Monday 11 December 2017

North End continue scintillating form

Brendan Furlong

Paul Murphy of North End United holds off the challenge of Jason O'Reilly of East Wall Bessborough
Paul Murphy of North End United holds off the challenge of Jason O'Reilly of East Wall Bessborough

A composed display assisted by some clinical finishing saw North End United maintain their sparkling form as they completely dismantled a fancied East Wall Bessborough side in this excellent FAI Junior Challenge Cup fifth round clash at Belvedere on Sunday.

North End United 4 East Wall Bessborough 0

At the end of another week, North End showed how far they have progressed, as this was a victory coming on the back of a 9-2 league win seven days earlier. And this was even more impressive despite the fact that manager John Godkin chose to give six of his extended squad a start.

The Wexford side lined up not knowing what to really expect from their Dublin opponents, but they took the initiative from the opening stages as they pressed the visitors. While fast-breaking East Wall may have looked dangerous, they came up against an excellent defensive pairing of Robin Dempsey and Gareth McCurtain.

The latter now seems to have put his injury nightmare behind him, as he was one of the outstanding players on view, always composed in possession, and laying off the passes while still proving a real stalwart in front of goal. While North End were reminded time and time again of East Wall's quick counter-attacking threat, their own game was nothing short of excellent, with Lee Wadding, Warren Broaders, Shane Dempsey and the returning Ethan Boyle commanding midfield, while the Murphy brothers, Jason and Paul, looked lively up front.

They really should have been a couple of goals in front inside the opening 20 minutes.

They exploited the visitors down the flanks, leading to some excellent attacking football, and only fine goalkeeping from Paul Lynch, who denied Paul Murphy and Shane Dempsey with excellent stops, saved the Dublin team.

The inevitable did happen on the half-hour mark. The visitors' central defensive pairing of Daniel Ennis and Jason O'Reilly were caught in two minds as to who should deal with a Shane Dempsey free-kick, leaving Lee Wadding to nip in between both players to lift his header over advancing 'keeper Lynch for an excellent finish to the corner of the net, giving the home side a deserved 1-0 lead.

East Wall continued to break fast but 'keeper Lee Walker capably dealt with a David Fitzsimons shot from the edge of the area, while at the opposite end both Jason Murphy and Shane Dempsey saw efforts drift just wide, leaving it 1-0 at the interval.

The Dublin side pushed forward a little more on the resumption but the safe handling of 'keeper Walker saw him deal capably with long-range attempts from Fitzsimons. And North End extended their lead in the 56th minute, when Lee Wadding once again took advantage of hesitancy in the visitors' back four, nipping inside to head over the advancing 'keeper, showing neat opportunism in the process, to make it 2-0.

North End kept coming, not content to sit on their lead. Given the depth on their bench, the side looked even stronger on the introduction of several substitutes and it was one of them, Kyle Dempsey, who once against showed his goal-scoring instinct, making it 3-0 with a close-range effort 15 minutes from the end.

With their dominance now becoming even more pronounced, Dempsey added his second and the side's fourth, beating 'keeper Lynch with a low shot close to the finish.

The visitors lost their discipline late in the second-half, with centre-forward David Fitzsimons red-carded for dissent, while one of their mentors was also dismissed to the dug-out.

North End United: Lee Walker, Paul Rossiter, Gareth McCurtain, Robin Dempsey, Keith Kearney, Lee Wadding, Warren Broaders, Shane Dempsey, Jason Murphy, Paul Murphy, Ethan Boyle. Subs. - Andy Moore, Kyle Dempsey, John Fenlon, Adam Beary, Stuart Lawlor, Lee Smith, Aaron Deegan.

East Wall Bessborough: Paul Lynch, Graham Curran, Carl McCabe, Daniel Ennis, Jason O'Reilly, Gerry Carroll, Eoin Humphries, Darren Fiela, David Fitzsimons, Tony Keane, Seán Young. Subs. - Dylan Kinsella, Peter Flood, Jeff Ennis, Aarian Areoydalcaml, Craig English, Philip White.

Referee: Damien Donovan. Assistants: Seán Grant, Nicky Boland.

Wexford People

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