McCarthy’s mighty Mochta’s still fighting on all fronts

by Dave Donnelly

LSL Sunday Senior
St Mochta’s 1
Maynooth University Town 1
ST MOCHTA’S manager Brian McCarthy is delighted with his side’s progress this season despite losing their grip of top spot in LSL Sunday Senior at the weekend.

The Saints were overtaken at the summit by Malahide United following a 1-1 draw at home to Maynooth University Town on Sunday afternoon at Porterstown Road.

An own goal from Alan Byrne inside the first minute had the home side trailing but they quickly equalised through Gareth McCaffrey and that’s the way it stayed after 90 minutes.

Niall Lanigan was shown a straight red card for Maynooth in the dying minutes for a bad tackle but it was too late for a tired Mochta’s side to capitalise.

Things got off to the worst possible start for the Clonsilla club as a mazy run from Cillian Duffy was inadvertently turned into his own net by the vastly experienced centre-half Byrne.

The visitors had the better of the opening period and went close once more as Jake Corrigan struck a shot past Craig Hyland’s post.

The Saints hit back in the ninth minute, somewhat against the run of play, as a superb Karl Somers delivery was glanced home by the head of former Shamrock Rovers striker McCaffrey.

McCaffrey shot narrowly wide before Byrne redeemed himself with a goal-saving challenge on Jack O’Connor during a lively opening period.

Hyland had to be at his best to deny O’Connor as the half-hour approached and he turned Conor Foley’s free kick around the post before again denying O’Connor.

Mochta’s had the better of the second half, with Denis Moran and McCaffrey going close before Jason Grouse’s header edged just past the post.

Niall O’Reilly and Darragh Gannon went close for either side before a rash challenge from Lanigan saw the former Shelbourne midfielder receive his marching orders in the dying minutes.

“We played good football and had our chances to win it, but just didn’t take them,” McCarthy told the Dublin Gazette.

“Maynooth are a good side and we’ve taken four points off them. We were down six or seven lads on Sunday, so at the end of the day I’m happy with the point.

“I think it was about 15 seconds [the opening goal] – it was from the tip-off. I’d only just sat down in my chair! But we reacted well.”

McCarthy has been boosted by the news that towering defender Gavin Kearney has returned for the second half of the season following a spell in the League of Ireland with Athlone Town.

With Edenderry to come in the league on Friday, before they meet Collinstown in a mouth-watering FAI Intermediate Cup last 16 clash the following week, McCarthy is happy with his side’s progress.

“We could be a couple of points better off.

“But the other side of it is if you said to us at the start of the season we’d be second by a point, in all competitions, and with a game in the FAI Senior Cup, I’d have snatched your hand off.”

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