Crawley, Mathew McQuaid, Darren Geoghegan, Lewis Gibson, Marc Treanor, James Bourke, Eli Ward, Conor Doyle(C), Finbar McGinn, Alan McMahon.

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Monaghan News

New Online Booking System For All Coaching Courses
From January 2014 ALL FAI Coach Education Courses will be made available exclusively available on the FAIs new online bookink system(e Commerce platform). This new system will enable all customers to search and book a Course and pay online. The 2014 Brochure Courses are now available on the site.
The following courses are available for Monaghan in 2014. Full details on the website and can be booked online from now.
•Kick Start One(April)
•Kick Start Two(September)
•4v4 Workshop(May)
•7v7 Workshop(May)
•Goalkeeping Introductory
•Strength & Conditioning Workshop(November)
The website is accessible from the FAI Coaches Association- https://www.fai.ie/coaching or htpp://coaching.fai.ie/

eFlow FAI Summer Soccer Schools
The application process to coach on the 2014 eFlow FAI Summer Soccer Schools is now open. All coaches are required to complete the online application accessible below, before January 31st 2014. If you know of any coaches that would like to apply for a position please ensure they do so before the deadline as no late applications will be accepted.

As of 2014, FAI Summer Soccer Schools’ recruitment policy requires that new Summer Soccer School coaches must be over the age of 18 in order to coach on a Soccer School. Host Venues must comply with this policy when consulting with their Development Officer on the coach selection process.

It is a requirement for all Summer Soccer School coaches to undergo Garda Vetting through the association. Coaches who have been vetted through the Association previously must provide their vetting reference number on the coach application form and this number can be found on the approval letter received from the FAI..

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Last Man Standing Fundraiser

Hi guys,

The club are running a Last Man Standing competition in order to raise some funds for the schoolboy’s teams.

We need your support to help our club. It’s not all about charity though as you can win some money in the process. Deadline for joining is January 11th 11:45am.

Here’s a quick guide to help you along. Click here

Here’s the link to the fundraiser: http://www.runlastman.com/competitions/64-monaghan_united_schoolboys-monaghan-united-schoolboys-last-man-standing



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Juvenile Weekend Report

Cootehill Harps 1 – 12 Monaghan United

CMUL U15 League

United were short a few of their regulars such as Ethan O’Leary, Jordan Murray and Finbar McGinn but they showed their strength in depth with a good performance. The first half was competitive with both teams giving it there all. Monaghan’s technical skill and passing game showed as they dominated the ball passing in triangles around the pitch. Cootehill had a very high line which Monaghan exploited. Conor Doyle was played through down the right flank, he ran into the box rounding the keeper and shot but it was blocked on the line by the defender. Unfortunately it rolled onto his arm and a penalty was awarded. Conor stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. Cootehill then applied some pressure with the wind causing some problems for the Monaghan backline. They got a break when their striker was aloud space just inside the box to shoot well into the goal.

This was when United started really controlling the game with some excellent passing and moving between the midfield 4 of Eli Ward, James Bourke, Lewis Gibson and Marc Treanor. Soki John then played Conor in to score his second from a tight angle. The good  combination play let to the next few goals with James Bourke this time playing Conor through. Conor poked the ball beyond the onrushing Cootehill ‘keeper in style. Eli was the next provider with Conor receiving before rounding the ‘keeper and passing the ball into the net. By far his best goal of the afternoon came next. After a good passing move the ball was cleared to Tommy Croarkin on the right wing, he crossed it in first time to Conor on the edge of the box who controlled with his chest before taking the shot on the half volley to score. This brought an end to proceedings in the first half.

The game remained good for the first 10 minutes of the second half with Besorah Moba coming on for Marc, Conor this time turned provider when he crossed to the far post where Tommy was waiting and fired home from close range. Niall Crawley played left back and was a constant menace down the left wing as he always looked to overlap. As the resistance fell, Soki got himself a hat-trick, nobody could match his blistering pace as he was set up by Conor, James and Eli respectively. Mathew McQuaid and Darren Geoghegan both got on the scoresheet late on but the game was over before this. For Darren’s goal, Eli made a great solo run into the box beating 3 players before squaring it to Darren on the far post. The first half was a good exhibition of passing football as well as the start of the second. United were comfortable in possession and a joy to watch.

Going on the first 60 minutes of the game Man of the Match has to go to Conor Doyle for his 5 goals, the midfield were at the heart of all his goals but you still need someone to put the ball in the net.

Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Thomas Croarkin, Niall Crawley, Mathew McQuaid, Darren Geoghegan, Lewis Gibson, Marc Treanor, Besorah Moba, Eli Ward, Soki John, James Bourke, Conor Doyle(C)

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Juvenile Weekend Report

Swilly Rovers 2-2 Monaghan United FC 4-2 AET

SFAI National Cup Ulster Section Final

United made the long jouney to Ramelton just outside Letterkenny to play Swilly missing several key players including Conor Doyle up front, Martynas Pilvinis, Niall Crawley and Cormac McKenna who played a big role in their victory over Illistrin a few weeks earlier. This is not to take anything away from the game or the opposition who were of the highest quality. The Mons did seem lost without they target man Conor with Alvaro Soriano, Besorah Moba, Soki John and Jordan Murray all having a stint up front during the game. United took time to get used to the surface and Swilly pressed them well during the opening half. Shane McNamee and Conor Gormley were Rovers’ main threats going forward. Shane with his skill and Conor with his power and pace. Shane got the first receiving the ball on the edge of the box, turning he curled the ball into the far top corner to make it 1-0. United were rattled and being overrun in midfield time and time again with Conor Gormley showing why there is so much interest in him. The second came just before the half and was a killer blow to Monaghan. From a kick-out the ball was headed back towards goal between goalie and centre back. Unfortunately for both Shane nipped in between them and slotted home his second.

In the second half United looked a changed team full of optimism that they could close the deficit. Besorah and Eli played a more influential role in the game while Soki played up front and reveled in the role. Tommy Croarkin also had an excellent second half at right back bombing up and down the line. Abraham Dixon also did his job superbly making some great punches from Swilly corners. Monaghan pressed and had both Jordan and Soki playing forward with Finbar McGinn now playing at left back. United gained several set-pieces in dangerous positions with James Bourke always a threat now on the pitch. Soki played excellently as striker using his pace to great effect. For United’s first he dribbled into the box srrounded by defenders he still managed to play in Eli who fired home with his unfavoured left foot. This gave United hope and in the dying embers of the game Soki got a free-kick on the edge of the box to the left hand side.

James stepped up and with the referee looking at his watch James pinged the ball straight into the top of the net Ronaldo esq and the players went mad. The referee blew for full time and with light failing Extra Time loomed. Just a few minutes in though, disaster for Monaghan as a defensive mistake led to a third Swilly goal which broke United’s resistance to an extent. They soon grabbed a fourth as a dejected Monaghan side wondered what they had to do to get a place in the last 32 of the SFAI Cup. Abraham made a very good save near the end and the boys can be proud of their performance. Darren Geoghegan also had another very good game playing a year above himself he put in a great shift in midfield. Mattie pushed up into midfield in the later stages of the game and led the team well. Well done to Swilly who were excellent on the day.

Man of the Match goes to Soki John who revitalized United’s game in the second half especially on the attack.

Monaghan United Squad:Abraham Dixon, Thomas Croarkin, Finbar McGinn, Ethan O’Leary, Soki John, Mathew McQuaid(C), Lewis Gibson, Marc Treanor, Eli Ward, Besorah Moba, Alavaro Soriano, James Bourke, Darren Geoghegan, Jordan Murray.



No Joy For Monaghan

Monaghan United   0

Ballyjamesduff       3

Monaghan United U – 12’s suffered their third defeat of the season on Saturday last against a strong Ballyjamesduff side in Gortakeegan. United started well controlling much of the play with new signing Josh Hagan linking up well with Terry McDonald upfront. The midfield four of Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dylan Ballantine, Joshua Clerkin and Josh Deeney held their own and were ably supported by James McKenny, Tiarnan O’Rourke, Tiarnan Kierans, Dean Doherty at the back with Nathan Lavery in goal. Monaghan were unlucky not to go ahead and were thwarted only by the brillance of the Ballyjamesduff keeper. The first half ended in stalemate with neither side holding the advantage.

Monaghan introduced Adam McBride and Adam McGarry at the start of the second half and continued to press forward. A costly defensive error in the 10th minute allowed the Ballyjamesduff winger to score with a speculative left footed shot. The goal rocked the home side and within 5 minutes they conceded another. Monaghan introduced Riaghan Gallagher, Shay Cooney, Dylan Reilly and Jake Power to add impetus to the attack but to no avail. The home sides inability to hold onto the ball and some poor decision making allowed Ballyjamesduff to score another goal in the dying minutes to leave the final score at 0-3.

Monaghan United: Nathan Lavery, Dean Doherty, Tiarnan Kierans, Tiarnan O’Rourke, James Mc Kenny, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dylan Ballantine, Joshua Clerkin, Josh Deeney, Terry Mc Donald, Josh Hagan, Dylan Reilly, Adam Mc Bride, Adam McGarry, Jake Power, Riaghan Gallagher, Shay Cooney.

This team is sponsored by The Hillgrove Hotel and Monaghan Electrical.


Six Of The Best For United

Monaghan United   6

Cootehill Harps    2    

Cootehill where the visitors to Gortakegan on Sunday last  and United put in another excellent performance.

Monaghan began the game with venom and were firing in attack after attack and kept the pressure on the backline of Cooethill for long periods and were playing some very impressive football. Leon McCabe and Aaron Mulligan totally owned the two wings and where superb, taking on players and crossing some sublime balls  into the Cootehill box Shea Treanor and Terence McDonald the two mons strikers were unlucky not to have both scored in the first 5 mins.

The deadlock was broken when a perfectly timed pass from Jakob Frizelwich to Joseph Duffy who in turn flicked on a lovely header to the oncoming Shea Treanor who calmly chipped the keeper,1 nil.

Cootehill created a fair few chances and broke away a few times but their attacks were easily dealt with by the backline of Annan Connors, Dylan Ballintine, Steven McClusky and Lorcan O’Rourke, who were all brilliant throughout the game. Dylan Ballintine made a great run up the right wing and set Aaron Mulligan on his way to cross in a perfect ball for Terence McDonald to slot home, 2 nil.

Cooethill were awarded a free kick just outside the mons 18 yard box which beat the mons keeper, who was having a pretty good game up to that point 2-1.

The young mons kept pressing and attacking and after some great work from Leon McCabe got their third goal from a sweet cross from leon to  Terence McDonald who sloted home. Terence has proved to be a nuisance to all defences in every game and then came off to let Caomihn Woods into the action and the young player got stuck in straight away and showed great skill, ability and strength.  Conor McGuire came on also and fought hard and won some great tackles and like Caomhin Woods he showed strength and ability

Jakob and Joseph also came off to allow subs Jack McKenna and Harry Mallon to come on. They also got straight into the game and dominated the centre of the park. Ryan Leonard also came on and played great for Shea Treanor and took annan’s left back position to allow Annan a more attacking role. Annan tore Cootehill apart and was unstoppable. He could have went through a few times but set up goals instead of going himself which has to be praised. Aaron Mulligan once again took on player after player and got on the score sheet himself 4-1. Annan made a another powerful run and in  turn set up Leon McCabe for United’s 5th goal and quickly afterwards Leon made a solo run and powered his way into the box and scored United’s 6th of the game. Leon always works hard and totally deserved his two goals. 6-1.

Cootehill got another free kick closer than the last one and made it count by getting their 2nd goal as a consolation.  united dominated most of the play for most of the game. But credit has to go to Coothill who kept plugging away and their keeper pulled off some pretty great saves. Well done to both teams. Man of the match Annan Connors.

This team is sponsored by Kieran McMahon Tyres, Plantation and The Four Seasons Hotel.

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Juvenile Weekend Report

Ballyjamesduff 2-5 Monaghan United 

CMUL U15 League 

Monaghan’s longest away trip of the season is always a difficult one, Ballyjamesduff had a strong team and were hungry for revenge after the National Cup 6-1 loss earlier this season. United were missing some key individuals for this one, mainly Ethan O’Leary and Martynas Pilvinis who were both out with injury/illness. The Mons were also missing forwards Jordan Murray and Finbar McGinn who have been in good form recently.

With the bad weather in, the pitch was heavy and wet making passing a little more challenging but both teams played good football nonetheless. Marc Treanor joined Mathew McQuaid in a makeshift centre-half parntership with usual full-backs Soki John and Tommy Croarkin in place. Indeed it was probably Tommy’s best game so far this season as he constantly got in behind the Bally’duff defense after some clever overlaps with Darren Geoghegan. Soki had the job of marking talisman Aaron O’Reilly on the right wing and so had to be more reserved than usual. Lewis Gibson and Besorah Moba held the midfield anchor with Eli having spells on the pitch after he took a knock in yesterdays U14 win against the same opponents. Conor Doyle got the ball rolling scoring a clicker of a goal after only 10 minutes on the clock. From the ‘keeper’s kick-out he controlled the ball on his chest before letting in bounce and striking it on the volley into the top corner, perfect technique from a man in form. Soki John was the next man to threaten when Alvaro Soriano played him through on goals but a last heavy touch was too far ahead and despite his best efforts the ‘keeper got down to smother the ball.

Conor had several more good chances before the interval, all 3 from corners kicks delivered by Darren Geoghegan. Two were cleared off the line by a defender and the third parried away by the goalkeeper. Mattie McQuaid struck a great free-kick from 35 yards out but the ‘keeper made a good save tipping the ball over the crossbar. Alvaro had a great chance and came close with a right-footed effort grazing the side netting. It wasn’t all one way traffic as Abraham Dixon was called into action with a brilliant double save off Aaron Reilly from close range. James Bourke had the Mon’s last effort of the half with a free-kick which almost wriggled over the line but was stopped on the line by the goalkeeper.

After the second half the Mons turned up the heat with some excellent attacking play. Conor Doyle and Alvaro became much more active and they combined well for the second goal. Alvaro dribbled past a BJD defender before unleashing a powerful shot which the goalkeeper could only parry into the path of Conor who fired home his second of the afternoon. Soon after it was Conor who played an inch perfect through ball into Alvaro who coolly slid the ball under the ‘keeper for his second in two games. Alvaro grabbed his second goal with another excellent finish into the corner, this time set up by Eli Ward who has been United’s ‘assist king’ this season.

Monaghan’s build up play continued to threaten the opponents goal but Bally’duff pulled their way back into the game. Two poor passes in the middle led to Aaron Reilly scoring two quick goals, the second in particular a fine volleyed shot. United then took control again with Conor Doyle forcing a fine save from the BJD ‘keeper once again before he wrapped up the game with his third. Again it was the combination of Alvaro and Conor that created the goal, Alvaro played a great through ball into Conor who dinked the ball past the onrushing ‘keeper with his left foot to finish the scoring.

Tommy Croarkin, Conor Doyle and Alvaro Soriano all had stand our games with the later providing two goals and two assists to his team getting the Man of the Match award on this occasion. Well done Alvaro!!

Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Tommy Croarkin, Niall Crawley, Mathew McQuaid, Marc Treanor, Lewis Gibson, Besorah Moba, Eli Ward, Conor Doyle, Alvaro Soriano, James Bourke, Darren Geoghegan.

Monaghan United 2-0 Drumkill Rovers

CMUL U16 League

A nice evening under lights for once and not too cold as the Mons took on Drumkill, a local derby which both teams were desparate to win the bragging rights in school. Monaghan dominated possession with the trio of Jason McBride, Tyler O’Hanlon and Alvaro Morales proving too much for their opponents at times. Jason and Alvaro’s passing was superb and when Tyler got on the ball he was direct and dangerous with his dribbling.

Jason had the first attempt on goal with a free-kick which he curled towards the back post only for the ball to smack the crossbar and land in the penalty area. Though nobody could convert the chance and the ball was cleared. Dillon Kelly then went close as his pile-driver of an effort on the half-volley from the edge of the box again cracked against the woodwork. Monaghan were banging on the door and it wasn’t long until they took advantage of their good play. Jason McBride swung the corner into the middle of the box where Remy McKenna caught the ball perfectly on the volley and it flew past everyone into the back of the net. An unstoppable strike of the highest callibre from young McKenna. Alvaro played a beautifully weighted pass into Mantas but the Drumkill ‘keeper Ryan Connolly came out quickly to clear the ball. Drumkill’s biggest threat came from another Spaniard, no not another Alvaro, but Dani diMarco who was menacing up front with his pace and skill.

For the second half Monaghan improved their passing and began to spread the ball much better, they used their width well exploiting the space out wide. Tyler came into the game more as his stamina showed with some excellent runs and link up play with Conor Doyle who replaced Mantas up front. Shane McMahon and Colm Lennon kept Rovers’ forwards quite in the second half with the opposition only salvaging a few chances which required the excellent keeping of Abraham Dixon to maintain the confidence in his own team. Stephen Corrigan put in a great shift at right back, not much got by him and he attacked well on the break. It was Jason once again who was the provider of the second goal. He controlled the ball well on the bounce before chipping the ball into Conor Doyle’s path, 1 on 1 with the ‘keeper Conor lobbed the ball into the net with finesse. A show of a confident striker on top of his game. Lewis Gibson replaced Alvaro midway through the second half and showed his class touch always keeping things simple. Conghal Treanor, Conor Gaffney and Nils Ziegert also came on as subs and all put in solid performances.

Man of the Match on this occasion was a decision between 3 players, Shane at the back, with Tyler and Jason in the midfield. Jason gets the nod with his excellent display of passing and two good assists.

Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Stephen Corrigan, Shane McMahon, Colm Lennon, Dillon Kelly, Alvaro Morales, Remy McKenna, Keelan O’Reilly, Jason McBride, Tyler O’Hanlon, Conor Doyle, Mantas, Nils Ziegert, Conor Gaffney, Conghal Treanor, Lewis Gibson.

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Juvenile Weekend Round-Up


Ballyhaise Celtic 1
Monaghan United 2

An early start to Sunday morning for a young Monaghan United team who had to travel to Cavan to play ballyhaise Celtic,
All praise has to go to players and parents for having lads up and ready for 8.30 on such a cold frosty morning,
The lads all arrived in great spirit and were up for the game,and boy what a game it was.
A few changes were made to the Monaghan line up, and it paid off, as young Jakob Frizelwich and Annan Connors dominated the midfield along with Harry Mallon. They were for the most part in complete control in the centre of the pitch, played their roles to perfection, winning every ball that came out and setting up some great play.
Early in the game Terence Mcdonald made a darting run through the heart of the Ballyhaise defence and was just about to shoot only to be ruled offside. Soon after Leon McCabe made a powerful run up the left wing and won a corner, which he took and delivered a super ball straight to the head of Annan Connors, who thumped it into top corner, 1 nil to Utd.
Ballyhaise had several chances, but the day belonged to Daniel Reilly in the Monaghan goal as the young keeper was superb and pulled off save after save and this was to be his best ever game as the Utd shot stopper. Both teams had several chances and both keepers were kept very busy.
Ballyhaise broke through from the left and a misunderstanding between keeper and defender led to the equalizer for Ballyhaise,each thought the other had it covered and the ball spilled past them both, it was just one of those goals!! 1-1.
Monaghan United showed great grit and determination and kept the pressure on pushing forward constantly. Connor McGuire came on for the injured Leon McCabe and almost made an immediate impact with some great skilful runs and by playing in some super passes.
Terence McDonald tore the Ballyhaise defence apart a few times and was unlucky not to have bagged a few goals, but he kept working hard and never stopped trying.
Dylan Ballentine and Joseph Duffy were rock solid in defence and caused the ballyhaise strikers all kinds of trouble, both made some great clearances and showed great strength and confidence in their roles.
Aaron Mulligan made some speedy and skilful runs up the left wing and crossed in some amazing balls, and was unlucky also not to have scored a few. It was an Aaron Mulligan cross that was flicked on by Annan Connors which led to Shea Treanor volleying to the net for the goal of the day past the ballyhaise keeper. A stunning goal !!!! 1-2 to United.
Caomhan Woods came on for Terence McDonald and showed that he has a great first touch and awareness.
Steven McCloskey who was playing as sweeper came out of no-where with the ball and made a run from the United defence and with some amazing skill took on half the Ballyhaise team by himself, going around and passing player after player and got right up to the box only to shoot narrowly wide. It could have been a goal of the season contender had it went in. Ballyhaise had one girl on their team that deserves a mention as she was by far one of the best on the day. She was very strong and showed the girls can match the boys. Pity more girls weren’t, involved as she showed great heart and determination at right back, “well done Rachael”.
The final whistle went, with the hard working Monaghan Utd taking the well deserved spoils, well done to each and every player on the day. Themanagement team Of Noel and David were very proud of the entire team.
This team is sponsored by Kieran McMahon Tyres, Plantation and The Four Seasons Hotel.

Monaghan United 6-2 Lavey Utd

CMUL U16 League

Monaghan’s first half wasn’t the improvement manager Packie Cooney wanted to see as Lavey went ahead after 10 minutes, a long free-kick was latched onto and flicked over the ‘keeper by a cool Eoghan Cooney. After much pressure and guilt edged chances for Mantis and Conor Doyle, the later tapped in from a corner taken by Jason McBride and knocked down by Tyler O’Hanlon. United were missing their captain Shane McMahon due to a calf injury who had been their best player up to this game. Tyler had to slot into centre half but midway during the first half he moved up his natural position of central midfield with Stephen Corrigan going to centre back and Lewis Gibson coming on for Mantis at right back.

At half time it was still 1-1 despite the Mons pressure and the chances they had let slip. One move, Jason McBride played an excellent 1-2 with Alvaro Morales, on the edge of the box Jason shot but was denied by a good save by Lavey’s ‘keeper.

Tyler’s move into midfield turned the tide of the game with his pace and energy causing big problems as he constantly ran at the Lavey defenders. He scored a brilliant individual goal dribbling past at least 3/4 Lavey players before rounding the ‘keeper and slotting the ball into the empty net. Mantis was put back on this time Conor Doyle made way. Mantis seemed a changed player, full of confidence and was making all the right moves. He drove down Lavey’s right flank to the byline and crossed deep to the back post for Keelan O’Reilly to volley home for 3-1. However, Lavey pulled a goal back and nothing seemed certain for United despite the domination of possession.

Monaghan brought the gap back to 2 goals when Dillon Kelly released Jason with a great pass down the left wing. This came straight from a Lavey corner so there were only 3 defenders back and Mantis running ahead. Jason dribbled at the first defender using a step-over cut infield and layed the ball to Mantis to finish in style. A fine display on how to counter-attack effectively. Jason then set-up Tyler’s second with a fine delivery from a corner, Tyler, the smallest player on the pitch, rose highest and fired his header into the net. Alvaro then turned provider for Mantis as he played a great 1-2 inside the centre back for Mantis to bag his second of the afternoon.  It was a fine second half display from Mantis and the whole team who turned on the style emphatically from the break.

Man of the Match for me goes to Tyler O’Hanlon with 2 excellent goals and 2 assists also, though Jason McBride, Alvaro and Mantis also put on great performances. It certainly wasn’t a one man show by any means.

Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Stephen Corrigan, Dillon Kelly, Colm Lennon, Lewis Gibson, Tyler O’Hanlon, Alvaro Morales, Conor Doyle, Jason McBride(C), Keelan O’Reilly, Conghal Treanor, Conor Gaffney, Remy McKenna, Mantis.

Cavan Town 3-3 Monaghan United

CMUL U15 League

On what can only described as being an “Irish” winters night United traveled to Cavan to play the Town under lights. In was very windy and the rain started coming down in the second half. United had a horrendous first 10 minutes, some still seemed to be on the bus as 2 goals went in in quick succession. The first from a corner kick, the front post wasn’t well covered and the ball slipped in after a defenders deflection. The second came with a long ball over the top which Dylan McMullen ran onto and finished ahead of United’s centre backs who were caught square.

After this however Monaghan began to dominate possession and played some of the great football. Though they were always shakey at the back and this showed when the ball bounced over the defenders and again Dylan ran on and with a great shot beat Abraham in goals.

For the defensive display Monaghan deserved to have conceded, but with the passes they were stringing together they definitely deserved to still be in contention although even a point was looking unlikely. The rest of the first half was a joy to watch, although the one thing lacking was the finish with Jordan Murray and Conor Doyle getting in great positions but failing to convert their chances. Lewis Gibson and Marc Treanor moved the ball well with Besorah Moba and playmaker Eli Ward playing some lovely penetrating passes to the front three. Mathew McQuaid and Martynas Pilvinis were excellent on the ball, both calm and composed, rarely losing the ball. Soki John had an up and down first half, making some great dribbles but then losing possession after his hard work. Thomas Croarkin worked hard down the right flank at full back, he posed a threat to the Town down the right hand side with Besorah tucking in letting Tommy overlap successfully on many occasions. United’s ability to play the ball out of defence normally under significant pressure was impressive.

With half-time United retreated to the dressing room for a pep talk and a breather. They returned to the pitch focused on their jobs, remembering the previous games they had been down and out, only to salvage a great result. They stayed resolute and played more as a unit in the second half. Though Cavan did hit the woodwork with a long shot in the second half Monaghan’s defense was much more solid. Niall Crawley replaced Tommy at right back and played very well. The half remained scoreless with Monaghan camped in the opponents half, the decision was made to play 3 at the back and push Soki upfield which seemed to make the difference.

The Mons pressure began to have venom, Eli jinxed his way past 3 Cavan defenders as he does so often and burried his shot in the bottom corner from 25 yards out, a fantastic finish. He was again involved as he set Conor away who poked the ball past the onrushing Gary O’Rourke to bring it back to 3-2. It now seemed only a matter of time for the equalizer and Finbar McGinn played Alvaro Soriano through on goal after some scrappy play in the box to slot the ball into the corner making it 3-3! Both players had come on in the second half and performed really well. The Mons could have won it, Jordan with some great dribbling shot inches wide, for all his great play he was very unlucky not to score. James Bourke hit a long range freekick in yet another nail biting moment. However it finished at 3-3, Cavan were clinical with their chances but Monaghan deserved the comeback playing some great football. Mattie and Martynas were very solid in the second half, both were difficult to beat and cleared well when needed.

The stand out performers in this game were definately Monaghan’s creative passers, mainly Lewis Gibson, Eli Ward and Besorah Moba. All three did their jobs in keeping the ball and creating chances for the forwards. Besorah gets the nod narrowly, his passing was excellent, even when pushed out wide he had a big input in the game.

Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Thomas Croarkin, Soki John(C), Mathew McQuaid, Martynas Pilvinis, Lewis Gibson, Marc Treanor, Niall Crawley, Eli Ward, Besorah Moba, Conor Doyle, Jordan Murray, Finbar McGinn, James Bourke.

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SFAI Cup Weekend Report

Monaghan United 2-0 Illistrin

SFAI U15 National Cup 3rd Round

Monaghan recorded a great win over the Donegal champions who bettered them narrowly last season through an injury time winner from Shane Blayney. This time, Monaghan were at full strength with players like Eli Ward, Darren Geoghegan and Conor Doyle on top form coming into the game. 

Monaghan played some very good flowing football in the early stages of the game putting pressure on the Illistrin backline from the off. They gained several corners in early proceedings, for the first goal the corner was cleared but only as far as Marc Treanor who layed it back to Conor Doyle. Conor headed down to Eli who on his left foot volleyed into the top right corner, a big goal in a big game. Eli was the best player on the pitch in the first half, although slight compared to the big Illistrin players, his technical ability was unmatched and he always found space to threaten the Donegal goal. On one occasion he dribbled past his marker and slipped Conor through on goal, however he tried to shift the ball to his right foot instead of striking with his left and the defender got back to make a good tackle.

Ethan O’Leary came close with a free-kick from 35 yards out, with the sun in the ‘keepers eyes Ethan aimed high and was only inches away from scoring. Lewis Gibson and Marc Treanor held the line excellently making triangles around their opponents when passing from their own half. Martynas Pilvinis and Soki John started as full back, both getting forward at every opportunity with Soki’s dribbling causing the Illistrin midfielders real problems a long with his under-lapping runs. Martynas made several good runs down the right linking well with Darren Geoghegan who was a class act throughout the whole game. Conor led the line brilliantly running the centre backs across the pitch making pacey runs into the channels keeping both men occupied. Thomas Croarkin replaced Alvaro Soriano near the end of the half slotting in a right back allowing Soki to push up the pitch.

The second half saw Illistrin come into the game much more. They were especially dangerous from long balls in behind the Mons defence and set-pieces, mainly corner kicks. Monaghan however, defending very well clearing the ball at every avenue and Abraham Dixon made some excellent catches when called upon. He also had to save well to his left after one effort on goal from outside the area. Niall Crawley and Besorah Moba replaced Martynas and Lewis both came off due to injury. Niall had a tough job marking Jordan Ryan at right midfield, he made several good runs through Monaghan’s defence only to be stopped when he entered the box. United had another great chance when Jordan Murray who had come on shortly beforehand made an excellent run through the heart of Illistrin’s defence shot just wide from a very tight angle. Besorah had his best game in a Monaghan jersey in central midfield. He bossed the midfield, set up numerous counter attacks through some great cross field passes. He was always so assured on the ball and didn’t once give it away. In the dying moments of the game, United countered after an Illistrin corner, Conor was fouled just outside the area by the big no.4. Eli stepped up and curled the ball beautifully in the top left corner to seal the win as the whistle blew to call time. 

Calling a Man of the Match is very tricky in this situation as the whole team put in a massive performance. Eli getting the two crucial goals and playing a great game, Darren for his combination play and passing, Mathew at the back for staying resolute and Besorah for his late cameo. Eli will have to take it due to his goals but I’m sure everyone who attended the game would find it as hard picking one individual out of that team today.

Monaghan United Squad: Abraham Dixon, Martynas Pilvinis, Soki John(C), Mathew McQuaid, Ethan O’Leary, Lewis Gibson, Marc Treanor, Cormac McKenna, Conor Doyle, Besorah Moba, Jordan Murray, Thomas Croarkin, Niall Crawley, Finbar McGinn, Alvaro Soriano.

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