Set pieces undo Melville FC as Willow Park progress in Paddy Cotter Cup


Melville FC entertained Willow Park in the Paddy Cotter Cup at Sarsfield Park last Sunday morning and it was the visitors that secured a place in the quarter finals as Melville were undone from two set pieces in the opening half, a goal deep into stoppage time coming too late for the home team as Willow avoided extra time.

Corey Jinks had two early chances for Melville as he fired across the goalmouth from the left and then had a shot blocked by goalkeeper Conor Devaney. The visitors were under pressure but took the lead from their first attacking action. A corner kick was earned after seven minutes and Brian Fogarty's delivery saw Ronan Frawley head on to the far post where Declan Fallon was on hand to nod home from close range.

Fogarty then fired over for the visitors as Mark Duffy responded with an effort which was blocked. A free kick after 12 minutes almost lead to the equaliser but Frawley was on hand to clear the ball off the line. Jinks was again denied by the keeper as Devaney kept Willow in front when parrying a shot from the Melville striker.

Ryan Jinks is between the posts for Melville and was also in good form when he pushed over a shot from James Fortune. Willow doubled their lead after 29 minutes from another set piece in almost identical fashion to the opening score. Shay Byrne delivered this time as Frawley again flicked on for Fallon to head in his second goal of the tie, leaving the Senior Division outfit with a major advantage as half time approached.

Willow could easily have killed off the tie as a contest within a minute of the second half getting underway. Another corner saw Fallon come close to claiming a hat trick only to be denied when his header hit the crossbar.

The tie could have been thrown wide open again on 55 minutes. Jinks was once more involved as he flicked the ball past the advancing keeper but just wide of the target. Cian Hayden had two further chances for Melville. Home substitute Mark McConnell joined the action and an early strike cleared the bar.

Joseph Awana then had a chance at the other end with James Fortune having a shot parried. Melville had a good chance to reduce the deficit but were denied by the woodwork, as substitute Adam Dowling cut inside from the left, but saw his shot bounce off the bar and back into play.

Shay Byrne had the last Willow chance when seeing his free kick saved. There was no further action at either end for the remainder of the 90 minutes, but a further twist to the tie came during stoppage time. The game was in the second minute of additional time when Willow committed a foul. Adam O’Brien fired in the resulting free kick and it carried to the net in a crowded goalmouth via a deflection. Time though ran out on Melville as Willow prevailed.


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