21 October 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Mervue United 0
Monaghan United 1

Monaghan United continued their drive for promotion and indeed this win against Mervue United saw them leap frog both Shelbourne and Cork City into top position in the table. Mervue have upset the odds against the Mons for the past three seasons and it looked very much again that it was going to be another repeat performance until Ryan Brennan got his late late goal in 88th minute. Whereas in the previous encounters Mervue had more than their share of good look against , had they got anything out of this game they would have more than deserved it and their supporters will feel they should have got at least a share of the points and how close did they come to getting that result. Even when Brennan scored the goal Mervue’s Alex Lee came close two minutes later and then with the final action of the game Jason Marks was fortunate to get his foot to the ball to clear at the foot of the post from a corner.
With the exception of the suspended Shane Grimes Monaghan United were at full strength,. Jason Marks replaced Grimes, the Brennan brothers returned from suspension, Paul Whelan and Eric Foley dropped to the bench. Mervue were missing four of their regulars in captain Martin Conneely, David Goldbey, Damien O’Rourke and Peter Dravins and five minutes into the game they were dealt a blow when their very influential player John Moutney limped off to be replaced Noel Varley.
In the opening half Monaghan were the play makers with Mervue hitting them on the rebound and they were very dangerous , there would be very few chances any opportunities were coming from half chances of which the home side created the first few. In the third minute Mervue’s most influential forward on the night Etanda Nkolo hit the side netting. Noel Varley was only three minutes on the pitch when he had a good chance, the ball was knocked down to him by Pat Hoban but he dragged his strike well wide. Jordan Keegan had Monaghan’s first attempt but the keeper Brian O’ Donoghue who was making his league of Ireland debut saved well. Three minutes later it was united’s custodians turn Gabriel Sava turn when he denied Alex lee after a ! very good Mervue move. On the quarter hour mark we saw the first good move of the game and it came from the visitors involving Jordan Keegan and Fabio O’ Brien who put Keith Quinn in but he hurried his attempt and shot well off target. Mervue were getting more into it but the game was becoming more scrappy which seemed to frustrate Monaghan. Just on the half hour mark Mervue’s James Casserley did well to get back to deny Sean Brennan and immediately at the other end Sava brought off another good save from Jason Molloy getting down at full stretch to get his hand to the ball. Sean Brennan was put through but his effort was terrible however two minutes later he nearly redeemed himself he was through again but he was denied by an excellent save by the keeper. With the half time whistle five minutes away Monaghan were increasing the pressure, James Casserley made a goal line clearance for M! ervue. There weren’t many cards flashed on the night but Pat Hoban received the first yellow one on 40 minutes for a foul on Ryan Brennan , it incensed the home crowd as they felt he had won the ball. The closing five minutes saw no chances for either side, but just on the stroke of 45 minutes Fabio nearly sneaked a goal as he got behind the defence but again O’ Donohue reacted well to deceive him.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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