Magherafelt Sky Blues 0
(Desertmartin win 4-3 on penalties)
THE Blues entertained local rivals Desertmartin in the 1st round of the Crawford Cup and were unfortunate to bow out on penalties.
The 1st half began with Desertmartin gaining the upper hand and pressurising the Blues defence but without really troubling Blues keeper Farniok. Gradually the Blues got into their stride and began to take control of the game and put Desertmartin under pressure and proceeded to make the best chances of the half.
Firstly Hassan got on the end of Beattie’s cross and flicked a header goal wards which the keeper touched over the bar. From the resultant corner a goalmouth scrambled ensued with the Blues claiming the ball had crossed the line but the referee waved away their appeals and the ball was cleared.
The Blues continued on the front foot and from another corner Stewart drove a shot goal wards which appeared to be blocked by a Desertmartin defenders arm but again the referee waved away the Blues appeals.
The last chance of the half fell to the Blues when Hassan’s cross field found Walls who in turn played Stewart in behind the Desertmartin defence but unfortunately his shot sailed over the bar.
The 2nd half started as the 1st had ended with the Blues generally on top and pressing for the breakthrough goal but the Desertmartin defence was holding firm. The Blues however were denied what looked like a stone wall penalty when O’Neill was upended in the box but for the 3rd time the referee waved away the Blues appeals. Hassan on the right was causing loads of problems for Desertmartin and was taken out by a horrendous X-rated challenge for which the referee showed a yellow card when it should have been a straight red card. The Blues created lots of promising positions but just couldn’t find the final pass until the last minute of normal time when Walls and Ludlow combined beautifully to send Doole through on goal but he was thwarted by a wonderful save. The final whistle sounded shortly after to send the game into extra time.
With lots of tiring and aching limbs both sides failed to test either keeper during the 2 periods of extra time and the match ended 0-0 and went to penalties.
Desertmartin won the shootout 4-3 and progress to the next round.
This was a game the Blues shaded and created the better chances but unfortunately luck and refereeing decisions didn’t go their way. Steven O’Neill won the Blues man of the match award.
TEAM; Farniok, Scullion, Walls, Heavron, Kells, O’Neill, Hassan, Stewart, Devlin, Beattie, Badger. Subs; Doole, Quinn, Ludlow
After two consecutive 3-3 draws, the Blues won their Friday night fixture against Ballymoney with a powerful first half display which saw them score three goals.
From the kick off the Wee Blues started strongly and had their visitors under pressure with their best display of the season so far.
All over the park they were first to every ball and the desire to win was clearly evident.
Our first goal was a wonder goal, after a great pass from Conor Doherty; Sean Monaghan hit an unstoppable half volley from the edge of the box into the top corner to put the Blues 1 up.
Shortly after that Marc mc Grogan made an excellent turn in the box and slid the ball to David McErlean and the big mid fielder calmly passed the ball into the net from the edge of the box to put the Blues two up.
Just before the half Caolan Devlin crossed in a great ball and Conor McCann fired home his first goal of the season to leave the Blues three up at half time.
Ballymoney came out in the second half and threw everything at the Blues and they managed to score one, but the home side with held the pressure with the captain Conor McCann leading by example.
Ciaran Bradley was a constant threat on the right wing were his skill and speed left Ballymoney putting two defenders on him at times.
The Blues should have scored more when Sean Monaghan hit the post and Mark Kelly went close when he chipped the keeper and his effort went narrowly wide .
This was without doubt our best display of the season and hopefully we can build on it for the rest of the season.
Man of the match goes to Conor McCann with Ciaran Bradley coming a close second.
Our next fixture is away to Armagh on Saturday 20th.
All players are requested to check the Blues website for the latest training details.
To keep up to date with all team information please visit www.skybluesfc.net
Anyone interested in joining the club will be most welcome.
First Team –Irish Cup – Round Two –Rosario v Magherafelt Sky Blues – Saturday 20th October 2pm KO
Reserves – League – Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves v Desertmartin Swifts – Saturday 20th October 2pm Spires Park
Under 15 – League –Armagh City v Magherafelt Sky Blues - Saturday 20th October 11am KO
Under 14 – League –Derry Colts v Magherafelt Sky Blues–Saturday 20th October 11am KO
Under 13– League –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Warrenpoint Town –Saturday 20th October 12 noon KO
Under 12 – League –Magherafelt Sky Blues v Ballinamallard Youth – Friday 19th October 6.45pm KO. Cookstown Sports Arena
Under 11 – League - Magherafelt Sky Blues Galaxy
Under 11 – League –Magherafelt Sky Blues Pumas
First Team –Crawford Cup – Round One - Magherafelt Sky Blues v Desertmartin
Reserves – League – Glebe Rangers Reserves v Magherafelt Sky Blues Reserves
Under 15 – League –Magherafelt Sky Blues 3, Ballymoney United Youth 1
Under 14 – League –Magherafelt Sky Blues 4, Warrenpoint Town 3
Under 13– League –Magherafelt Sky Blues 0, Maiden City 2
Under 12 – League – Dungannon Youth 5, Magherafelt Sky Blues 1
Under 11 – League - Magherafelt Sky Blues Galaxy v Oak Athletic
Under 11 – League –Magherafelt Sky Blues Pumas v Bertie Peacock Youths
Ground Development Lotto
The Magherafelt Sky Blues Ground Development Lotto will continue next weekend. No one matched the correct numbers last week. The £25 lucky dip winner for last week was J. Moore.
Tickets are on sale for next Saturday’s draw from all committee members. The jackpot is now £825.
U14s Edge Thriller at Mallusk
Magherafelt Sky Blues U14s travelled to Mallusk on Saturday for their home fixture against Warrenpoint in the NIBFA National League.
Up against a side that the blues had failed to beat in 4 meetings last season this was going to take a superb performance to get any kind of result. And this was exactly what the young Magherafelt side produced.
Right from the off they started to win every challenge and were always first to the ball, all over the pitch each and every player stuck to the task and the only thing that was missing was that all-important first goal.
Unfortunately on one of the few occasions that Warrenpoint managed to attack a very poor decision from the referee saw them awarded a penalty.
The young Warrenpoint striker stepped up and coolly dispatched the ball into the bottom corner to take the lead. Unlike in previous matches the Sky Blues didn’t let their heads drop and were determined to find that equaliser.
With 25 minutes gone Simon McErlain picked up the ball and hit a shot that managed to find its way into the net via a Warrenpoint defenders head and the crossbar to level the score. With half time approaching a lapse in concentration again allowed Warrenpoint to score and go into the break in the lead.
After a few encouraging words at half time, the blues again started the second half controlling the game.
Ten minutes in, a Ciaran McKeever corner was met by the head of Sebastian Layden to level the scores at 2 – 2. The blues continued to create chance after chance but again found themselves behind for the third time in the match.
Another rare Warrenpoint attack again ended in a goal from a corner that found its way to the back post and a unmarked Warrenpoint player picked his spot to make the score 3 – 2.
Showing an excellent attitude the blues continued to attack and when McKeever was brought down on the edge of the box he fired in a great free kick which curled into the top left hand corner of the net to again level the scores.
With seconds to go Shea Curry latched onto a through ball and calmly put the ball passed the oncoming keeper to give the blues a very well earned 3 points.
This was a fantastic team performance that showed when the young Sky Blues are willing to put in the effort and listen to the coaches they are more than a match for any side. Fantastic performances from Declan Martin, Mark Larmour, Liam Og McElhone and Aaron Darragh in defence and Ryan Kearns in central midfield but Man of the Match this week goes to Sebastian Layden for his brilliant all round midfield performance topped off with a well taken goal.