Malahide Craven FAI Cup success with five-star win

by Dave Donnelly
0 comment

Gareth Craven scored twice as Malahide United steamrolled Cherry Orchard 5-0 to reach the last 16 of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

The northside club were 4-0 up within 23 minutes as Rob Duggan and Jordi Ebanda added to Craven’s brace, before substitute Cillian Timmins added a fifth late on.

The LSL Senior Sunday rivals have both had mixed starts to the league season, but there was only ever one winner by the seaside as Ger Coughlan’s side proved too slick for their southside visitors.

The home side took control from the off at a bitterly cold Gannon Park and led inside five minutes courtesy of the lively Craven.

The winger controlled a cross into the box and saw his first effort blocked, but there was little keeper Ciaran Bizzel could do about the follow-up.

Three minutes later, Malahide were two goals to the good as Duggan’s speculative effort from distance arrowed into the bottom corner, although Bizzel might have done more to keep it out.

Orchard were almost offered a route back into the game when goalkeeper Dylan McNulty let a backpass slip under his foot but, under pressure from Ciaran Byrne, he got the ball to safety.

Malahide took their slice of fortune and made it count moments later as Craven bagged his second of the game, finding a yard of space in the area before firing into the corner of the net.

And Bizzel in the Orchard goal was at fault for the fourth goal as he was caught in possession by Ebanda, and the former Dundalk underage striker stroked the ball into an empty net.

To their credit, Orchard refused to buckle and they had the better of the play for the remainder of the first half, and were twice denied goal-line clearances within a matter of minutes.

First, Byrne thought he’d scored when he flicked up a pass from Yuta Sasaki and nodded the ball over McNulty, but Dylan Cashin raced back to somehow head the ball off the line.

Moments later, Malahide kept their goal intact by the slimmest of margins once more as Aaron Sheehan’s header beat the keeper but was again scrambled clear.

Malahide continued to pick Orchard off, and Ciaran McGahan saw his volley saved by Bizzel, and the keeper had to be agile to tip a raking 50-yard effort from Cashin over the bar.

Cherry Orchard captain Gio Boccorossa was inches from connecting with an Adrian Raffery free kick, and Rafferty saw a shot blocked by Cashin as they continued to fight for a way back in.

Malahide survived to the break with their clean sheet intact, and the second half was comparatively less dramatic, bar a Ryan Coombes free kick that was well-saved by McNulty.

Two substitutes combined 18 minutes from time to put added gloss on the scoreline as Karl Moody reached the byline and crossed for Timmins, who had a simple task to finish at the back post.

Related Articles