Missed chances cost County two points
Monaghan United 0 Kildare County 0
In the normal scheme of things a draw away from home would be an acceptable outcome, especially against a side like United, who have an impressive home record. Monaghan defeated two of the top four – Shelbourne and Sporting Fingal - at home and held second placed Dundalk to a draw. Their most recent game saw them lose 2-0 to league leaders at Shelbourne at Tolka but on that occasion manager Mick Cooke is quoted as saying he was very disappointed not to take a point.
A win last night would have seen County move above Wexford Youths and Monaghan and to within a point of joint fifth placed Longford and Limerick 37. It is imperative that Kildare keep in touch with the leaders in what now appears to be the second tier in the first division (At this early stage Shels, Dundalk, Waterford and Sporting Fingal seem to be the ones that will battle for the top four places) On the positive side Charlie Treacy kept his second clean sheet in succession.
John Ryan started with ten of the eleven that took the field against Wexford Youths on Monday night, the excepting being a straight swop of Paul Donnelly at right back for the injured Alan Clarke. Monaghan manager Mick Cooke, strangely for the home side started with a defensive looking setup, playing three centre backs in a five, three two formation.
Monagham keeper Brendan Kennedy, making a return from injury, was called on to make an early save from a Philly Gorman header and in a dour first half in which this was the only effort either side had on target.
A good run by Monaghan’s Philip Shepard culminated with Ian Maher blazing wide of Charlie Treacy’s goal in the fiftieth minute. Cooke then introduced Northern Ireland under 21 International Darren Meenan for Maher in the 59th minute and with his first touch he clipped the County post. Monaghan had another chance in the sixty-fifth minute but Don Tierney shot well wide when put through by Eoin Hannigan.
County then took over and created a number of gilt edged chances, none of which were availed of. Cathal Brady, Ciaran Kilduff and Philly Gorman all brought fine saves from former Thoroughbred’s keeper Brendan Kennedy.
Perhaps the best chance of the night fell to County midfielder Eoin Kavanagh late in the game when he made his way through the Monaghan defence and sent in a powerful drive but Kennedy got down superbly to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
In hindsight Kildare will see this as two points dropped rather that one gained and a chance to pick up another couple of places on sides above them wasted.
Monaghan United: Kennedy, Whelan, Gartland, Byrne, Malone, Maher (Meenan 59), Tierney, McCrossan, Williamson, Collins (Hanaphy 79), Sheppard (Lanigan 66)
Kildare County: Treacy, Kavanagh, Brophy, Roche, Clancy, Slattery, Fortune, Brady (Broderick 75), Kilduff (Robinson 80), Gorman, Donnelly.
Referee: R Rogers.