Loughrea FC 1
Westport United 0
FOR the second game in succession, Loughrea saw off highy rated opposition as they qualified for the last sixteen of the Connacht Junior Cup with a merited success over the Mayo Super League champions Westport United on Sunday. Striker Darren Creaven notched his tenth goal of the season from the penalty spot for an opening half match-winner and, in reality, the home side should have enjoyed a greater advantage at the finish, instead of enduring a nervous finale.
In heavy conditions, this wasn’t a game for the purists, but it was an occasion where defences dominated and where attempts to play a short passing game was pointless. Certainly, there was more of a directness about Loughrea and in Creaven they have a striker with huge ability and a huge appitite for work.
The biggest problem for the home side was their inability to get support up to the frontman and while Creaven did his duty with style and creativity, a lot of his best work was unrewarded. Creaven could have made matters somewhat more comfortable for the home side, but fired a good opportunity wide of Cunningham’s goal on just six minutes.
Goal chances were certainly at a premium in the opening half, but Loughrea did make a breakthrough on 19 minutes when a Creaven pass picked out the impressive Adam Riordan in the box. However, the midfielder was fouled by the advancing Cunningham and from the resulting penalty, Craven made it 1-0 with a right footed effort tucked into the bottom corner.
While the visitors had the advantage of the elements in the opening half, they struggled to get a clear sight of Kris O’Shea’s goal and never created an opportuniry of note. Just a Jamie Daniels header threatened a breakthrough at the other end, as the home side held on to their advantage to the break.
The second half saw Loughrea enjoy a real early cutting edge with Riordan and Daniel Tully flashing efforts just over in the opening minutes, but they were not able to maintain that pressure as the workload in attack increased on Creaven. He threatened to add to their tally on a number of occasions, but lacked support when outnumber
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.