SWANS GRAB LATE GOAL TO SECURE WIN
BIRR 1-2 REAL FA SWANS
Real FA Swans traveled to Birr this morning for their latest match in the Midlands League. Birr started the brightest and found themselves in front after only three mins when their centre forward ran onto a long ball over the top which Nicole Geoghegan playing at centre back today could just not reach to head away before slotting the ball past Sinead Byrne in goal. An early set back for the swans laid down the marker for what was to be a tough day out.
Swans settled into the game and when they got their passing game going they looked very dangerous with each attack. Katie Kelly was starting to boss the midfield area and when she combined with Oonagh Cassidy at left back who then released Chloe Smullen down the left it looked like the swans were going to equalise. Smullens powerful shot high towards the near post was superbly saved by the Birr keeper. In fact the exact same move ten mins later again had the same out come. Two fantastic saves from the young Birr Keeper. Alison Bane was the next to work her magic with another raiding run down the left cutting in at the edge of the box before sliding the ball across the goal. Aoife Glennon arrived at the back post but again hit the sprawling keeper with her shot. Birr rarely threatened towards the end of the half and swans looked comfortable. Just before the break Chloe's run down the left before crossing into the box again found Aoife at the back post. Aoife was again defeated by the keeper but Alison was on hand to finish the rebound. Half Time 1-1
Swans made a couple of changes at half time and again started the second have brightly. Some great interplay from Katie Kelly and Alison Bane the highlight of the opening exchanges. Birr had the odd attack into the swans defensive line but were not having much joy with shots on goal. Claire Stuart had a fantastic second half and kept the shape at the back very well. Sarah Geoghegan,Chloe Smullen and Katie Kelly were working tirelessly in the middle of the park while Alison Bane was continuing to cause Birr problems down the left. Nicola and Jess came off the bench and it was Jessica Maloney who eventually made the difference. Birr had a player dismissed after an off the ball incident and swans looked to push for the winner by changing their shape to 3-5-2. Maloney who came on at right back was launched up front to see could she add some energy to the swans attack. Within a couple of mins the change looked like it had worked. A fine move from swans which saw a combination of passes from Nicole Geoghegan at centre back, into the midfield third with Katie Kelly exchanging passes with Bane. Bane played a cross field pass to Zoe Mooney who sild an intelligent ball between the Birr defenders in Jess Maloney path. Unfortunately Maloney touch was too heavy and she ran into the Birr Keeper at the edge of the box. However only more determined now from the previous attack the Swans piled on the pressure and when a rushed clearance from the Birr defender was collected by Bane, she played in Maloney who was one on one with the keeper and this time made no mistake GOAL!.
The closing ten minutes were very nervy for the swans but they dealt with the pressure extremely well, working hard for each other and determined to hold on for their win.
Was hard to pick a player of the match from this one and a neutral would have went for the Birr keeper. However with Oonagh Cassidy continuing her fantastic form and Allison Bane back to her usually self it was always going to be close. On this occasion player of the match will have to go to Katie Kelly who worked tirelessly for the side from start to finish. Her heading, tackling, and passing were brilliant on the day.
Final Score: Birr 1-2 Real FA Swans
Player of the match Katie Kelly