Dublin University Association Football Club (DUAFC) maintained their unbeaten record in the College and Universities Football League after a deserved 4-1 victory over Dundalk IT (DKIT).
Two individual braces, from Ronan Hanaphy in the first half and Eoin Vaughan in the second, proved enough for Trinity to make it four points out of a possible six in their first two games of the competition.
DUAFC started the game the brighter of the two sides and were awarded a penalty within the first four minutes when Eoin Vaughan, chasing after Fabian Knoflach’s through ball, was recklessly taken down by one of the Dundalk IT defenders. Trinity’s striker Hanaphy showed a cool head to slot the subsequent penalty into the bottom left corner.
DUAFC continued their early domination throughout the half with a number of chances, with Hanaphy’s pace in particular proving increasingly troublesome for the struggling DKIT back four.
DKIT did their best to play a free-flowing passing game despite the absence of their manager Stephen O’Donnell who was busy preparing to play in Dundalk FC’s Europa League match against Zenit St Petersburg in Tallaght Stadium tomorrow night.
Despite their best efforts, and thanks to strong Trinity’s defending, DKIT were only able to record one rather untroubling long range shot in the first half.
And within thirty minutes, DUAFC had a second. Unsurprisingly, it was Hanaphy who was again in the right place at the right time, successfully converting a rebounded Ciaran McGahon shot into the back of the net from six yards.
The second half saw the game open up for both sides but it was DKIT who nearly capitalised first when they were awarded a penalty of their own after a sliding challenge in the box was deemed a foul. However, DKIT’s Anto Foley failed to convert his spot kick as it was tipped wide by DUAFC goalkeeper Brian Smyth.
An entertaining second half ensued, with Trinity’s Hanaphy personally accumulating enough chances to have two hat tricks on the day, but his much-sought-after third goal never came.
Spectators and the DUAFC team seemed destined for a nervous ending when DKIT pulled a goal back with less than ten minutes left. A great piece of individual skill on the left wing from Carlton Ubaezuonu allowed him to cut inside, beat his man and fire a rocket shot into the far right corner.
But any hopes DKIT harboured of a late revival were dashed, as Trinity’s Eoin Vaughan scored two well taken goals in quick succession to secure the three points for Trinity and maintain a healthy start to their College and Universities Football League campaign.