Newstalk "A" Championship Match Reports 2010

League of Ireland “A” Championship

Tullamore Town  1   Bohemians  1

The Tullamore first team played their last home game of the season last Wednesday and came away with a somewhat fortuitous share of the points against an excellent young Bohemians side. The visitors were straight into the attack with Stephen Traynor picking out Lee Dixon on the right but Stephen Duffy got across to clear while at the other end Michael Hoey got on the end of a Keith Armstrong pass but his shot flew outside the post. As Bohemians began to take control Dixon’s cross was headed over by Traynor and they again went close when Keith Buckley got on the end of a Dixon free but his volley was well held by Ger Dunne. A lovely move involving Stephen Chambers and David Lodola ended with Chamber’s firing narrowly over from thirty yards and they should have gone ahead on twenty five minutes when a defensive slip let in Lodola but the big centre forward lost his footing at the crucial moment. With half an hour on the clock they hit the front when Anthony Corcoran and Stephen Traynor combined on the left with Keith Armstrong getting back to put the ball out for a corner, but from the resultant kick David Lodola rose above the defence to power his header into the bottom left hand corner for a deserved lead. They nearly increased their lead minutes later when Dixon’s low cross picked out Lodola but he was denied by a great last ditch tackle from Ken Doyle. With half time approaching Shane Dowling sent Jason Pohl clear on the right but Craig Sexton was quickly off his line to clear while at the other end Dixon threatened on the right with Doyle again getting across to clear.

Tullamore started the second half brightly with Jason Pohl taking off on a fine diagonal run that saw his cross shot knocked behind and, when the resultant corner was cleared, Robbie Egan delivered the ball back into the area only for Michael Hoey’s header to come back off the upright. Hoey again created danger when he was taken down following a surging run but Trevor Moylan’s free kick was too high. With Brian Francis outstanding at the heart of the home defence they held firm but Bohemian’s went close when Lee Dixon fired his shot across the face of the goal and he again threatened when Christopher Forrester just failed to get on the end of his cross. They should have increased their lead on seventy five minutes when Anthony Corcoran picked out Stephen Traynor on the left and his fine cross was volleyed over by David Lodola. Tullamore went close minutes later when Shane Dowling lobbed the advancing Craig Sexton but Kevin Feely got back to clear and when Pohl pounced on the loose ball Sexton managed to knock his shot out for a corner. As the visitors looked to kill the game off Stephen Chambers played a lovely ball through to Traynor but his effort flew past the far post. With minutes remaining Tullamore made the breakthrough when they won a free out wide on the left and when Robbie Egan launched the ball into the area, Shane Dowling sent a great glancing header into the roof of the net. As Bohemenian’s hit back, Forrester cut in from the left but Ger Dunne brilliantly tipped his effort around the post and he again went close when Dixon and Mark O’Reilly combined to pick him out but his header flew over. Town nearly snatched all three points in the last minute when Michael Hoey played in Dowling on the left and his looping shot drifted inches outside the far post.

Although playing second fiddle for most of the ninety minutes, Tullamore will look to a battling second half performance that kept them in the match. Having had their pockets picked so late in the game, the Bohemian players may well feel they were the victims of floodlight robbery, but as all Tullamore supporters know, the fat lady rarely sings in Leah Victoria Park.

For the home side there were excellent contributions from Ger Dunne, Ken Doyle, Robbie Egan and Shane Dowling with Roberto Lopes, Stephen Traynor, Lee Dixon and David Lodola the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Brian Francis.

Tullamore : Ger Dunne, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Ken Doyle, Michael Kenaney, Stephen Duffy, Robbie Egan, Keith Armstrong, Jason Pohl, Michael Hoey and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Fergal Gorman, Martin Halloran, Pat McCarthy and Mark Goodings.   

League of Ireland “A” Championship

Sporting Fingal  3   Tullamore Town  2

Under strength Tullamore travelled to Dublin last Saturday to take on League leaders Sporting Fingal and after a great display were unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the points. The home side included first team regulars Eamon Zayed,  John Frost, Stephen Quinn and Brendan Clarke but Town showed themselves to be equal to the challenge. The first chance of the game fell to the visitors on twelve minutes when Jason Pohl cut in from the left and struck a fine shot that Brendan Clarke did well to keep out. They again went close on twenty three minutes when, following a Hafeez Sholola corner, Shane Dowling saw his shot cleared off the line by John Frost with the keeper beaten. But they were not to be denied minutes later when another Sholola corner was headed powerfully home by Michael Hoey to give his side a precious lead. Sporting almost equalised in the twenty eight minute when John Dawson made a fine run down the left wing and pulled the ball back but Brian Francis brought off a great block tackle as Eamon Zayed was about to pull the trigger. The home side were now in control and the equaliser arrived in the thirty second minute when Tullamore failed to clear a  long ball into the box and Zayed was first to react to slip it past Ger Dunne. On the stroke of half time they hit the front when Dawson picked the ball up in midfield and ran at the defence before playing a neat one two with Zayed before firing home from ten yards to leave the score 2-1 in Sporting’s favour at the interval.

They increased their lead on fifty five minutes when John Dawson again found the net with a fine shot from the edge of the box but Tullamore refused to buckle and threw themselves a lifeline on the hour with the best goal of the match. Jason Pohl made a great run on the left and fired in a pin point cross which Shane Dowling looped into the corner of the net with the outside of his right foot for a superb score. They were now back in the game and nearly equalised in the seventieth minute when Dowling’s twenty yard effort whistled inches past Clarke’s left hand post. Town had a lucky escape on eighty minutes when Stephen Quinn’s shot came back off the bottom of the upright and was hacked clear. Despite forcing a number of corners in the last few minutes they could not breach the home defence and it was a relieved Sporting side that greeted the final whistle.

Manager Jimmy Greene was justifiably proud of his sides efforts and the manner in which they had matched their more illustrious opponents. In what was an outstanding team performance there were notable contributions from Trevor Moylan, Keith Armstrong, Robbie Egan and Jason Pohl but the man of the match award went to Brian Francis for a terrific defensive display.

Tullamore : Ger Dunne, Keith Armstrong, Brian Francis, Trevor Moylan, Michael Kenaney, Hafeez Sholola, Robbie Egan, Cathal Joyce, Jason Pohl, Michael Hoey and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Patrick McCarthy, Fergal Gorman and Thomas Carthy.

League of Ireland "A" Championship

Tullamore Town 3 Dundalk 1

Tullamore chalked up their fourth win of the season with this fine victory over Dundalk in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. Playing with great confidence they hit the front on fifteen minutes when a Hafeez Sholola cross was spectacularly headed into his own net by the Dundalk centre half, Ciaran McGuigan. They nearly increased their lead when Sholola cut the ball back to Michael Hoey but his effort flew outside the post. The home side again went close when Sholola chased down a long clearance but Nathaniel Cooney saved down low to his left and then Jason Pohl created danger on the right but Gary Clarke got across to clear. With Michael Hoey leading the line with great purpose, Town continued to press and they went further ahead on thirty five minutes. A dangerous Trevor Moylan cross was knocked behind and from the resultant corner Scott Delaney headed the ball back for Keith Armstrong to fire home from close range to leave the score 2-0 at the interval.

Tullamore got off to the best possible start on the resumption when a Hafeez Sholola corner broke out to Robbie Egan and he curled a superb shot inside the near post to put his side three up. As they continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges Scott Delaney headed over from a Trevor Moylan corner but Dundalk reduced the arrears on the hour when Johnny Breen fired home from ten yards. Town nearly restored their advantage following great play by Jason Pohl but Ciaran McGuigan cleared his effort off the line and then a Sholola corner was headed down by Shane Dowling to Pohl but he shot wide. With Martin Holleran and Pat McCarthy coming on, Tullamore held firm but on eighty minutes Keith Finnegan broke through only to be denied by a great Brian Francis tackle.

This was a welcome return to form for Tullamore in which there were excellent contributions from Brian Francis, Robbie Egan and Jason Pohl but the man of the match award went to their centre forward, Michael Hoey.

Tullamore : Ger Dunne, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Michael Kenaney, Keith Armstrong, Robbie Egan, Cathal Joyce, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Pohl and Michael Hoey.

Subs : Shane Dowling, Martin Holleran, Pat McCarthy, Fergal Gorman and Shane Shorthall.

League of Ireland "A" Championship

Tullamore Town 2 Drogheda Utd 1

Hafeez Sholola, Tullamore’s diminutive Nigerian magician, conjured up a goal of outrageous quality to win this pulsating tie in rain soaked Leah Victoria Park last Monday night, but more of that later. Despite the inclement conditions, one of the biggest crowds of the season turned up for the game, and they were served up a feast of attacking football from these two fine sides. The early stages gave little indication of what was to come as both teams probed for an opening, but with defences on top chances were at a premium. Drogheda were first to threaten on ten minutes when Colm Smyth broke clear on the left but Brian Francis cut out the danger with a superb sliding tackle. The home side went close when Jason Pohl crossed from the right and Jason Walsh’s fine volley was well held by Alex Reilly in the visitors goal and minutes later Robbie Egan saw his long range effort fly narrowly over. With thirty minutes gone Tullamore hit the front when Pohl picked the ball up from a throw in and his pin point cross was headed home in text book fashion by centre forward Shane Dowling for an excellent goal. Drogheda immediately hit back with Paul Montondo picking out Ronan McEntaggart on the left but his cross was too deep and they again threatened on forty minutes when Stephen Campbell played a great ball through to Montando, but with Ger Dunne coming quickly off his line, he lifted his shot onto the crossbar. Minutes later McEntaggart saw his fine twenty yard effort fly inches outside the left hand post while at the other end Tullamore nearly increased their lead when Walsh and Pohl combined to send Sholola clear on the right but his shot was hacked clear by Reilly at the near post. He again went close when he got on the end of a lovely knock on from Pohl but Stephen Murphy got across to clear the danger as the referee blew for half-time with Town one goal to the good.

Tullamore nearly scored within minutes of the restart when, following a Fergal Gorman corner, the ball broke to Jason Pohl in the box but his shot was narrowly wide. Drogheda hit back when Colm Smyth picked out Nicky Foster on the right but Stephen Duffy got across to head clear and when Foster returned the ball into the area, Stephen Campbell screwed his shot inches outside the post. As the game continued to ebb and flow, good play on the left by Sholola drew a free kick, with Gorman firing the ball across the face of the goal. Then, with sixty minutes on the clock, magic happened. Hafeez Sholola brilliantly beat his marker with an audacious back heel flick and, from fully thirty five yards, he fired an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the net for a goal that will live long in the memory of all who witnessed it. Five minutes later Stephen Campbell nearly produced his own piece of magic when his superb twenty five yard effort crashed off the underside of the crossbar and then Colm Smyth broke clear on the right but his cross was volleyed over by Ronan McEntaggart from fifteen yards. As Tullamore hit back Fergal Gorman picked out Jason Pohl but his shot was too high while at the other end Stephen Duffy knocked an Aidan Bissett cross behind and, from the resultant corner, Smyth sent his half volley narrowly over. With Michael Hoey coming on, Tullamore looked to kill the game off and they were desperately unlucky when Scott Delaney got on the end of a Sholola corner but his powerful header was hooked off the line. But Drogheda were far from finished and with five minutes remaining Derek Kierans played the ball inside to Stephen Campbell and his fine twenty yard effort flew into the bottom right hand corner to put his side back in the game. Jason Pohl nearly capped a fine display when his thirty yard effort was scrambled around the post by Reilly but with minutes remaining controversy erupted. McEntaggart fired in an angled cross that was headed home by Campbell, but the Drogheda celebrations were cut short by the linesmans flag as Tullamore breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Town have now taken seven points from their last four games, proof positive of the tremendous strides being made by them under manager Jimmy Greene. In what was a hugely entertaining game there were excellent contributions from Scott Delaney, Jason Pohl and Hafeez Sholola with Stephen Murphy, Paul Montando and Stephen Campbell the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Brian Francis.

Tullamore : Ger Dunne, Stephen Duffy, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Fergal Gorman, Jason Walsh, Robbie Egan, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Pohl and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Michael Hoey, Keith Armstrong, Trevor Moylan, Martin Holleran and Derry Guinan.

League of Ireland A Championship

Finn Harps 1 Tullamore Town 1

Tullamore made the long trip to Donegal last Saturday and returned with a well deserved share of the points. Having been beaten at home by the Ballybofey side only a few weeks previously this was a very satisfactory result as Town demonstrated that they are improving with every game. They were typically slow to start and were lucky not to fall behind in the early stages when goalkeeper Ger Dunne sliced his attempted clearance straight to striker Blair Curtis but he recovered superbly to smother the ball out for a corner. With fifteen minutes on the clock Fergal Gorman fired a fine twenty yard effort inches over as Tullamore began to find their feet but Harps again went close when Chris McBride blasted a free kick goalwards that was brilliantly tipped over by Dunne and from the resultant corner Michael Boyle headed narrowly over. Tullamore again threatened when Alan Corboy got on the end of a Jason Pohl corner but his header was well held by Shane O’Gara in the Harps goal. They should have taken the lead in the fortieth minute when Michael Boyle skewed his attempted clearance to Shane Dowling on the edge of the area but his shot lacked conviction and was easily saved and to compound the missed opportunity Shane O’Connor gathered the clearance and transferred the ball to Gary Merritt who sent a great thirty yard effort into the top right hand corner of the net to leave the score 1-0 at the interval.

Manager Jimmy Greene introduced Hafeez Shalola on the resumption and his effect was immediate as his speed and close control began to unnerve the home defence. In the fiftieth minute he took off on a mazy run that saw him leave four defenders in his wake only to be denied by a great save from Shane O’Gara who managed to tip the ball around the post but from the corner Fergal Gorman’s perfect delivery was headed powerfully into the roof of the net by Scott Delaney for a superb equaliser. Sholola again created havoc in the home defence when he went on another great run and cut the ball back to Shane Dowling but his shot was deflected out for a corner. With both sides going all out for a winner the game continued to ebb and flow but with both defences holding firm chances were at a premium but with minutes remaining Harps nearly stole it. Chris McBride latched onto a long ball over the top but just as he was about to pull the trigger Stephen Duffy dispossessed him with a wonderful last ditch tackle to ensure a share of the points for his side .

Overall a draw was probably a fair result and it was a very happy group of players and supporters who made the long trip back to Tullamore.

In what was a fine team performance there were excellent contributions from Scott Delaney, Brian Francis, Stephen Duffy, Robbie Egan and Hafeez Sholola but for his all round display the man of the match award went to Fergal Gorman.

Tullamore : Ger Dunne, Stephen Duffy, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Fergal Gorman, Jason Walsh, Robbie Egan, Damian Kelleher, Jason Pohl and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Hafeez Sholola, Thomas Carthy, Stephen Francis, Michael Kenaney and Trevor Moylan.

League of Ireland A Championship

Tullamore Town  0   Shelbourne  1

An inspired second half performance by Shelbourne goalkeeper Stephen Trimble ensured that his side left Leah Victoria Park last Saturday with all three points. In a quiet opening Tullamore were first to threaten when Brian Francis got on the end of an Alan Corboy free but his header cleared the bar while at the other end Danny Murphy pounced on a loose throw out but his shot flashed across the face of the goal. With eighteen minutes on the clock Stephen Duffy and Jason Walsh combined to set up Shane Dowling but his effort flew the wrong side of the post and straight from the kick out Murphy latched onto a long clearance and coolly guided the ball into the bottom right hand corner to put the visitors in front. As they looked to press home their advantage Lee Kearns got on the end of a Jack Flynn free kick but his header flew inches wide. Almost on the stroke of half time Town nearly equalised when Stephen Duffy played a great ball out to Fergal Gorman on the right but he was fouled and from the resultant free kick Alan Corboy saw his header saved on the line by Stephen Trimble to leave the score at 1-0 in Shelbourne’s favour at the interval.

Tullamore began the second half in determined fashion with Scott Delaney spraying a long ball out to Shane Dowling and his cross picked out Michael Kenaney but his header was charged down. Delaney again played a great ball out to Kenaney on the left and his dangerous cross was just nicked away from the inrushing Fergal Gorman by Alberto Pinto and from the resultant corner Alan Corboy headed over. Robbie Egan then picked out Jason Walsh and his lofted effort was well held by Stephen Trimble, but this was only the start of his heroics. With an hour gone Corboy found Shane Dowling twenty five yards out and his thunderous drive was brilliantly tipped over by the Shels keeper and from the corner Delaney headed narrowly wide. As Town continued to press Cathal Joyce headed the ball down to Corboy but Andrew Treacy got across with a great block tackle to snuff out the danger and Dowling then raced onto a fine Gorman through ball but Trimble was quickly off his line to block his effort. They again went tantalisingly close when Jason Walsh got on the end of a Duffy cross, cleverly stepped inside his marker, but dragged his shot past the far post. Brian Francis, Walsh and Kenaney then combined to pick out Shane Dowling but again Trimble produced a superb tip over save to deny him. Dowling again went close when he shot inches past the right post as manager Jimmy Greene pushed Scott Delaney into the attack in an attempt to breach the Shels rearguard. Dowling then knocked the ball on to Martin Holleran but his shot was deflected wide and from the resultant kick Fergal Gorman saw his corner fly across the face of the goal. With five minutes remaining Stephen Duffy got on the end of an Alan Corboy free but he swept his shot outside the post and then in the last minute Stephen Trimble capped a wonderful individual performance with a remarkable double save. Keith Armstrong fired in a vicious cross shot that he managed to scramble off the line and as Jason Walsh crashed the rebound goalwards he managed to recover to spectacularly tip the ball over and deny the home side a share of the points.

While Tullamore may feel they were well and truly “trimbled” on the night they will take heart from what was a great second half performance but they know they will need to turn possession into scores if they are to lift themselves up the League table. There were excellent contributions from Scott Delaney, Stephen Duffy, Jason Walsh and Shane Dowling while Stuart Grehan, Alberto Pinto and Cian McDonald were the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Shelbourne’s outstanding goalkeeper, Stephen Trimble.

Tullamore : Derry Guinan, Stephen Duffy, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Fergal Gorman, Jason Walsh, Robbie Egan, Cathal Joyce, Michael Kenaney and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Martin Holleran, Keith Armstrong, Pat McCarthy and Dean Molloy. 

League of Ireland A Championship

Tullamore Town 2 Sligo Rovers 1

Coming on the back of three successive defeats this was a very welcome return to form as a full strength Tullamore side deservedly took all three points in a very entertaining game in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. They were quickly into their stride with Fergal Gorman flashing in a deep cross that just missed out Jason Pohl and then Robbie Egan and Pohl combined to set up Shane Dowling but his shot flew over. With ten minutes gone Gorman was taken down on the edge of the area and Trevor Moylan saw his free deflected out for a corner and from the resultant kick Scott Delaney headed narrowly over. Sligo threatened when Mark McGoldrick broke clear on the right but Ger Dunne was quickly down to save while at the other end good play by Hafeez Sholola on the right saw his shot fly the wrong side of the near post. With quarter of an hour gone the home side hit the front when Dowling latched onto a loose clearance and showed commendable composure before slotting the ball into the right hand corner of the net. As they continued to press Pohl picked out Jason Walsh but Anthony Havlin saved well and Pohl was again in the thick of the action when, in attempting to defend a free kick, he nearly put through his own goal. Tullamore almost increased their lead following great play by Sholola but his right wing cross just missed out Shane Dowling and then Sholola and Pohl combined to send Moylan clear but his shot was charged down. It was not all one way traffic as Brian Francis had to be at his best to deny McGoldrick as he broke clear on the right. With forty minutes on the clock Town again went close when Egan picked out Fergal Gorman at the far post and his shot squirmed under Havlin but the keeper managed to get to the ball before it crossed the line. But they were not to be denied on the stroke of half time when Jason Pohl got on the end of a great Alan Corboy through ball and lifted his shot into the roof of the net to leave the score 2-0 at the interval.

Tullamore continued in attacking mode on the resumption with Pohl surging through the Sligo defence before picking out Shane Dowling but Anthony Havlin saved well while at the other end Mark McGoldrick broke clear through the middle but Ger Dunne was quickly off his line to block his effort. Hafeez Sholola went close when his deep cross flew inches outside the far post and then Robbie Egan and Jason Walsh combined to set up Jason Pohl but his shot was wide. They again went tantalisingly close when a brilliant run on the left by Pohl saw him pick out Shane Dowling in front of goal but Havlin brought off a great save to deny him. Sholola fired in a deep cross that Shane Brannigan managed to knock out for a corner and then Jason Walsh saw his fine long range effort clear the crossbar. As the pressure continued to mount Alan Corboy got on the end of a Dowling knock on but his shot was deflected over. With sixty five minutes gone Cathal Joyce played a great ball through to Dowling and his deep cross was headed back by Pohl to Robbie Egan only for Havlin to bring off a great one handed save to deny him. As Sligo hit back Colm Jinks headed wide when well placed and then James Carthy got on the end of a McGoldrick cross but Trevor Moylan got back to scoop the ball off the line. With eighty minutes on the clock the visitors were back in the game when Dunne failed to hold a Jason McCartney shot and Paul Curry fired the rebound home to set up a grand stand finish. Moylan did well to head a dangerous McGoldrick cross over while at the other end Cathal Joyce picked out Michael Kenaney on the left and his clever chip was tipped over by Havlin. With minutes remaining fine play by Ciaran Brick on the right saw him pick out Mark McGoldrick but Ger Dunne brought off a superb save down low to his left to deny him.

This was an outstanding attacking performance by Tullamore with notable contributions from Brian Francis, Robbie Egan, Jason Walsh, Hafeez Sholola and Fergal Gorman while Danny Keohane, Colm Jinks, Stephen Wallace and Mark McGoldrick were the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s match winner, Jason Pohl.

Tullamore : Ger Dunne, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Walsh, Robbie Egan, Fergal Gorman, Jason Pohl and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Cathal Joyce, Michael Kenaney, Keith Armstrong, Martin Halloran and Shane Shortall.

League of Ireland A Championship

Tullamore Town  1   Finn Harps  3

A disastrous opening twenty minutes, that saw Tullamore concede three goals and lose their goalkeeper to injury, ensured they were left with a mountain to climb in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. With only three minutes on the clock they went behind when Alan Corboy misjudged a long clearance out of defence and as Joe Mooney advanced from goal he lost his footing, leaving Jamie Gallagher with a simple tap in. Five minutes later Mooney was forced off with Jason Walsh coming on and centre half Scott Delaney taking over in goal. Minutes later James Connolly latched onto a loose clearance and cracked his shot off the inside of the post but it was only a temporary respite as Gallagher picked his way through the home defence before firing home. With twenty minutes gone Harps went further ahead when a fine long range effort from Connolly cannoned back off the upright and the predatory Gallagher was on hand to complete his hat-trick. As Tullamore attempted to hit back Jason Pohl knocked the ball down to Shane Dowling but Shane O’Gara saved down low to his left. With thirty three minutes on the clock they again went close when Stephen Duffy and Dowling combined to pick out Jason Walsh who surged into the area only to be denied by a superb save from O’Gara. With the interval approaching Duffy fired a long range effort over as the referee blew for half time with the home side three goals in arrears.

A much more focussed Tullamore team took the field for the second half with Shane Dowling testing O’Gara with a fine long range effort and then Jason Walsh played a lovely through ball to Dowling but he was crowded out. As they continued to press Damian Kelleher sent Michael Hoey clear but Shane O’Gara was quickly off his line to avert the danger and then Jason Pohl and Walsh combined but Conor McNulty got across to clear. Pohl then fired in a great left wing cross that was met at the near post by Dowling but his effort flew inches wide. As they continued to pile forward in search of a goal Walsh picked out Dowling on the right and his cross found Pohl but his header was deflected out for a corner. With seventy five minutes gone Fergal Gorman replaced Cathal Joyce and his impact was immediate as, with his first touch, he played a superb pass through to Shane Dowling in the inside right channel and he expertly lifted the ball over the advancing O’Gara for a richly deserved score. As Harps hit back Conor Carlin fired a thirty yard free inches over while at the other end a fine Pohl cross broke to Stephen Duffy in the area but O’Gara got down well to deny him. With minutes remaining Trevor Moylan saw his vicious free kick hooked off the line and then Robbie Egan picked out Dowling on the edge of the area but his fine effort just cleared the crossbar. With the match drifting into injury time they again went tantalisingly close when Dowling picked out Pohl on the left and his probing cross just missed out the inrushing Kelleher as Town were left to rue their lethargic start to the game.

Assistant manager Tommy Hewitt will take heart from his teams fine second half performance in which there were excellent contributions from Shane Dowling, Jason Pohl, Damian Kelleher and Hafeez Sholola while Conor Carlin, James Connolly, and Jamie Gallagher were the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Finn Harps outstanding central defender, Conor McNulty .

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Robbie Egan, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Trevor Moylan, Damian Kelleher, Stephen Duffy, Cathal Joyce, Jason Pohl, Michael Hoey and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Jason Walsh, Hafeez Sholola, Fergal Gorman, Michael Kenaney and Martin Halloran.

League of Ireland A Championship

Tullamore Town  0   Sporting Fingal  3

Tullamore’s League of Ireland ambitions were severely dented in Leah Victoria Park last week when they were comprehensively outclasses by a very impressive Sporting Fingal side. The visitors were quickly into their stride with Joe Mooney bringing off a fine save to deny Anto McKay and then Steve Cummins flashed a free kick inches outside the left hand post. Sporting should have taken the lead on twenty minutes when Mooney failed to cut out a dangerous cross but Niall Cullen fired his shot across the face of the goal. As they tightened their grip on midfield Cummins picked out Jordan Nolan but Alan Corboy got across to snuff out the danger and then Jason Marks put Nolan clear but Mooney was quickly off his line to deny him. Tullamore threatened when Michael Hoey got on the end of a long ball but Cullen got across to clear while at the other end Philly Hand fired in a fine cross that was headed over by Cummins. As Tullamore struggled to retain possession the visitors again went close when Cummins tried to lob the keeper but Mooney blocked his effort and when the ball broke back to Cummins he drove his shot past the right post. Just as they appeared to have weathered the storm Town were hit with a double blow on the stroke of half time. First Anto McKay picked the ball up thirty five yards out and fired a superb effort into the top left hand corner and then Jamie Duffy nodded home at the back post to leave the score 2-0 at the interval.

Assistant manager Tommy Hewitt tried to shake things up with the introduction of Shane Dowling and Hafeez Sholola but it was business as usual as Robbie Egan had to be at his best to deny Jason Marks as he broke clear on the left. With fifty five minutes gone the visitors increased their lead when Jordan Nolan threaded a lovely ball through to Anto McKay and he fired his shot under the diving Mooney from close range to put his side three up. Tullamore nearly reduced the arrears when Egan played in Dowling but his effort drifted outside the far post and then Damian Kelleher fired over from 30 yards. Stephen Duffy tried his luck when he broke through the middle but Jake Rossiter got down to save while at the other end Niall Cullen got on the end of a Philly Hand free but his header was inches over. Sporting again went close when Hand won back possession and cut the ball back to Steve Cummins but his shot struck the crossbar and then Marks floated in a deep cross that was fired wide by Marcus Bailey at the back post. As the visitors continued to dominate Joe Mooney brought off two great point blank saves in quick succession to deny Nolan and Cummins following a corner. With time almost up Alan Corboy fired a fine effort over from 40 yards and then Kelleher put Dowling through but Rossiter saved superbly as the visitors ran out comfortable winners.

In what was a disappointing team performance there were fine contributions from Alan Corboy, Damian Kelleher and Shane Dowling with Philly Ward, Keith Murray and Anto McKay the pick of the visitors but the man of the match award went to Sporting Fingal’s Jamie Duffy.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Robbie Egan, Michael Kenaney, Cathal Joyce, Damian Kelleher, Stephen Duffy, Michael Hoey and Jason Pohl.

Subs : Shane Dowling, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Walsh, Fergal Gorman and Martin Halloran. 

Newstalk League of Ireland A Championship

Dundalk 2 Tullamore Town 1

Tullamore travelled to Dundalk last Saturday and after a hard fought encounter were unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the spoils. Played on a synthetic surface they got off to the worst possible start when, with only a minute gone, they failed to deal with a long ball through the middle and the home teams centre forward coolly lobbed the advancing Joe Mooney from the edge of the area. With twenty minutes on the clock they fell further behind when they lost possession following a corner and the Dundalk left winger raced into the area where he was taken down, with the resultant penalty being easily converted. Tullamore nearly reduced the arrears on the half hour when Brian Francis raced onto a great Jason Pohl through ball but the keeper kept his effort out with his feet and minutes later Michael Kenaney fired in a fine cross which was headed inches wide by Michael Hoey.

Tullamore began the second half with all guns blazing and within minutes of the restart were back in the game when Jason Pohl got on the end of an Alan Corboy free kick to fire home from ten yards. With Corboy supplying the crosses Michael Hoey went close with a header and Pohl nearly equalised when he got on the end of a Michael Kenaney cross. With seventy minutes gone Tullamore thought they had equalised when following a Corboy free kick the Dundalk keeper parried a Scott Delaney header with Delaney driving the rebound home, but their celebrations were cut short by the linesmans flag. Manager Jimmy Greene introduced young Martin Holleran who showed some lovely touches as they continued to press for the elusive equaliser. Dundalk were reduced to ten men with quarter of an hour remaining following a second yellow card, but despite their numerical advantage Tullamore could not breach the home rearguard.

There were excellent contributions from Cathal Joyce, Brian Francis and Michael Kenaney, but the man of the match award went to the outstanding Jason Pohl.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Colm Coss, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Robbie Egan, Brian Francis, Cathal Joyce, Michael Kenaney, Jason Pohl and Michael Hoey.

Subs : Martin Holleran, David Walsh and Fergal Gorman.

Newstalk League of Ireland A Championship

Tullamore Town 4 Castlebar Celtic 1

Tullamore Town got their title challenge firmly back on track in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday as they clocked up their biggest winning margin since returning to the League of Ireland two years ago. With assistant manager Tommy Hewitt in charge they were quickly into their stride with Brian Francis firing over from 20 yards within minutes of the start. They hit the front on ten minutes when Hafeez Sholola swung in a free from the right and Scott Delaney powered a superb header into the roof of the net to give Declan Kilkelly in the Celtic goal no chance. Town again went close when Jason Pohl got on the end of another deep cross from Sholola but his effort was too high. With twenty minutes gone they increased their lead when Stephen Duffy played a great ball down the right to Jason Pohl and, as Kilkelly raced from his line to try and avert the danger, the right winger unselfishly transferred the ball inside to Shane Dowling who fired it into the unguarded net. As they continued to press Francis picked out the overlapping Robbie Egan but his fine cross was headed clear and minutes later they should have gone further ahead when Brian Francis ran on to a defence splitting pass from Dowling but Kilkelly saved down low to his right. As Castlebar looked to get back in the game Pat Fitzgerald broke clear on the right but Joe Mooney got down to save and then Andy Neary fired in a dangerous cross which was headed over by Joseph O’Reilly. On forty minutes Tullamore went further ahead when Robbie Egan fired in a deep cross which was driven home at the far post from the narrowest of angles by Hafeez Sholola. With minutes remaining in the first half the visitors were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty which was coolly despatched by James Minogue and they nearly reduced the arrears further when James Fallon played a great ball through to Chris Rowland but Mooney was quickly off his line to snuff out the danger and leave the score 3-1 at the interval.

Town went straight into the attack on the resumption with Michael Hoey picking out Hafeez Sholola on the right and his fine run and cross was headed clear while at the other end James Fallon got on the end of a long ball out of defence but fired over. Shane Dowling then played a lovely ball out to Sholola on the left and his angled drive flew inches outside the near post. They again went close when Sholola picked out the overlapping Trevor Moylan who returned the ball to him but Declan Kilkelly saved well. With sixty five minutes on the clock Colm Coss made a great surging run out of defence before being taken down with Sholola firing the resultant free kick over. Castlebar went close when James Minogue got on the end of a Pat Fitzgerald free kick but his header was just wide and Tullamore again threatened when Hoey knocked the ball back to Brian Francis but his effort was superbly charged down by Declan Flynn. But they were not to be denied when, on seventy minutes, Stephen Duffy chased down a loose ball on the left and fired in a terrific cross which was brilliantly headed home by Cathal Joyce. As Celtic continued to battle James Fallon fired over from twenty yards while at the other end Hoey got on the end of a long clearance but Kilkelly made a fine save as the home side ran out comprehensive winners.

Following on the previous weeks set back against Drogheda this was a wonderfully confident display that augers well for the coming weeks. Tullamore have a difficult assignment away to Dundalk next weekend where they will be hoping to build on this fine performance. There were excellent contributions from goalkeeper Joe Mooney, Hafeez Sholola and debutants Robbie Egan and Shane Dowling, but the man of the match award went to Town’s outstanding midfielder, Stephen Duffy.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Robbie Egan, Colm Coss, Scott Delaney, Trevor Moylan, Hafeez Sholola, Brian Francis, Stephen Duffy, Jason Pohl, Michael Hoey and Shane Dowling.

Subs : Cathal Joyce, Alan Corboy, Jason Walsh, Fergal Gorman and Michael Kenaney.

Ford FAI Cup 3rd Round

Tullamore Town 1 Salthill Devon 3

Extra Time Match Report

Two goals from Charlie Burke and one from substitute Mike Kennedy saw Salthill Devon dump hard working Tullamore Town out of the FAI Cup at Leah Victoria Park on Saturday night. Ultimately this was a game that was decided by defensive errors although it was difficult to tell if Salthill’s left back Gearoid O’Leidhinn had done anything wrong when Hafeez Sholola tumbled to the ground as both players jockeyed under a high ball in the 24th minute. But the referee thought he had and, to the delight of the home crowd, he awarded a penalty that Trevor Moylan converted confidently. It was perhaps unfair on Salthill who had made most of the running up to that point, the muscular Burke causing a good deal of concern in the Tullamore box and strong running from O’Leidhinn and Shane Browne down the left flank testing Moylan and Scott Delaney in the home defence.
Tullamore goalkeeper, Joe Mooney, looked increasingly uncomfortable under high balls as Salthill picked away at the home sides confidence during an opening half that was scrappy and unpredictable. On the half hour mark Mooney took two attempts to collect the ball under a strong challenge from Burke and then, moments later, he came for a Luke McConnell corner and missed. Mike Quirke collected the loose ball and slipped a pass to Brian Geraghty whose curling shot cleared the crossbar. As time went on the home defence grew increasingly nervous and manager Jimmy Greene would have been willing the half time whistle to sound. Tragically for Greene it didn’t come in time. In the second minute of stoppage time O’Leidhinn ran to the byline and flung in a cross that Mooney only succeeded in palming away. Fortunately the loose ball fell into space. Unfortunately the young ‘keeper chose to follow it out of his box and play it down the line instead of into the trees. It landed at the feet of Paddy Quinlan who sent it arcing back over Mooney’s head and into the box where Shane Browne’s shot was flicked into the net by the forehead of Charlie Burke and Salthill were level.

The second half brought two early chances for Tullamore to restore their lead. Mick Goodings thrashing a shot over the bar from an excellent pass by Michael Hoey and a stinging free from Moylan forced Ronan Forde into a good save at the foot of his left hand post. But in the 59th minute it was Salthill who hit the front. A typically strong run and cross from O’Leidhinn was headed home by the unmarked substitute Mike Kennedy who had been on the pitch for less than a minute. Four minutes later it was all over. Another McConnell corner was met by James Whelan but as his header drifted wide an infringement had been spotted and once again the referee was pointing at the spot. Burke duly made it 3-1 to Salthill and, although Tullamore fought on and finished well, a comeback was never really on the cards. A Scott Delaney header and a looping shot from Stephen Francis might have made a contest of it but so too might Burke, Shane Stenson and Shane Browne have made Salthill’s victory more emphatic. So the league’s bottom club advance to the fourth round of the FAI Cup for the first time in their history and a tired and bruised Tullamore must shelve their Cup dreams for another year.

Tullamore Town: Joe Mooney; Trevor Moylan, Scott Delaney, Brian Francis, Alan Corboy (Michael Kenaney, 65); Hafeez Sholola (Fergal Gorman, 84), Stephen Duffy, Stephen Francis, Michael Hoey, Jason Pohl; Mark Goodings (Gary Buckley, 70).
Subs not used: Dean Molloy, Simon Keegan, Marty Halloran, Stuart Kavanagh
Bookings: Sholola, Hoey, Francis.

Salthill Devon: Ronan Forde; Paddy Quinlan, Brian Geraghty, James Whelan, Gearoid O’Leidhinn; Sean Boyle, Luke McConnell (John McGrath, 76), Mike Quirke (Shane Stenson, 71), Shane Browne; Charles Burke, Sean Murphy (Mike Kennedy, 58).
Subs not used: Gerry Dolan, Marty Mannion
Bookings: O’Leidhinn.

Extratime Man of the Match: Luke McConnell.

Referee: C Fitzgerald

Disappointment for Tullamore Manager Greene

Speaking to Extratime on Saturday night, Tullamore Town manager Jimmy Greene was clearly disappointed to see his side slip out of the FAI Cup after their 3-1 defeat to Salthill Devon. Having taken an early lead through a Trevor Moylan penalty the key moment came when an error by the home side’s young goalkeeper presented Salthill with an equaliser in the dying seconds of the first half.“I’m very disappointed because I thought we did very well in the first half. We actually limited them to no shots at all and we looked to be coasting to half time with one goal up. And all of a sudden we make a mistake. I think our ‘keeper should have put the ball over the line and into the trees but we gave away a silly goal and about a minute afterwards the whistle is blown for half time. But I was still happy enough at that stage with our performance.

Sadly for Tullamore there were further mistakes in the second half.

“As I said before the game we were looking for a performance to build on things here at the club but unfortunately I think in the second half we gave them an earlyish enough goal, a soft enough header. Kennedy came on and we actually hadn’t dealt with the second player up front and he got in behind and I think the ‘keeper, again, he should have came and taken the ball but he didn’t and Kennedy got a free header in."

"He was only on two minutes at that stage and we hadn’t dealt with him and we were a little bit small at the back as well to deal with crosses. We shouldn’t have allowed the cross to come over in the first place.”

Conceding a penalty shortly afterwards sealed Tullamore’s exit from this year’s FAI Cup and again Greene felt that mistakes were made by his team. But he was keen to emphasise the positives for a young side that still have plenty to look forward to in the season ahead.

“I think they got a soft enough penalty. It was our own fault really, I don’t really have any complaints with the penalty itself but I think leading up to the penalty our player was dragged to the ground by their number five (James Whelan) and it was never dealt with... and in frustration at not getting a free out, I suppose, he gave away a penalty. But these are the things you’ve got to learn from. Our players have got to learn from that."

"A lot of these players are coming from Junior backgrounds and sometimes they make mistakes that a senior player wouldn’t make. We made those mistakes and unfortunately we suffered because of them. But look, I think as a club and as a team we’re moving forward anyway and that’s the important thing. We’re disappointed to be out of the Cup, we wish Salthill all the best, but you know, we move on from here and hopefully have a good season.”

Tullamore Town 1 Salthill Devon 3

Tullamore saw history slip through their fingers last Saturday as their attempt to reach the fourth round of the FAI Cup for the first time evaporated in the sunshine in Leah Victoria Park. With manager Jimmy Greene selecting an attacking lineup they were quickly into their stride with Stephen Francis playing the ball through to Mark Goodings but he was marginally offside and then Jason Pohl and Alan Corboy combined to pick out Michael Hoey in the area but James Whelan got across to knock the ball out for a corner. They again went close when Gearoid O’Leidhinn lost possession in midfield and Hafeez Sholola raced clear but he elected to cut inside and lost possession. With twenty five minutes gone Tullamore hit the front when Hoey found Pohl on the left and as Hafeez looked to get on the end of his cross he was taken down with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Dead ball expert Trevor Moylan made no mistake as he rifled the ball inside the right post to put his side in front. As Salthill hit back Brian Geraghty fired over following a corner while at the other end a great weaving run by Sholola ended with Ronan Forde smothering his dangerous cross. As the first half drifted into injury time disaster struck when Shane Brown picked out the overlapping O’Leidhinn and as his cross eluded the defence Paddy Quinlan floated the ball over the stranded Joe Mooney with Scott Delaney heading the ball off the line. Unfortunately it fell to Browne on the edge of the area and his half volley was headed home by Charlie Burke from close range to leave the score 1-1 at the interval.

On the resumption Tullamore again went close when Michael Hoey played a great through ball to Mark Goodings but his attempted lob just cleared the bar and then Ronan Forde did well to beat away a swerving free kick from Trevor Moylan down low to his left. With Mike Kennedy coming on for Sean Murphy his impact was immediate when he got on the end of a Gearoid O’Leidhinn cross to head home. As they looked to press home their advantage O’Leidhinn picked out Sean Boyle but his volley was well saved by Joe Mooney and then Shane Browne broke clear on the left but Trevor Moylan did brilliantly to get back to knock the ball out for a corner. As the corner kick was floated in Charlie Burke was taken down in the area with the same player firing home the resultant penalty to put his side two up. As manager Jimmy Greene began to ring the changes Michael Kenaney and Gary Buckley were introduced as they looked to get back in the game and they went close when Scott Delaney got on the end of a Moylan free but his header was well saved by Ronan Forde. As they continued to press Stephen Francis fired inches over while at the other end Burke saw his free kick flash past the right hand post. As Tullamore began to visibly tire O’Leidhinn fired in a dangerous cross with Michael Kenaney making two wonderful goal line clearances as Salthill ran out deserving winners.

This was a game that for long periods Tullamore looked like they could win but defensive lapses at crucial stages cost them dearly. There were outstanding performances from Scott Delaney, Brian Francis, Michael Kenaney, Stephen Duffy, Michael Hoey and Mark Goodings but the man of the match award went to Salthill’s excellent midfielder, Luke McConnell.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Hafeez Sholola, Stephen Francis, Stephen Duffy, Jason Pohl, Michael Hoey and Mark Goodings.

Subs : Michael Kenaney, Gary Buckley, Fergal Gorman, Simon Keegan, Stuart Kavanagh, Martin Halloran and Dean Molloy.

Newstalk League of Ireland "A" Championship

Shelbourne 0 Tullamore Town 0

Tullamore travelled to Dublin last Saturday for their opening league fixture and came away with a hard earned draw against Shelbourne. Played in sweltering heat they exhibited tremendous resilience and organisation against a talented Shels outfit. With their back four of Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney and Michael Kenaney outstanding throughout and Cathal Joyce and Stephen Francis working tirelessly in midfield they ensured that the home side were reduced to a handful of half chances. The first real scoring opportunity fell to Michael Hoey when he got on the end of a Joyce through ball but his shot from the edge of the area was saved by the Shels keeper.

The second half continued in similar vein with both defences on top and chances at a premium. With seventy minutes gone Tullamore nearly made the breakthrough when Michael Hoey took a Gary Buckley cross down on his chest, turned and rifled his shot towards the top corner, but the keeper superbly turned the ball over the bar. As Town began to tire in the last fifteen minutes, the home side went all out for a winner as they switched to a four man strike force in an attempt to break the deadlock. With three minutes remaining they almost succeeded when their centre forward broke through but Michael Kenaney did brilliantly to get across to avert the danger, with Joe Mooney clearing the loose ball as the referee brought proceedings to a close.

This was a really solid start to their league campaign and showed the progress made under manager Jimmy Greene over the last three months. Unbeaten in their last three games they are now looking forward with confidence to their mouth watering clash with Salthill Devon in the 3rd Round of the FAI Cup in two weeks time.

In what was an excellent team performance there were outstanding contributions from Scott Delaney, Cathal Joyce, Stephen Francis and Michael Hoey but for the second week running the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s central defender, Brian Francis.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Michael Kenaney, Stephen Duffy, Cathal Joyce, Stephen Francis, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Pohl and Michael Hoey.

Subs : Gary Buckley, Simon Keegan, Mark Goodings, Fergal Gorman and Ayuba Salaudeen.

Ford FAI Cup 2nd Round

Tullamore Town  2   Fairview Rangers (Limerick) 1

Tullamore Town qualified for the third round of the FAI Cup with this very impressive showing against Limerick side Fairview Rangers in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. With manager Jimmy Greene fielding possibly his strongest starting lineup the players produced a tremendous performance that saw them safely into the next round. They started brightly with Stephen Duffy playing in Michael Hoey but his shot was charged down by Brian Buckley and then an Alan Corboy free was knocked back to Hoey but his attempted volley was too high. With Stephen Francis and Cathal Joyce establishing a stranglehold in midfield Tullamore enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and they again created danger when Francis played a lovely ball out to Hafeez Sholola on the left but his probing cross was knocked clear by Buckley. With twenty minutes gone Jonathan Grant picked out Gary Hannon but from the acutest of angles he fired into the side netting. Five minutes later Sholola gained possession on the left and  brilliantly skipped past two defenders before bringing a fine save from Rob Crowley at his near post. Grant again threatened when his long range effort flew outside the left hand post and they went even closer when Grant knocked the ball down to Darren O’Sullivan but Joe Mooney brought off a superb point blank save to deny him. With thirty six minutes on the clock Tullamore hit the front when Sholola floated a free kick into the area and Michael Hoey sent a lovely glancing header into the back of the net. As the visitors looked to hit back Darren O’Sullivan weaved his way into the area but Scott Delaney got across to deny him and then on the stroke of half time Town increased their lead in spectacular fashion. Cathal Joyce won the ball in midfield and picked out Stephen Duffy on the right, he transferred it to Michael Hoey who played a great ball through to Hafeez Shalola and from the edge of the area he rifled his shot into the roof of the net to give his side a two goal advantage at the break.

Straight from the restart Fairview were nearly back in the game when Scott Delaney’s back pass fell short but Mooney was quickly off his line to clear and then Tommy Barrett got on the end of a Darren O’Sullivan cross but his header was just over. Jason Pohl created an opening for Hafeez Sholola but his shot was wide and then Delaney and Hoey combined to pick out Pohl but his effort was charged down. With sixty five minutes on the clock Rangers hit back when Ross Cosgrove played the ball out to Jonathan Grant on the left and his cross was fired into the roof of the net by Tommy Barrett to put his side back in the game. With Tullamore reeling Grant again created danger when he broke clear in the inside left channel but his shot flew outside the far post while at the other end great play between Gary Buckley and Jason Pohl saw Paul Danagher nearly put the ball in his own net in attempting to clear. With eighty minutes gone fine play by Sholola forced the concession of a corner and from the resultant kick Brian Francis saw his low drive taken off the line and then Pohl played a superb ball through to Sholola but Rob Crowley brought off a great point blank save to deny him. With five minutes remaining Fairview nearly equalised when a long ball out of defence broke back to Barrett but he dragged his shot outside the left upright. With the home side finishing the stronger Buckley played a lovely ball through to Simon Keegan but Crowley got down well to save and then Cathal Joyce saw his effort deflected for a corner as the referee brought proceedings to a close.

This was a tremendous win for Tullamore that will have left manager Jimmy Greene delighted. Regardless of who they draw in the next round, on the basis of this showing they will surely approach the game with new found confidence. In what was a fine all round performance there were excellent contributions from Scott Delaney, Cathal Joyce, Stephen Francis, Michael Hoey, Jason Pohl and Hafeez Sholola with Brian Buckley, Gary Hannon, Jonathan Grant and Willie O’Brien the pick of the visitors , but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding central defender, Brian Francis.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Brian Francis, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Stephen Duffy, Cathal Joyce, Stephen Francis, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Pohl and Michael Hoey.

Subs : Gary Buckley, Simon Keegan, Mark Goodings, Fergal Gorman and Michael Kenaney.

Fairview : Rob Crowley, Evin Hehir, Mike Ryan, Brian Buckley, Paul Danagher, Willie O’Brien, Gary Hannon, Tommy Barrett, Darren O’Sullivan, Jonathan Grant and Ross Cosgrove.

Subs : Wayne Bolger, Jason Purcell, Martin Neary, Christy Doyle and Mike Costello.

Newstalk “A” Championship Cup

Tullamore Town  2   Shelbourne  2

Tullamore came away with a share of the points against a youthful Shelbourne side in Leah Victoria Park last Tuesday. The visitors were first to threaten when Marwin Azima picked out Danny Murphy but Michael Kenaney got back to clear and then Joe Mooney failed to deal with a high cross but Brian Francis hooked the ball off the line. As Town hit back Jason Pohl got on the end of a Gary Buckley cross but his header was too high but with twenty minutes on the clock they hit the front. Stephen Trimble saved from Hafeez Sholola but his weak kick-out was seized on by Stephen Duffy who lashed the ball to the back of the net from twenty yards. The visitors nearly equalised when Murphy picked the ball up in the inside left channel but his shot flew outside the far post and Pohl then thought he had put his side two up when he got on the end of a Sholola free to send a fine header past Trimble but it was ruled out for offside. Shels  went agonisingly close when Azima played in Murphy but his effort scraped the right hand post and he again threatened when he got on the end of an Alberto Pinto through ball but Brian Francis got back to clear. With forty minutes gone Stephen Duffy nearly doubled his tally when he sent a rocket towards the top corner but Trimble brilliantly turned his shot over and from the resultant corner the ball was flicked on to Jason Pohl who buried it in the bottom right hand corner to put his side two up. The visitors response was immediate as Stuart Grehan fired in a deep cross to Azima but his header flashed inches wide. Minutes later Trevor Moylan won the ball in midfield and sent a great pass through to Sholola but Trimble saved superbly as the referee brought the first half to an end.

Tullamore were quickly into their stride on the resumption with Stephen Trimble doing well to punch a Michael Kenaney cross clear under pressure and he again came to his teams rescue when he got down smartly to save a Gary Buckley effort. With an hour on the clock Shelbourne were suddenly back in the game when Andy Harren broke clear but was taken down in the area with the referee pointing to the spot and Harren firing the penalty into the bottom right hand corner. He again went close when he fired in a fine thirty yard drive but Joe Mooney got down to his right to save and then Jason Pohl and Mark Goodings combined with Pohl sending his effort wide. As Tullamore began to visibly tire the impressive young Shels side moved into top gear and with two minutes remaining they deservedly equalised. Again the damage was done from the penalty spot with Jeremy Cooke firing the ball into the bottom right corner to give Mooney no chance. Town desperately tried to restore their lead with Michael Hoey sending a twenty five yard free over and then Pohl putting Goodings through but the excellent Trimble was quickly off his line to avert the danger as they had to be content with a share of the spoils.

In what was a very entertaining game there were fine contributions from Brian Francis, Michael Kenaney, Stephen Duffy and Stephen Francis with Stephen Trimble, Ian O’Reilly, Stephen Walshe, Jack Flynn and Cian McDonald the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s all action centre forward, Jason Pohl.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Ross Whittaker, Brian Francis, Michael Kenaney, Gary Buckley, Stephen Francis, Stephen Duffy, Hafeez Sholola, Jason Pohl and Michael Hoey.

Subs : Fergal Gorman, Cathal Joyce, Mark Goodings and Simon Keegan

EA Sports Cup 1st Round

Defensive errors cost Town as scoreline flatters Monaghan

Monaghan United 6 Tullamore Town 1

Monaghan United claimed their second 6-1 victory in four days when they overcame Tullamore Town at Gortakeegan to advance to a choice EA Sports League Cup encounter with Bohemians in May.

A Philly Hughes hat-trick and a brace from Sean Brennan helped United on their way in a match in which the spirited visitors actually started the brighter, forcing a number of early corners from one of which Ken Doyle flashed a header narrowly wide. With Simon Keegan and Mickey Hoey doing alot of work up front an upset looked possible

Tullamore's early domination was undone by some poor defending when United scored with their first meaningful attack, Cathal O’Connor’s cross from the right evading the head of Hughes but falling for Barry Clancy to nudge in near the post. Monaghan moved progressively into the game but credit to Tullamore when they matched them all through the park. Tullamore had some half chances for Mickey Hoey and Hafeez Sholola, and some wayward long range efforts from Brian Francis and Ayuba Salaudeen. Tullamore's injury jinx struck again on 20 minutes when left full Michael Kenaney had to limp off. He was replaced by Stephen Francis who has very little game or training time under his belt due to injury, but did well when he came on. The substitution forced Town Manager Jimmy Greene into some positional switches with Fergie Gorman switching from right to left full and Cathal Joyce switching from central midfield to right full. 

For Monaghan, Hughes, wasted two virtually open-goal chances, again due to some poor defensive work by the Town, before at the very end of the half, he swept a curling free-kick from the very edge of the box past a static Joe Mooney and into the net for a flattering 2-0 half time lead.

Mick Cooke’s men ruthlessly exploited the defensive frailties of Tullamore in the second half. Substitute Brennan ghosted in at the far post to convert an O’Connor low cross (54) who looked supiciously off side and the away support were quick to point this out to the linesman who was not up with the play. Four minutes later more defensive woe as a mis-hit clearence from Mooney led to a crude challenge by Cathal Joyce in the box, and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Hughes blasted home the fourth from the penalty spot.

A poor clearance from Town's Alan Corboy was pounced upon by Brennan who beat Joe Mooney with an elegant finish in the 63rd minute. Then Hughes completed his hat-trick with another free-kick from the cusp of the penalty area, this time a low drive through the wall that left Mooney stunned. But you would have to question the Tullamore 'keeper's positioning for the free kick.

Town never gave up the fight however, and after the intoduction of Gary Buckley and Jason Pohl, got a little reward in the 78th minute when Mickey Hoey got clear of the United defence and drove past the advancing Gabriel Sava. Four minutes from the end, Sean Brennan, who had claimed a hat-trick in United’s weekend demolition of Salthill Devon, threw away the chance of a memorable repeat when he blasted over the crossbar from the penalty spot.

The scorline will flatter United as their supporters acknowledged that Town had given them more of a game than Salthill Devon the previous Saturday, and Jimmy Greene will be hoping the injury list begins to clear up, but he also knows he has to work on the defensive frailties which cost his side badly. The small hardcore travelling support were left scratching their heads at a result which suggested that Tullamore were completely outclassed, but the truth is, that they can find comfort in the fact that they matched their first division conterparts for long periods of the game and if the can sort out the defensive issues quickly it may well be a good season.


Monaghan United: Sava; McMahon (McKevitt 53), Flynn, Gartland, Costigan; O’Connor, Tierney (McCrossan 64), Byrne, Clancy; Bermingham (Brennan 51), Hughes.
Subs not used: Kelly, Donnelly.

Tullamore Town: Mooney; Gorman, Doyle, Corboy, Kenaney (Francis 26); Sholola, Francis, Joyce, Salaudeen (Buckley 55); Hoey, Keegan (Pohl 70).
Subs not used: Molloy, Goodings.

EA Sports League Cup Preliminary Round

Tullamore Town 2 FC Carlow 2 (aet)

Tullamore won 4-3 on penalties

Tullamore capped off a memorable week under new manager Jimmy Greene with this thrilling win over a very good Carlow side in Leah Victoria Park last Sunday. They started brightly and nearly went ahead in the opening minutes when Michael Kenaney picked the ball up thirty five yards out and sent in a swerving shot that Gavin Dowling did well to tip over. Seven minutes into the game they found themselves in arrears when Greg Sykula pounced on a loose ball out of defence and was taken down in the area as he attempted to round goalkeeper, Joe Mooney, with Adam Byrne firing the resultant spot kick to the net. Looking to build on their advantage, Carlow went on the offensive with the dangerous Sykula at the heart of all their attacking options. With quarter of an hour gone Craig Hore picked out James Dermody on the left and then got on the end of his cross to drive the ball inches past the post and minutes later he set up Sykula but his volley was just too high. As Tullamore struggled to get back in the game Michael Hoey picked the ball up wide on the left and fired in a twenty yard effort that Dowling did well to hold down low to his right while at the other end a lovely reverse pass from Neale Phelan picked out Sykula but his shot drifted inches past the far post. With the visitors dominating proceedings chances were at a premium but in the fortieth minute Hafeez Sholola went close when his inswinging corner was hooked off the line by Dermody and then Pat McCarthy did well to get back to snuff out the danger as Craig Hore broke clear on the left. With minutes remaining in the first half Shane Mannion was forced out through injury, with Ayuba Salaudeen coming on, but it was Carlow who finished the half the stronger with Andrew Hickey firing over from Neale Phelan’s pass.

Tullamore began the second half in explosive fashion when straight from the kick-off Brian Francis won possession in midfield and found Michael Hoey who rolled the ball into the path of Hafeez Sholola who blasted it into the back of the net for his third goal in three matches. Michael Kenaney and Mark Goodings then combined to set up Ayuba Salaudeen but he was crowded out in the area and they again went close when Alan Corboy played a great ball through to Salaudeen but he elected to pass when well placed and the chance was gone. As the home side tightened their grip on the game Cathal Joyce won the ball in midfield and swept it out to Salaudeen on the right with Sholola firing his cross into the side netting. With seventy minutes gone Goodings sent Sholola clear through the middle but Gavin Dowling was quickly off his line to make a tremendous point blank save while at the other end Greg Sykula charged down an attempted clearance but Joe Mooney recovered to save. As Tullamore continued to press, Francis picked out Goodings on the left and his deep cross was fired over by Salaudeen and he again threatened when a great run on the right carried him past three defenders but Adam Byrne headed his cross clear. With Carlow beginning to wrest back control of the game, Michael Kenaney put in a great block tackle to deny Lee Murphy and then Craig Hore just failed to get on the end of a long diagonal ball from Andrew Hickey. With minutes remaining Sholola latched onto a Goodings pass but Dowling brought off a fine save to bring the game into extra time.

Tullamore were first to threaten when Cathal Joyce found Mark Goodings on the right but his dangerous cut back was cleared and then McCarthy and Sholola combined to set up Hoey but his drive flew inches outside the left post. As their mid-week exertions began to take their toll, Tullamore came under increased pressure as Greg Sykula headed wide when well placed and then Scott Delaney blocked Craig Hore’s effort on the line while at the other end Sholola got on the end of a Joyce pass to coolly lob the advancing Dowling, but he was pulled back for off-side. Fifteen minutes into extra time Goodings knocked on a McCarthy clearance to Michael Hoey, and as Dowling attempted to clear, the ball cannoned off the centre forward and into the unguarded net to put the home side back in front. The second period of extra time saw Carlow take control of the game with Joe Mooney brilliantly tipping a header around the post, but from the resultant corner Craig Hore headed home from close range to level the tie. As Tullamore looked to hit back, Hoey picked out Sholola in the area but Dowling was equal to his effort and he again went close following great play by Brian Francis but his shot flew outside the far post. There then followed an amazing sequence of events as the visitors struck the crossbar three times in quick succession. First Dara Walshe set up Greg Sykula, ten yards out and in front of goal, but his shot clipped the top of the bar. Walshe and Shane Clarke then combined to set up Alan Wren and his wicked cross shot crashed off the crossbar and as the ball was returned into the area Mooney tipped Emmett Phelan’s header onto the bar as the game moved into the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

With Adam Byrne, James Dermody and Greg Sykula converting for Carlow and Simon Keegan and Mark Goodings finding the net for Tullamore, goalkeeper Joe Mooney took centre stage. Firing his spot kick into the top right hand corner to level the scores he then proceeded to bring off two superb saves, with Alan Corboy converting his kick, to take the home side into the next round of the competition.

For Tullamore there were outstanding performances from Joe Mooney, Brian Francis, Cathal Joyce and Michael Hoey with Adam Byrne, Craig Hore, Neale Phelan and Greg Sykula the pick of the visitors, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s centre forward, Mark Goodings.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Pat McCarthy, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Shane Mannion, Hafeez Sholola, Brian Francis, Cathal Joyce, Michael Kenaney, Michael Hoey and Mark Goodings.

Subs : Ayuba Salaudeen, Simon Keegan, Stephen Francis, Brian Norris and Ken Doyle.

Ford FAI Cup 1st Round Replay

Tullamore Town 4 Cherry Orchard 1

Following on their excellent away draw against Cherry Orchard the previous Sunday, Tullamore exacted maximum benefit from home advantage as they turned in a superb performance to propel them into the next round of this famous competition. Playing with a new found confidence under manager Jimmy Greene they were quickly into the attack with Hafeez Sholola crossing from the right and Brian Francis firing inches wide. With only ten minutes on the clock they hit the front when Michael Kenaney found Michael Hoey who played a lovely reverse ball inside to Martin Cunningham, and the big centre forward sent a blistering shot into the roof of the net. Within five minutes the visitors were nearly level when Joe Mooney punched an inswinging corner out to Alan McNevin on the edge of the area, but Mooney recovered to brilliantly block his shot on the line. Hoey then picked out Sholola in the box but Tadhg Murphy brought off a fine save to deny him and Mooney was again in the thick of the action when he did well to clear a dangerous swerving McNevin free. With half an hour gone Brian Francis played a great ball over the top to Kenaney who picked out Cunningham, but his effort was superbly tipped over by Murphy and from the resultant corner Alan Corboy sent a fine far post header into the back of the net to put his side two up. As they continued to press Hoey sent Cunningham clear but his attempted lob just cleared the bar. With thirty five minutes gone the Orchard were thrown a lifeline when Scott Delaney took down Ian McNeill in the area and Alan McNevin blasted the spot kick to the net. Five minutes later Tullamore restored their two goal advantage when Delaney headed clear to Hoey and he picked out Cunningham who held off his marker before slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner for a fine goal. They again threatened when Brian Francis set off on a surging run that carried him to the edge of the area but he was crowded out. At the other end McNeill broke clear on the left and picked out Joey Behan, but his diving header was brilliantly tipped around the post by Joe Mooney as the referee brought the first half to a close.

Cherry Orchard clearly demonstrated that they were not yet ripe for picking as they began the second half with all guns blazing. Craig Purcell first picked out Eoin Kavanagh but he fired over from fifteen yards and Purcell was again the instigator when he played in Ian McNeill but Scott Delaney got across to snuff out the danger. They wasted another great chance when McNevin broke clear on the left but, with McNeill free in front of goal, he elected to shoot but his effort flew over. As they continued to force Tullamore back, Steven Leadbetter found Lee Collins in the area but his fine turn and shot was just too high and Collins again threatened when he cut inside but his effort was blocked by Ross Whittaker. Joe Mooney then produced a wonderful point blank save following a corner as Tullamore slowly began to lift the siege and with quarter of an hour remaining they made the game safe. The speedy Hafeez Sholola broke clear but Tadhg Murphy did brilliantly to block his shot which rebounded to Michael Hoey, and when his effort was deflected, Sholola pounced on the loose ball to sweep it into the back of the net. With the visitors refusing to throw in the towel Trevor Bowers got on the end of a right wing cross but was denied by a great Whittaker tackle and Bowers again went close when he fired over from the edge of the area. Mooney brought off a great save down low to his right from Lee Collins and then Steven Leadbetter saw his tremendous thirty five yard effort fly inches past the post as the home side emerged deserving winners of this pulsating cup tie.

This was a performance full of passion and commitment, and no little skill, which gives tremendous hope for the coming season. Tullamore have drawn Limerick and District League side Fairview Rangers at home in the next round as they look to extend their fine cup run. There were excellent contributions from Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Brian Francis, Hafeez Sholola and Martin Cunningham, but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s outstanding goalkeeper, Joe Mooney.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Ross Whittaker, Scott Delaney, Alan Corboy, Shane Mannion, Hafeez Sholola, Brian Francis, Cathal Joyce, Michael Kenaney, Michael Hoey and Martin Cunningham.

Subs : Simon Keegan, Fergal Gorman, Ayuba Salaudeen, Aaron Farrell and Brian Norris

Ford FAI Cup 1st Round

Cherry Orchard  1   Tullamore Town  1

The Tullamore first team travelled to Dublin last Sunday to take on Cherry Orchard in the FAI Cup and came away with a very creditable draw. They took the lead after quarter of an hour when, following a free kick, Brian Francis went on a surging run through the middle and picked out Alan Corboy on the left and his pin point cross was swept into the net by Hafeez Shalola for a wonderful opening goal. The second half saw Tullamore come under persistent pressure and the home side equalised on the hour when left full Alan McNevin cut inside and sent a lovely twenty yard effort into the top right hand corner of the net. With five minutes remaining the visitors nearly won the game when Michael Kenaney got on the end of a great Shalola cross but the Cherry Orchard keeper saved superbly to keep his side in the Cup.

For Tullamore there were excellent contributions from Joe Mooney, Scott Delaney, Shane Mannion, Brian Francis and Hafeez Shalola, but the man of the match award went to their outstanding central defender, Alan Corboy.

Leinster Senior Cup

Bangor Celtic 1 Tullamore Town 0

Tullamore Town’s League of Ireland squad travelled to Dublin last Sunday to play their first competitive game of the season and gave a very good account of themselves in this hard fought encounter. One of the top teams in the Leinster Senior League, Bangor Celtic have been unbeaten on their own ground for the last two seasons, so this was always going to be a very difficult assignment. The omens were not good for Tullamore when goalkeeper Joe Mooney injured himself in the warm up and had to be replaced by Martin Cunningham. Played on a narrow, bumpy pitch the game quickly developed into a physical battle with both defences dominant and little flowing football of note. With Celtic having the better of the early exchanges Martin Cunningham dealt comfortably with everything thrown at him while at the other end Michael Hoey had a fine header well saved by Joe Carey in the home goal. Tullamore nearly snatched the lead on the stroke of half time when Scott Delaney got on the end of a great Alan Corboy free kick but his header flashed the wrong side of the post to leave both teams tied at nil all at the interval.

Bangor came out for the second half with all guns blazing and within minutes a shot from Robert Collins cannoned back off the post and then Martin Cunningham brilliantly tipped a Laurence Dunne rocket from the edge of the area around the post. The all important goal came in the sixty seventh minute when striker Paul Devlin got on the end of a free kick and raced through to give Cunningham no chance from six yards. With Tullamore beginning to tire the home side looked to kill the game off and they again went close in the seventy fifth minute when Mark Cullen picked the ball up in midfield and made a great run into the box but he was foiled by another superb save from Cunningham as the home side ran out narrow but deserved winners.

Manager Jimmy Greene will have been well pleased with the performance of his squad but a concern will be a serious looking knee injury picked up by midfielder Stephen Francis. His defence was particularly impressive with Trevor Moylan, Scott Delaney, Ken Doyle and Shane Mannion outstanding. In midfield Brian and Stephen Francis worked tirelessly and were ably supported by Alan Corboy and Kevin Duffy while up front Michael Hoey chased and harried as did Simon Keegan and his replacement Haffeez Shalola. Michael Kenananey and Stephen Duffy impressed when introduced but the man of the match award went to Tullamore’s stand in goalkeeper, Martin Cunningham.

Tullamore continue their pre season preparations with a friendly against St.Peters, Athlone, next Thursday evening, 11th February, in Leah Victoria Park, kick-off 7.45 pm.

Tullamore : Martin Cunningham, Trevor Moylan, Scott Delaney, Ken Doyle, Shane Mannion, Kevin Duffy, Brian Francis, Stephen Francis, Alan Corboy, Michael Hoey and Simon Keegan.

Subs : Haffeez Shalola, Michael Kenaney, Stephen Duffy, Ross Whittaker and Joe Mooney

LOI "A" Championship Friend

Tullamore Town  0   Longford Town  3

Manager Jimmy Greene had his first outing with his squad in this pre season friendly against Longford Town in Leah Victoria Park last Saturday. Missing approximately six of his first team it was an ample opportunity for him to run the rule over a number of the clubs up and coming players and he was impressed with what he saw. The physically stronger and fitter Longford side were never in serious trouble during the game and two first half goals and a lovely second half strike saw them running out comfortable winners. A new addition to the Tullamore squad who is sure to delight fans during the coming season is Nigerian student Haffeez Shalola who has played for Athlone Town and Galway United. His pace and ball control posed a constant threat and he was unlucky not to cap a fine all round performance with a goal. Jimmy was also impressed with Ken Doyle, Gary Buckley and Stephen Francis and he singled out young defender Michael Kenaney for particular praise. He was pleased to have the opportunity to play against League of Ireland opposition as he looks to get his squad fully match fit for the season ahead. Their first competitive outing is next Sunday away to Dublin side Bangor Celtic in the preliminary round of the Leinster Senior Cup with the winners at home to UCD in the following round.

Tullamore : Joe Mooney, Trevor Moylan, Scott Delaney, Ken Doyle, Michael Kenaney, Gary Buckley, Stephen Francis, Stephen Duffy, Jason Pohl, Simon Keegan and Michael Hoey.

Subs : Haffeez Shalola,  Fergal Gorman, Keith O’Connor, Enda Carroll and Stuart Kavanagh (all used).