A second half penalty by Kim Turner of Kilcullen was all that seperated these two top Kildare League sides when they met on Monday last at Togher Road in the Countrywide Forklift Training Womens Division.
Countrywide Forklift Training Women’s Division
Monasterevin AFC: 0
Kilcullen AFC: 1
Kilcullen now gain ground on leaders Monasterevin in the league that sees two points seperating the top four teams of Monasterevin, Liffey Celtic, Kilcullen and Bridge United who have a game in hand.
The first half was dominated by two well drilled defences leaving their attacking opponents with shots from distance and snap shots.
Set pieces were always going to be a vital area and a lot of the chances in the first period came from the placed ball. Kilcullen created the first real chance after ten minutes when a well placed free kick from Laura Gibson was defended expertly by Aine Donnelly.
Donnelly showed her attacking ability minutes later when putting a shot just over the bar from close range.
The home side had a chance of their own on 20 minutes when a Sinead McBride free kick caused a goal mouth scramble, the ball being parried by Jayne Peacock in the Kilcullen goal, and cleared by defender Aoife Whelan.
Monasterevin were on top at this stage and following consecutive corners Kilcullen were grateful that Jackie Kelly just hit her shot to the right of the post with ten minutes remaining in the half.
The visitors were dangerous on the break with Kim Turner impressing on the wing and her crosses were always threatening.
On 40 minutes one of Turner’s crosses eluded the Monasterevin defence and keeper Caroline Gorry, however there was no one in the area and the danger was averted. Just before the break Kilcullen had a glorious chance to go ahead when another Kim Turner cross come shot was well defended by Monasterevin’s Jackie Kelly and cleared for a corner, the resulting corner was punched out by home keeper Gorry to the awaiting Ciara Pembroke but she shot over from close range.
The most significent point in the game came ten minutes into the second half when home defender Lorraine McCarthy had to be replaced through injury.
As Monasterevin were re-organising Kilcullen applied pressure and forced a penalty when keeper Gorry was deemed to have fouled Laura Gibson. Kim Turner slotted the penatly cooly to the right of Gorry net giving the visitors the lead.
Soon after home ‘keeper Caroline Gorry had to be replaced following an earlier injury and she was replaced in goal by defender Sarah Duignan so again Monasterevin found themselves having to re-organise.
The home side found themselves defending deeply and a second penalty was awarded by referee Peter Moore with 20 minutes remaining following a over anxious challenge was defender Joanne Kelly on substitute Sara Murphy. Turner stepped up again to take the spot kick, but on this occasion relief ‘keeper Sarah Duignan made a fantastic full lenght save and the ball was cleared to safety.
This save spurred the home side into action and they had two opportunities to get a point in the final minutes with Sinead McBride hitting over the bar and Aine Donnelly just wide of the post following good work by McBride on the wing.
Kilcullen held out to claim what will surely be a very important three points. Best for the winners were Gemma Collins, Kim Turner, Claire Kelly and Laura Gibson while for a Monasterevin Jackie Kelly, Sinead McBride, Vicky Kelly and Sarah Duignan impressed.
Caroline Gorry, Lorraine McCarthy, Sarah Duignan, Joanne Kelly, Jackie Kelly, Aine Donnelly, Sinead McBride, Vicky Kelly, Ailish Heavey, Mel Morey, Janine Cross Subs Gemma Hurley, Carole Keenan.
Jayne Peacock, Clare Kelly, Aoife Whelan, Gemma Collins, Karen Bell, Riadhain McBride, Laura Gibson, Clare Kelly, Ciara Pembroke, Kim Turner, Brenda Murphy, Subs Alana Barrett, Emma Mangan, Andrea Condron, Sara Murphy.