Stradbally started the long journey to try and get back to this season’s Counties Cup final when they made the short trip to Portlaoise to take on Maryborough FC last Sunday morning.
Stradbally Town 8
Maryborough FC 2
CCFL Counties Cup Round 1
With perfect conditions at the Leisure Centre, the away side started on the front foot and went ahead on five minutes when Benny Lawlor crossed low to Jody Dillon to flick the ball to the net and it looked like all was going to plan for the side who were two tiers higher than they’re hosts.
Maryborough hadn’t read the script though and two goals in the space of five minutes had them 2-1 in front with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
Stradbally didn’t panic though and were level on 27 minutes when midfielder Scott Osbourne latched onto a loose ball 22 yards from goal and unleashed a cracking strike low to the corner of the home net.
Joe Walsh had to be alert on 32 minutes when a cracking free-kick from a Maryborough attacker looked to be heading to the top right corner, however, Walsh somehow managed to turn it over the bar.
Stradbally retook the lead on 38 minutes when Jody Dillon was put through on goal and he rounded the oncoming Maryborough keeper to finish cooly to the empty net.
Just before the break Benny Lawlor hit a hopeful cross back into the area and it rather fortunately made its way to the net via a Maryborough defender desperately trying to clear and the post to leave it 2-4 at the break.
After a tight first period the second half was dominated by the away side who began to play some free-flowing football.
Dillon completed his hat-trick on 49 minutes and this was followed by a Podgie Fitzpatrick strike that was arrowed to the net from 25 yards out on 60 minutes.
Jody Dillon grabbed his fourth and final goal of the day on 67 minutes after once again some good footwork and a neat finish low to the net. Stradbally had a chance to make it 8 on 73 minutes however Benny Lawlor seen his penalty saved by the feet of the Maryborough keeper who despite the scoreline was having a great game in the home goal.
Substitute Jake Byrne got in the scoring on 81 minutes when he headed home from close range and this brought the scoring to an end in a very entertaining game which Maryborough contributed a lot to especially in the first half.
Stradbally will be happy to be in the next round but will have some concerns of the manner in which they conceded the two goals, however, they didn’t panic, kept playing some good football and got their reward in the end.
Jody Dillon, Damien Murphy, Podge Fitzpatrick and Jimmy Langton were excellent for the men in green.
Stradbally’s thoughts now turn to the Cotter Cup next weekend when they host Clonaslee United in an all Division 1 Cup tie in Stradbally.
Team: Joe Walshe, Colin Murphy, Richie Ryan, Tim Flood, Colin Beale, Jimmy Langton, Damien Murphy, Scott Osbourne, Podge Fitzpatrick, Benny Lawlor and Jody Dillon. Subs: Billy Murphy for Flood, Aaron Wright for Dillon, Jack Deegan for Osbourne and Jake Byrne for Lawlor.