Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League
Moyola Park 5- McCann, Graham, Taggart, McIlhatton (2)
Newington YC 2- Doyle, White

Moyola Park welcomed Newington YC to the Mill Meadow on a cold Tuesday evening for their game in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League. Moyola came into the match keen to repeat their victory in the previous meeting of the two teams, with a win helping them to push for a spot in the top three.

The match began slowly with neither team able to take control in the early moments. Both teams struggled to create any clear chances, with it not being until the 7th minute that a Jason Paul cross was scrambled away by Newington, with Ryan Morrison breaking. Good work from Moyola to get back in defence however, resulted in the following cross being easily claimed by Martin Farnioh. Newington would continue to threaten Moyola with counter attacks, with a brave block from Peter McClure resulting in the first stoppage.

With both teams eager to open the scoring the match would pick up in both speed and aggression. The first clear chance would fall to Newington striker Ryan Morrison, who found himself through on goal with only the Moyola keeper to beat. The following half volley however proved to be another simple catch for Martin Farniok. This missed chance would soon be regretted by Newington when in the 16th minute Daniel McIlhatton cut back to Tomas McCann who opened the scoring by slotting his shot past the Newington keeper. Newington immediately looked to force an equaliser, however this would allow Moyola to look threatening on the counter attack.

Despite Newington becoming the more offensive team, Moyola would continue to look threatening. Clearly encouraged by his involvement in the opening goal, Daniel McIlhatton would begin to dominate the midfield, keen to take on the Newington players. This would result in a foul in the 30th minute when he was tackled from behind. Moyola would soon return this foul as an accidental high foot from Oran McAuley would leave Paul Harvey on the ground with a head injury. This stoppage would provide a much needed break for the two teams who both seemed ready for halftime. There would however be more action before halftime as in the 42nd minute a deep cross from Moyola’s Aaron Harris would be deflected in by Jack Graham to give Moyola a 2-0 lead. Moyola were not done yet however and looked keen to continue attacking as Newington’s Daniel White found himself yellow carded for stopping the Moyola counter in the 45th minute. Moyola went in at half time winning 2-0.

The second half began like the first with no team able to establish control. It remained tight with Newington looking very aggressive and up to the challenge Moyola had posed them. It wasn’t until the 51st minute that the first chance was created. Tomas McCann’s dribbling was a constant threat for Moyola with him nearly supplying a goal to Daniel McIlhatton who very nearly latched onto his cross. Moyola were then able to increase their lead after a corner in the 54th minute was met at the back post by Conor Taggart, making it 3-0 to Moyola.

Newington would not give up however as the pace of the game soon picked up. Ryan Morrison’s efforts to keep the ball in play paid off for Newington when they won a penalty in the 57th minute. This was calmly slotted away by Stephen Doyle to make the score 3-1. Encouraged by their goal it did not take long for Newington to find a second, with Daniel White’s 60th minute half volley perhaps being the goal of the game. Both teams seemed much more focused on scoring rather than defending now. This would soon pay off for Moyola in the 67th minute when an Aaron Harris free kick was volleyed in by Daniel McIlhatton to make it 4-2 and much more comfortable for Moyola.

The game would slow slightly here, becoming more aggressive again. This was seen by the yellow card awarded to Jack Graham in the 69th minute for a tackle from behind. The game would have few chances during this period with more skilful dribbling from Tomas McCann in the 78th minute being one of few highlights. This led to Moyola’s first substitution as Benjamin Agnew came on for Conor Taggart. Moyola would look to finish the game strong with Daniel McIlhatton finding his second goal of the game by finishing from close range in the 83rd minute to make it 5-2 to Moyola. This would lead to Moyola’s second substitution in the 85th minute with Tomas McCann coming off for Nicky Hudson. Newington would also make a double substitution, bringing on John Donnelly and Gerrard Dempsey. Neither team posed much threat towards the end of the match with Stephen Greer replacing Moyola’s Jason Paul in extra time. The match would finish in a feisty manner however as Moyola won a free kick for manhandling that resembled rugby more than football. This would not matter however as Moyola claimed three points with a comfortable 5-2 win.

Moyola Park: Farniok, McAllister, Harris, McQuillan, McClure, Graham, Taggart, McIlhatton, McCann, McAuley, Paul. Subs: Doey, Hudson, Agnew, Greer, Hegan.

Newington YC: Smith, McFall, Begley, O’Moore, Adams, Hanvey, McAuley, White, Morrison, Doyle, Logan. Subs: O’Neill, Bracken, Donnelly, Dempsey.

Match Report by Calum Neeson