West Region romped to victory in the SYFA Inter-Regional Trophy on Friday night with a 5-1 victory over Central that was nowhere near as one-sided or convincing as the scoreline suggests.
Early goals from Reece Coyle and Callum Miller put the teams level at half-time, but Central fell apart for a short spell in the second half, allowing Craig Corbett and Kai McNaught to grab three goals between them and put West out of sight. A mix-up at the back compounded Central’s misery with Conor McBrearty walking into the net to round it off.
The game started at a frenetic pace and it was 1-1 before either side had a chance to breathe. Instant pressure from West put Central on the back foot and won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Coyle’s effort looked to be going wide to the keeper’s right but it hit the last man in the wall and took a wicked deflection into the opposite corner.
West barely had no time to enjoy the lead as Central forced a corner down the left, with Max Cassidy’s ball in headed home unchallenged by Miller.
Some of the parents hadn’t even yet left the warmth of their cars to watch their boys play and there had already been two goals.
Unfortunately for them, the rest of the half couldn’t match the excitement of the opening three minutes, with neither side retaining possession well. The game was a constant procession of misplaced passes, over-hit through balls, and niggly challenges stopping the flow of the match.
Central twice almost put Jake Coulter through on goal with balls over the top, but on the first occasion he was forced wide and his cross went behind, and on the second he was denied by a brave stop from keeper Stephen Mooney at his feet.
A rare neat bit of passing and moving from Dylan Whitten and Corbett slipped Rowan Gibson through one-on-one with the Central goalie but he lacked composure and drilled his shot wide.
Central came closest of the lot near the end of the half when a free-kick curled in from the left was headed on by Jordan Hutchison and struck the far post, with Mooney eventually claiming the ball after a goal line scramble.