Mid-Sutton transforming season with five in a row

by Dave Donnelly

LSL Sunday Senior 1B
Mid-Sutton Sportslink 3
Ayrfield 0

Mid Sutton Sportslink manager Dermot O’Shea feels it was inevitable his side would go on an extended winning streak as they made it five wins on the bounce in LSL Sunday Senior 1B.

The Santry side saw off the challenge of fellow promotion contenders Ayrfield United and moved above their opponents into fourth with a 3-0 victory.

Goals from Ciaran Mackey, Andy Lougheed and Andy Nugent saw Mid Sutton to a victory that wasn’t quite as comfortable as it looked with the second and third goals coming in the final ten minutes.

The win moves them within a point of Ardmore Rovers in the third promotion spot, having lingered in the relegation zone only a month ago.

They’ve scored 20 goals across the five victories – an average of four a game – and conceded just twice in the same span to underline their promotion credentials.

That ruthlessness in front of goal was exemplified in the space of four minutes late in the game as strikes from Lougheed and Nugent put the game to bed.

Mackey had opened the scoring midway through the first half as he capitalised on some slack Ayrfield defending to turn a cross into the net.

The visitors had been unfortunate not to take the lead inside the first ten minutes as a spectacular volley from Philly Hand rebounded back off the crossbar, and MSS didn’t look back from there.

“It’s been coming. The games we’ve played where we’ve been beaten, we still played good football,” O’Shea told the Dublin Gazette. “Individual mistakes cost us. We cut them out and now all the lads’ hard work is paying off. We like to play good football, and if you play good football you’ll get chances.”

O’Shea took the reigns at Sportslink over the summer following a stint in charge of Drumcondra/Stella Maris, with former captain Ger Barry installed as his assistant.

He admits it took him some time to discover his best team, while injuries have also hampered their progressed, but after just one win in their first six games, they’re very much the league’s form side.

“We’ve hit our rhythm. After coming in new in the summer, it takes a little while to find your best combinations. Even in the games we’ve lost, we created a lot of chances, we just didn’t take them.”

A busy Christmas period awaits, as the astro facility in Sportslink means they’re somewhat protected against the bad weather that’s seen games called off elsewhere in recent weeks.

If they can successfully navigate the Christmas period, and remain in touching distance of the top three, O’Shea feels they have a real chance of securing promotion to the third tier.

“It would be nice to get in there and be around the top three. I take it game by game. You can only think one game ahead – it’s easy to get carried away.

“I’m very happy with the squad we have. You never know though. I’ve a few injuries coming back fit, so they’ll be like new signings to us.”

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