This was a hard fought victory as Arlington advanced to the semi final of the Cotter Cup at the expense of Athlone side Melville.
Arlington took the lead early in the game when a long range effort from Joe Gorman was fumbled by the Melville ‘keeper and Shaun Pierre Cretaro reacted quickest to blast to the net. Melville were soon on level terms however when a corner from the Arlington right was turned in at the second attempt.
The Laois side reacted well however and dominated the rest of the half. Shane McAuley reacted first to turn in a dangerous corner from Daryl Foy to regain the lead and further chances fell to Cretaro and McAuley, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing resulted in Arlington only having a one goal cushion at the break.
The second half was a tougher affair with Melville playing to their strengths and hitting long balls up to the big centre forward looking for a flick on and the second ball. But Arlington stood firm at the back and defended everything that was thrown at them.
They were still dangerous on the counter attack and had the chance to make things more comfortable when Joe Gorman was taken down in the box by the Melville ‘keeper after a great run from midfield. A red card and penalty resulted but the stand in keeper did enough to push Shane McAuley’s effort around the post to set up a nervy last few minutes.
Arlington saw out the game however and held on for a deserved victory and now set up a semi final clash against another Athlone side Monksland. Special mention to youth player Aaron Conway who made his senior debut and is definitely a player for the future.
Arlington: Brian McAuley, Oleg Shiskarev, John Rickard, Shane McAuley, Colin Doyle, Eoghan Gleeson, Robbie McNeill, Joseph Gorman, Barry Kenny, Shaun Pierre Cretaro, Daryl Foy Subs : Aaron Conway, Lorcan Carey