Match Report from Simon Dobey as the Students beat Treaty United at home
UCD have secured a third-place finish and that all important home second leg in the promotion play offs to come following a 2-1 win as third played fourth in the Belfield Bowl. Two goals from Ireland U21’s international, Liam Kerrigan, saw UCD past a Treaty side which have struggled in front of goal as of late. Treaty United's difficulties finding the onion bag were compounded on Friday night by the absence of strikers, Jack Lynch and Kieran Hanlon.
UCD controlled the game well in the early stages and were easily the better outfit in the first half. Captain Jack Keaney operated as the midfield fulcrum, neatly switching play on several occasions as the students sought to expose the Treaty defence.
The first clear cut chance of the match came from a corner for the students. Paul Doyle’s ball found Sam Todd on a looping run towards the back post. Todd’s free header was cleared off the line by a treaty defender.
It didn’t take long, however, for UCD to open the scoring. In the 13th minute a long ball from Sam Todd, over the top of the Treaty defence found the in-form Kerrigan in only a yard of space. Kerrigan took an exquisite touch, knocking the ball into his path, and then hammered home past Tadgh Ryan in the treaty net. The Treaty defenders called for offside but their protestations fell on deaf ears.
Whelans and Kerrigans link up play at times was nigh on telepathic. A quick one-two bamboozled the treaty midfield and nearly set Kerrigan through on goal only for a vital interception from Anthony O’Donnell in the Treaty backline.
The majority of Treaty attacks came down the right hand-side. Coustrain neatly linked up with McNamara down the right before Coustrains chipped the ball into the hands of student keeper Healy. Treaty once again threatened down the right, Coustrains and Fleming this time the pairing troubling The Students backline. Fleming's cross found Armshaw, who’s blocked shot trickled into the keeper's gloves.
A poor clearance from Ryan, in the treaty goal, found Kerrigan in a dangerous position. Kerrigan then jinked inside the scrambling defence before a well timed O’Donnell challenge nicked it from his toes. Appeals from the crowd for a penalty were not echoed by the students on the pitch. UCD continued to build on their first-half supremacy. After a long passage of students possession Ryan was again forced into a save from a long range Sean Brennan shot. The resulting corner found Sam Todd’s head, the ball looped over the stranded Ryan only to hit the bar and go out for a Treaty goal kick.
Treaty enjoyed a flurry of chances before the end of the half, a pattern which would set the tone when the sides re-appeared. A long diagonal ball this time from Joe Collins found Fleming in acres of space. Fleming delivered a low cross into a dangerous area but nobody in red and white was on hand to convert, as the sides went in for half-time.
Dean George pulled Treaty level after 50 minutes. A simple through ball from midfield was dealt with poorly by Sam Todd who’s tackle lacked conviction. Dean George's finish was an exquisite one as he lifted the ball calmly past Healy’s outstretched boot to the bottom left-hand corner.
Buoyed by their equaliser, Treaty continued to threaten. McNamara evaded 4 UCD players on the right-hand side of the box to set up Joe Collins on the edge of the box, his shot blocked nearly nestling in the right hand corner.
UCD began to grow back into the game. Colm Whelan gathered the ball just inside the box as he shaped to shoot an ere of excitement filled the ground, but his shot was not powerful enough to beat Ryan.
Kerrigan then scored his second of the night. He gathered the ball on the right hand side and ran at left back Marc Ludden who attempted to stand up the inform international. Kerrigan faked left and faked right before knocking the ball past Ludden and firing a cross low into the box. The cross took a heavy deflection off of Anthony O’Donnell and ended up in the back of the net. The stadium announcer credited the goal to Kerrigan but it will be one for the dubious goals panel.
UCD saw out the rest of the game in a fashionable manner, conceding few chances. All eyes now look to the November semi-final play-offs where UCD will face either Bray or Treaty United.
UCD A.F.C: Lorcan Healy; Evan Osam, Sam Todd, Harvey O’Brien, Eoin Farrell; Adam Verdon, Sean Brennan, Paul Doyle, Jack Keaney; Liam Kerrigan, Colm Whelan.
Manager: Andy Meyler.
Treaty United F.C: Tadgh Ryan; Charlie Flemming, Anthony O’Donnell, Sean Guerins, Marc Ludden; Joe Collins, Joel Coustrain, Callum McNamara, Mark Walsh; Dean George;.
Manager: Tommy Barrett.
Referee: Gavin Colfer
Assistant Referees: Brian Fenlon, Ciaran O’Reilly.
Fourth Official: Alan Patchell.
MOTM: Liam Kerrigan.