Dublin University Association Football Club (DUAFC) played out a 1-1 draw in their Leinster Senior Sunday Division 1A clash against TEK United last night in the Iveagh Grounds.
DUAFC were by far the more dominant side over the duration of the 90 minutes but failed to capitalise after going ahead and ultimately had to settle for a point.
It was almost the dream start for Trinity. A lapse in the TEK defence allowed winger Niall Carruthers to latch onto an underhit pass outside the box. Attempting the shift his feet and wriggle around keeper Jack Kelly, Carruthers couldn’t move his feet quick enough and his attempt was blocked at Kelly’s feet.
The pressure was constant from the home side, but their offensive play was static at times. There’s no doubt Trinity were the stronger team, but a lack of conviction halted them from opening the score. DUAFC captain Jason Boateng saw his shot rocket over the bar after he was teed up by his teammate.
It wasn’t too much longer before Trinity had the ball in the back of the net, and it was a thing of beauty, but the hosts’ celebrations were cut short when the referee ruled out a gorgeous goal from Boateng created after clever midfield play and an unselfish cross from left-winger James Kelly.
TEK had their own flurry of chances. James Byrne was troubling Trinity’s left-hand side with some De Bruyne-like crosses from the flank, but neither of TEK’s strikers – Rory McGloughlin or Karl Rodgers – could make a connection.
The chance of the half fell DUAFC’s way. A great free-kick effort from James Wood was parried into the path of Carruthers. Kelly in goal was able to react quickly, however, keeping the scores level – much to the frustration of DUAFC’s manager Richie Maguire, who was particularly peeved by the missed opportunity.
Trinity maintained the high tempo of the match. On the counter-attack, Darragh McGee whipped in an early cross, picking out James Kelly, who was thundering in to meet the ball at the left-hand post. The hard work done, Kelly ended up slicing wide after making a poor connection.
McGee had his own attempt on goal just before half-time when, after spotting Kelly off his line, he attempted a finessed scoop on goal. Kelly, to his credit, got his hand to it with a stunning acrobatic save to keep the scores level at half-time.
The game had its first goal soon after the break – and, pedictably, it went Trinity’s way. DUAFC caught TEK on the break and shifted the ball to Kelly 25 yards out on his favoured left-hand side. With the ball arriving to him on the bounce, Kelly punished the TEK keeper for his hesitance, deftly lifting the ball over him and into the net.
TEK responded immediately, and almost had an equaliser within minutes. Another brilliant delivery from Byrne found Aaron Lenord unmarked at the far left-hand post. Ducking low to meet the ball, Lenord’s diving header hit the ground before bouncing over the bar.
Minutes later, Kelly nearly doubled Trinty’s lead, and his own tally for the night. James Woods laid it off from him from the by-line, but Kelly’s connection was soft and the ball brushed wide of the far-hand post.
TEK equalised with 20 minutes to go with a simple move off a set piece, when DUAFC’s defenders failed to defend a whipped corner and McLoughlin towered highest to nod home.
The match petered out somewhat after the equaliser, with neither team able to clinch a winner. The full-time whistle blew at 1-1.
DUAFC will be encouraged by the chances and tempo that they created, as well as their control of the game. However, it will be concerning that they didn’t convert from their plethora of chances. Goals seem to be a general problem for DUAFC, with Rory Nairn still out on the sidelines and no natural striker there to replace him. TEK will be glad of a point, having chased the game for most of the encounter.
DUAFC will face University College Cork in the quarter-final of the Collingwood Cup on February 3rd in College Park. Trinity are hosting the competition, which is in its 100th year of existence.
DUAFC: Daniel Grace, Darragh McGee, Sean Holland, Ciaran Maguire, Killian Doyle, Jason Boateng, Niall Carruthers, Robbie O’Leary, James woods, Stirlins Spowers, James Kelly.
TEK: Jack Kelly, Jack Gallagher, Scott Mahony, Darren O’Connor, Ross Wheelan, Aaron Lenord, Don Tierney, James Byrne, Cormac Kelly, Rory McGloughlin, Karl Rogers.