Cookstown welcomed Moira FC to MUSA on a very cold Saturday morning for a 10am kick off in the Mid Ulster Youth League.
The first half kicked off and spectators would’ve been forgiven for thinking that they were at the wrong match as the Cookstown club, who prides themselves on development, decided this was the day to give those who are not usually in the starting line up their chance to shine.
It was a pretty even first half with both teams getting stuck in and cancelling out each others opportunities with the best chance coming for Cookstown as McAleer having linked up well with Nugent saw his shot go wide.
With a well disciplined defensive trio of Larmour (later to be replaced by Donaghy), Morrison,Heagney and Glendenning in nets it seemed that should they let the midfielders Leek, McCallion and Graham do their thing they would easily have went to the break in front. This wasn’t the case however as with a slight lapse in concentration Moira luckily found themselves in front.
The second half kicked off and, barring Donaghy, it was a complete change of personnel as Cookstown reverted back to their usual nine in their favoured positions. This brought a lot of possession and chances fell to Derby and Jeffers.
With Monaghan not having to make a save, his defence of Whitten, Jeffers and O’Neill stood strong yet again as they had in the first half.
The midfield of Donaghy Larmour and Murphy could drive the play forward enough to deliver the chances for Derby and Armstrong to latch upon. Chances came and went and although they dominated score wise at least it wasn’t to be Cookstown’s day.
It would be an injustice to give only one man of the match so for this reason it goes to Glendinning who was both brave and superb in nets in the first half taking control of anything that came near him and winning a 50/50 which drew gasps from the spectators only for him to get up and on with it.
Whitten, in the second half, controlled his defence and with calm play and mind mopped up everything that came his way.
Although the scoreline was against them on the day credit has to go to the management team who within the ethos of Cookstown Youth chose development over winning and gave young lads their chance which they embraced to the core.
Cookstown: Glendenning, Larmour, Donaghy, Morrison, Heagney, McCallion, Leek, Graham, Nugent, McAleer, Monaghan, Whitten, Jeffers, O’Neill, Murphy, Derby, Armstrong.
The CYFC Development Centre in partnership with Copeland Cookstown continues this coming Friday evening at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena and the big numbers just keep coming.
A big thanks to all the players for their attendance and also the parents/guardians for their continued support.
Coaching continues this week from 6.30-7.45pm and if you are reading this and know of a player who would like to attend then go to our club website and get them registered. A word of caution though only registered players who have received an email from CYFC are eligible to attend and new players will be contacted in due course.