Mountmellick United recorded their second successive goal-packed win on Sunday morning as they sent high-flying Clara Town back home licking their wounds after a superb performance from the Laois men.
CCFL Senior Division
Mountmellick Utd 4
Clara Town 1
Last week Gallen Utd were rejuvenated Mountmellick’s victims in a 9-2 away win, and although Clara weren’t as forgiving at the back, Mountmellick still managed to hit four, all of which were goals of the highest quality. Mark Goodwin was the chief tormentor, bagging his second successive hat-trick with a stunning hat-trick, with Robbie Hibbitts rounding it off with an equally astounding strike.
Lee Collins was the man that provided the creative spark early on for United and they could well have been two up inside the first five minutes with both Shane O’Connell and Robbie Hibbitts both coming close to converting Collins crosses from either wing. They didn’t have to wait too much longer however because in the tenth minute Goodwin pounced with the opening goal of the game.
Strong work from Eddie Melia regained possession for United and he threaded a neat pass inside. Goodwin spun away from his marker with his first touch and his second saw Clara keeper Myles Bracken scrambling unsuccessfully to keep a curling effort out of the top right hand corner.
That effort was eclipsed only three minutes later when Lee Collins broke free down the left wing. He found Gary Donoher inside who in turn poked a short pass into the path of Mark Goodwin. Without thinking he let fly with a sweet strike from 25 yards out that crashed in off the crossbar to double Mountmellick’s advantage.
Matsy Forde had little to do in the United goal in that opening half but he was called into action just before the break and he saved smartly from Derek Coughlan. That was as close as Town would get and when they did manage to beat Forde late on it was irrelevant thanks to second-half wonder goals from Mark Robbie Hibbitts.
Goodwin completed his brilliant hat-trick with the pick of the lot six minutes after the restart. There seemed to be little on when he collected a loose ball twenty yards out but he spotted the chance that few else would have and lifted a deft chip over the Clara rearguard and into the top left hand corner of the net.
Both sides were reduced to ten men when Eddie Melia and Rob Bracken both received their marching orders from referee Adrian Martin after a sideline tussle but when the football resumed Robbie Hibbitts put the game well and truly beyond Clara with a spectacular effort from just inside the Town half. He controlled a breaking ball with ease and spotted Myles Bracken off his line. His finish was as impressive as his vision as he fired a perfectly-weighted lob from all of forty yards out into the back of the unguarded Clara net.
Equally as impressive at the back, Mountmellick’s centre-back pairing of Mark Parkinson and club captain Niall Westman were proving impenetrable, ably assisted by their younger full-backs Laurence Kenny and Cathal Cleary, and it wasn’t until a clumsy late foul resulted in a Clara Town penalty that Derek Coughlan drilled home for a consolation strike. It was the only blemish on an otherwise fantastic win and Mountmellick finally look to have found their feet after a rocky start to the season.
Mountmellick Utd: Matsy Forde, Cathal Cleary, Laurence Kenny, Mark Parkinson, Niall Westman, Gary Donoher (Niall Donoher ‘62), Shane O’Connell, Eddie Melia, Mark Goodwin (Rob Dempsey ‘73), Robbie Hibbitts, Lee Collins (David Kelly ‘37,).
Clara Town: Myles Buckley, Noel Buckley, Thomas Quinn, Derek Coughlan, Robert Moran (Peter Flanagan ‘17), Davy Minnock (Stephen Deehan ‘50). Alan Kelly, Stephen Kidney, Dean Minnock (Christy Minnock ‘57), Rob Bracken, Pa Smith.
Referee: Adrian Martin