Odubeko brace kills Cors hopes
UNDER 13 SFAI CUP FINAL
St Joseph’s Boys 2
Corinthian Boys 0
A BRACE of first-half goals from Mipo Odubeko proved to be the difference between the sides at Jackson Park on Saturday afternoon, as Corinthian Boys came up short against St Joseph’s Boys in the U13 SFAI Cup decider.
The Douglas outfit were well in contention during the early moments of the contest, but after the lively Odubeko broke the deadlock on 27 minutes, the Dubliners held a vital edge in the home of Wayside Celtic FC.
The form of Corinthians had been impressive heading into this encounter, and from their seven games on route to the final, they amassed an incredible goal tally of 28. Indeed, they had only conceded one goal in this period (a 2-1 victory over Villa in a Round of 16 clash), but they were facing a Joseph’s side that was also extremely potent in attack.
John Bulger’s charges had also scored 28 goals in their seven previous cup outings, although they did leak two goals in a third round triumph against Metropolitan rivals, Lourdes Celtic. The Sallynoggin boys secured the Under 12 Cup title in 2014, and with a strong wind advantage at their disposal in the opening period, they were forcing Corinthians on the back-foot.
Their ability from dead-ball situations had been pin-pointed by the Corinthians management prior to the game, and full-back Callum Perry’s glancing header – from an enticing Ross Molloy corner – marginally cleared Cian O’Leary’s crossbar just three minutes into the contest.
The movement of Precious Omochere and Odubeko was causing problems for the Corinthians rearguard, but despite enjoying limited possession in the opening-quarter, their Cork counterparts effectively closed down space whenever they threatened to break free in the final-third of the pitch.
Odubeko did have the ball in the Corinthians net on the stroke of 15 minutes, but the energetic striker had drifted into an offside position following a neat over-the-top delivery. Robert Geaney-O’Brien and Matthew Healy were beginning to make an impact in the Corinthians attack as the half wore on, but just when the showpiece was heading for a scoreless opening half-hour, the Rebels were issued with a succession of sucker punches.
Odubeko headed home superbly from another excellent Molloy corner to provide some daylight between them and Corinthians, and after seeing a subsequent effort cleared away to safety by Daniel Squires, the dynamic number nine doubled the Joseph’s lead in first-half stoppage-time.
The outstanding Odubeko evaded several challenges on his mazy run into the penalty area, and with the help of a slight deflection, he fired past the stranded O’Leary.
This offered Joseph’s a significant platform when the action resumed, but thanks to the 34th minute introductions of midfield duo David Welch and Jack Leonard, Corinthians brought a fresh approach to their play.
O’Leary comfortably dealt with an Aran Moore attempt at goal six minutes after the restart, and with the likes of Daniel Meade and George Coomber becoming more influential, there was every chance that Corinthians could force their way back into the reckoning.
Coomber opted to take a touch rather than execute a first-time 18-yard volley, but the industrious Healy did test the mettle of Joseph’s netminder Enda Minogue 11 minutes from the end.
His thunderous strike from distance was superbly turned away by Minogue, and even though Mark Redmond eventually found the net from the resulting rebound, the offside flag had been raised.
Geaney-O’Brien was offering a much-needed physical presence for Corinthians, and his exceptional work-rate ensured that the Joseph’s back-four were on their toes at all times. Redmond and Destiny Okonkwo also added a new dimension for Corinthians, and Joseph’s were generally under a greater degree of pressure than they had been prior to the interval.
They managed to keep their composure at all times, though, and three years on from the club’s final defeat at the hands of St Kevin’s Boys in the same age grade, it seemed likely that Corinthians would once again have to settle for the competition’s runner-up spot.
Deep into injury-time at the end of the second half, a Geaney-O’Brien cross from the right-flank almost fell kindly to Okonkwo, but after the danger was ultimately averted, Joseph’s Boys celebrated a hard-earned success.
ST JOSEPH’S BOYS: Enda Minogue; Callum Perry, Alex Rafferty, Cian Kelly, James Furlong; Precious Omochere, Cormac Moore, Eoin O’Connor, Aran Moore; Mipo Odubeko, Ross Molloy.
Subs: Eabhard O’Callaghan for A Moore (46), Panit O’Keeffe for Odebeku (60).
CORINTHIAN BOYS: Cian O’Leary; Shane Cotter, Eoin Redmond, Daniel Squires, Sean Cantillon; George Coomber, Joe Harte, Daniel Meade, Michael Nason; Robert Geaney-O’Brien, Matthew Healy.
Subs: David Welch for Harte, Jack Leonard for Nason (both 34), Destiny Okonkwo for Coomber, Mark Redmond for Cotter (both 48).
Referee: Philip Brennan (Dublin).