Gorey Rangers progress in cup
IF EVER a score was harsh on a team it was this one as Gorey Rangers eventually wore down shattered hosts Curracloe in the Wexford and District Schoolboys Under-16 Cup on Saturday.
United sit six places below Rangers' second team in the league standings so there was always likely to be a bit of a gulf in class. However, the seasiders made up for it with great togetherness and bundles of energy to keep the game close into the final ten minutes.
Indeed, Gorey, who played some lovely football but were often missing the clinical finish, only led 2-0 with 73 minutes on the clock despite pretty incessant pressure. Yaw Aboagye was the difference prior to the late flurry, as it was his brace that separated the teams heading into the final stages.
The deadly striker's first came after just 67 seconds as Clive Keenan's ball into the box landed at him waist high and Aboagye caressed a superb controlled volley into the roof of Adam Howlin's net.
The slickness of the move for the opening goal was repeated during the rest of the first 40 minutes but Gorey found a netminder in excellent form and a five-man defence, anchored by the exceptional Seán Keane-Carroll, playing their best game of the season.
Curracloe themselves had one great chance in the first-half. Much of their attacking threat came through the dangerous Darragh Gray, but this time it was Ben Redmond who got behind the Rangers defence and forced Darragh Brookes into a fine double save.
The best chance for Gorey to make it 2-0 before the break fell to Ciarán Murphy but his delicate clipped effort grazed the bar on its way over and left just the minimum between the teams at the interval.
Curracloe continued to frustrate Rangers into the second-half and themselves went close when Howlin's long ball was knocked into the path of Gray by Jamie Larkin-Furlong, but his half-volley whistled over the crossbar.
The second Gorey goal did finally arrive at the end of the third quarter. Michael Molloy's curling free was pushed onto the post by Howlin but Aboagye was quickest to react to turn in the rebound.
With seven minutes remaining the powerful striker completed his hat-trick. This time it was an individual effort with a dribble past three defenders ending with a calm finish to the Curracloe rigging.
Seconds later Keenan side-footed Murphy's cross to the net for four before the provider turned scorer two minutes later with a curled effort to the empty United goal.
Keith Crosbie's cross made it number six for Keenan with three minutes remaining and substitute Vincent Quinlan completed the scoring in the final minute with a long-range daisy-cutter to see Gorey safely into the quarters.
Star man - Yaw Aboagye (Gorey Rangers): Was the difference between the teams when the game was tight, displaying a deadly mix of power and accuracy.
Gorey Rangers: Darragh Brookes; Niall Murphy, Michael Molloy, Dylan Fleming (capt.), Rory Heffernan; Clive Keenan, Eoin Cullen, Ciarán Murphy, Jordan Redmond; Cillian Gilligan, Yaw Aboagye. Subs. - Eoghan O'Neill for Gilligan (41), Vincent Quinlan for Fleming (41), Keith Crosbie for Redmond (53), also Craig Fox.
Curracloe United: Adam Howlin; Mark Doyle, Ryan Hanrahan, Seán Keane-Carroll (capt.), James Kelly, Adam Hearne; Jamie Larkin-Furlong, Ben Redmond, Kyle Roche, Darragh Howlin; Darragh Gray.
Referee: Mick Farrell.