Naas United maintained their 100 per cent record in the league this season but they were made fight all the way in this entertaining game played in Mullarney Park on Saturday last, writes Pat McNally.
Under 17 Division
Castle Villa: 0
Naas United: 2
Castle Villa were unlucky not to take the lead after seven minutes when Robbie Ryan lost his man and got in on the end of a glorious free kick but found Naas United ‘keeper Keith Higgins who got down quickly to deny the Castle Villa forward.
Naas came back strongly with Ross Hazard in the midfield having a fine game and after twelve minutes he set up Dean Fennessy whose shot was narrowly wide.
Castle Villa were not to be outdone and defying their mid table position they brought the game to Naas United and Robbie Ryan was again unfortunate not to put Villa in front when his shot beat Higgins in the Naas United goal but went the wrong side of the upright.
Higgins was once again Naas United’s saviour when after seventeen minutes Gavin Keating brought the best out of the Naas United goalkeeper when he unleashed a stinging shot from twenty five yards that Higgins did well to turn around the post for a corner.
From the resulting corner Villa were again unfortunate when a great diving header by Willie Hanlon scraped the crossbar.
Castle Villa were made to pay for the wastefulness after twenty five minutes when a great passing movement between Fennessy and Hazard who set up Whelan for a fine shot which was well saved by Donnelly in the Villa goal. However the subsequent ball out of defence fell kindly for Whelan who chipped the keeper for the opening score.
The second half saw Naas United take control of the middle of the pitch, however they gave a huge sigh of relief when a backward header by Naas United Shane Gibbons brought the very best out of Higgins in the Naas United goal who saved his defenders blushes.
Naas United consolidated their lead when Ross Hazard scored their second goal to give them breathing space.
Castle Villa thought they got back into the game when a through ball into the Naas United box was fumbled by the Naas ‘keeper and Pat Burke was on hand to tap home but the Referee blew up a free kick out.
Naas United held on to win this game by the two goals but at the end of the game knew they had been tested. Naas Had good players in keeper Higgins and midfielders Hazard and Fennessy while up front Whelan was always a threat Castle Villa will get better as a unit particularly when they cut the silly errors out from their defence with Gavin Keating having a fine game in the middle of the park ably supported by Willie Hanlon up front.
Keith Higgins, Shane Gibbons, Aidan Begley, Dan McCabe, Abdul Taino, Alex Dunne, Sean Farrell, Ross Hazard, Dean Fennessy, Morgan McNamara, Cilian Whelan. Subs: Cian O’Shea, James Toner, Gavin Clancy, Shane O’Neill