Another match played in scorching conditions with a very small squad (12). With the exception of a few, players emptied themselves on the pitch and finished with very little in the tank. This made it all the more disappointing to lose after putting in such a huge effort. In such demanding conditions control and discipline on the day before the game is vital and although the late kick-off gave more recovery time, there was still evidence of fatigue on show early on in the game and even before the kickoff, that had nothing to do with the warm weather. Lack of training is also setting us back and in the new attendance table we post, we are going to post how many times each player has attended training in the last 5 or 6 weeks and it makes worrying reading. Anyway back to the match. For long periods of play Naas were well on top and only for a MotM performance from the Old Fort Celtic keeper there is little doubt that Naas would be in the semi-finals. Their 89th minute second goal only happened because we were chasing the game. A spirited performance from Naas that just fell short and good to see the desire to win back. This will be needed for the last few league games if we are to remain in this division.
Emmet (7): Solid performance and little chance with either goals. Commanded the backline well and distribution good.
Sean (7): Started rightback but caught for pace against their fastest and arguably their best player. Wsitched to right wing and was far more effective in the game. Had a fantastic top corner shot turned away by the keeper and could have (and should have) scored in a goalmouth scrable. Taken out of it by the keeper and should have been awarded penalty.
Archie (7.5). Never stopped bursting a gut for the team. Solid performance defending and going forward. Was shattered at the end and left nothing on the pitch.
Matty (7.5): Marshalled the backline well and gave little away. Got his wish to play up front and was a good option and target man there. Held the ball up well. Didn’t get a chance at scoring but may do if given another chance – we’ll have to wait and see!!
Greg (7.5): Cool and calm as ever and played the ball out from the back to feet. Tapped for pace once or twice but didn’t get caught. Intelligent defending a number of times when shepparding the ball out over our endline when danger was looming.
Paul (7.5): Took a while to get his touch going but when he did made big contribution to team. Tackled strong and won a lot of 50-50 ball. Linked well with Ben and together looked our best chance of a breakthrough.
Rob (7.5): Started on right wing and didn’t see much supply. Switched to right back to offset the threat of their fastest player. Excelled at right back limiting his man and driving forward at every opportunity. Good performance.
Cian (7.5): Needs more pace for central mid but what he lacked in speed he made up for in tackling and hassling their midfield. More match fitness will be a big asset so game time very important. A very good debut.
Aido (7.5): Ran the line well and linked well with Archie, Ben and Paul. Gave team great width and options when on the wing. Switched to lone striker for second half and obvious he played that role before. Turned the fullback brilliantly and struck sweetly only to see their keeper pull off yet another stunning save. Good option for us up front.
Ben (7.5): Emptied the tank and looked visibly shook at the end. Played in a number of roles and linked well with Paul. A few loose long passes went astray but never stopped trying unless exhaustion prohibited.
Aero (6.5): Did well when on and made a few telling runs. Looked tired before the game kicked off. Came off in 29th minute.
Conor N (7): Got shoved around a bit when up against their central defenders. Did much better when moved to wing. Confidence growing.