Bedos the penalty king as Valley roll on in FAI Junior

by Stephen Findlater
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Goalkeeper Yohann Bedos saved two penalties as Rivervalley Rangers progressed to the fourth round of the FAI Junior Cup with a 4-2 shootout win over Valeview Shankill.

The sides couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes at Loughlinstown Hospital on Sunday afternoon after Gareth Dunne cancelled out Alan Moore’s opener early in the second half.

Rivervalley have had a mixed start to life in the LSL following their move from the AUL in the summer, with four points from their three games in Major 1 so far.

Valeview, sitting a league below in Major 1A, lined up with three at the back and looked to use their wing backs to counter quickly.

The home side had the best chance of the opening half as a free kick from was tipped onto the bar by the busy Bedos, who got up to stop the rebound, but all the action came after the break.

Valeview hit the front within ten minutes of the restart as Moore capitalised on some slack defending to turn home Ben McShane’s cross.

The concession galvanised Rivervalley and they equalised with 20 minutes remaining thanks to substitute Dunne.

The player affectionately known as ‘Ferret’ saw his driven effort from just inside the box parried clear, but he followed up to chip the rebound into the top corner from a tight angle.

The visitors piled on the pressure and the home side saw Liam Bermingham sent off in extra time, and Rivervalley hit the post in the dying seconds and James Rock turned the loose ball wide.

And it was the Bedos shown from thereon in as he saved the first two Valeview penalties, and Rivervalley netted all four of theirs to book a spot in the next round.

“It was a scrappy enough game,” Rivervalley assistant manager Declan Eivers told the Dublin Gazette. “They’re a league below but we’re after moving from the AUL and we just got put into Major 1 in the LSL.

“We’re a league above them, but we’ve done nothing to earn being a league above them and I think they showed us a bit too much respect.

“They played really defensive. They played five-at-the-back, so it was us trying to break them down and they were a bit dangerous on the counter attack.

“In the second half, we gave away a sloppy goal and it kind of woke us up. From, say, 60 minutes onwards there was only one team in the game.

“We battered their goal for the last half-hour of normal time. In extra time we hit the post and had numerous chances.

“They were praying for a peno shootout but we had confidence in Yohann.

“He’s a bit of a penalty specialist, and he saved the first two penos. We just went through fairly comfortably then.”

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