Spartak Mossgrove 2
SPARTAK Mossgrove knocked Skibbereen out of the Beamish Cup at the Baltimore Road last Sunday.
Goals in either half were enough to earn Spartak a Beamish Cup quarter-final berth despite a gutsy Skibbereen display.
Mossgrove were the better team over a disappointing 90 minutes in which the visitors came from 1-0 down to book their place in the last eight thanks to clinical Josh O’Donovan and Tadhg Ryan finishes.
There was an explosive start to last weekend’s clash between two Championship clubs as Skibbereen grabbed an early lead. The home team were fortunate that defender Kevin O’Regan diverted a clearance inches past his own upright after two minutes. Relieved to have avoided conceding so early in the tie, Skibbereen regrouped and earned a penalty when Jamie Hourihane was brought down in the box. JP Reen stepped forward and sent Barry Horgan the wrong way to edge Skibb ahead.
The remainder of the first 45 minutes proved a stop-start affair dotted by niggling fouls and several unnecessary free-kicks. Both sides struggled but it was Mossgrove who enjoyed the greater share of possession thanks to Daniel Twomey, Rory Kelleher and Conor O’Neill’s efforts. Dan Lynch and Noel McCarthy gave little away in the heart of Skibbereen’s back four, however, and the Baltimore Road club finished the half strongly.
Cian Coughlan’s introduction provided a useful counter-attacking option. Coughlan sprung Spartak’s offside trap shortly after coming on but his delicate chip cleared an out-rushing Barry Horgan only to roll past an empty goal. That miss proved a turning point as Spartak were rewarded with a deserved equaliser on the stroke of half time. Daniel Twomey set up Josh O’Donovan who promptly found the back of the net.
Spartak continued to push forward and the pressure told on the home side’s defence immediately after the restart. A slick Mossgrove move involving Daniel Twomey and Josh O’Donovan ended with Tadhg Ryan firing into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 after 51 minutes.
The visitors had the ball in the net for a third time shortly after, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
Despite ample possession, Spartak’s inability to kill off their opponents meant Skibbereen remained a threat from set-pieces. Dan Lynch saw an attempt saved by Barry Horgan but that was a rare Skibbereen opportunity against a well-organised Spartak defence.
Play became stretched as Ryan Price brilliantly denied Rory Kelleher prior to Jamie Hourihane hooking an effort over the crossbar at the opposite end.
Tempers flared close to full time resulting in Spartak Mossgrove being reduced to ten men when Conor O’Neill received a red card.
Skibb pressed hard for an injury-time equaliser but Spartak held out for a 2-1 victory and Beamish Cup quarter-final berth.
Skibbereen: Ryan Price, Kevin O’Regan, Dan Lynch, Richie Fitzgerald (captain), Noel McCarthy, Brian Hodnett, Jamie Hourihane, Niall McCarthy, JP Reen, John O’Donovan, Jaaf Regragui.
Subs: Paul McCaughey, Joseph Whooley, Mark Keohane, Cian Coughlan, Paul Carlos, Cathal Carlos.
Spartak Mossgrove: Barry Horgan, James Kelleher, Rory Kelleher, Josh O’Donovan, Micheal McSweeney, Chris White, Denis Foley, Tadhg Ryan, Rick Bradfield, Conor O’Neill, Daniel Twomey (captain).
Subs: Brian O’Donovan, Cormac Ryan, Darren Heffernan, Graham Courtney.
Referee: Paul McDermott.