Iveagh United booked their place in the third round of the Irish Cup for the first time in their history with an emphatic 5-2 home victory over Mid-Ulster Intermediate side Broomhedge.
The game was played at Iveagh's Richardson Park in wintery conditions and in a good, competitive spirit from the beginning with the home side thoroughly deserving of the win.
Conor Vaughan opened the scoring early in the first half only for the away side to draw level minutes later, Thomas Burns then restored the home sides lead.
Vaughan then got his second of the game before Michael Henderson's second half double put the gloss on a good home performance.
The game began with both teams looking to get the ball down and play a passing game but it was clear from the outset that Iveagh possessed the better quality players as Broomhedge gave the ball away numerous times during the early exchanges.
This gave the home side plenty of early possession to build attacks on and early chances fell to strikers Magill and Henderson without success.
The away side had to rely on their keeper making two or three decent stops from midfielders Fox and McAnulty before a slick Iveagh move set Vaughan up for the opening goal.
Burns and Magill combined well in midfield with Magill slicing the away defence wide open to put Vaughan through on the keeper and the young midfielder found the bottom corner of the net.
The lead didn’t last long as Broomhedge launched an attack of their own minutes later and Iveagh’s defensive frailties left goalkeeper McGinley wide open.
Despite saving the first effort, the big goalkeeper could do nothing about the rebound and the game was level.
This goal brought an instant reaction from the home side as they realised they would have to work harder for the win with captain Paddy Fox rallying his defence to keep their shape better. Soon after midfielder Tommy McAnulty had a low shot well saved by the away ‘keeper after a neat move involving full-back Laverty and forwards Henderson and Magill.
It wasn’t long before Iveagh had the ball in the Broomhedge net again as Burns volleyed home from an inch perfect McLaughlin cross from the right.
The ‘keeper got a touch to the ball but was unable to keep the powerful effort out.
The away side began to play a longer ball when they finally realised the short passing wasn't working but this only played into the strengths of the Iveagh backline with Fox and McDonald completely dominant in the air.
Iveagh United forced a corner just before half-time after another good move resulting in a decent stop from the away goalkeeper.
Magill’s corner wasn’t properly dealt with and this allowed Vaughan to scramble in his second goal of the game at the second attempt, much to the delight of the home crowd.
This goal was the turning point in the game as the home side realised they were in a winning position and could take full control of the game.
Neat touches in midfield and defence with plenty of short passing allowed the home team to dominate possession going into half-time.
The game was effectively over just after half-time as Henderson danced around the away defence to score the goal of the game after being sent away down the right by his fellow striker Magill.
After collecting Magill’s pass, Henderson left three defenders in his wake and calmly slotted the ball past a helpless keeper to make it 4-1 to the home side.
Iveagh again dominated possession and chances were created for Laverty, Burns and McAnulty but each failed to convert.
Substitutes Dorrian, Flood and Wilkinson came on to help keep the Iveagh midfield ticking over and kept possession well when called upon.
Broomhedge were given a way back into the game after a strange decision by the referee saw a penalty awarded for handball against Flood with 15 minutes left to play but the converted penalty was only a consolation as Henderson immediately replied with a deflected effort to restore his sides three goal advantage going into the final 10 minutes.
The home team saw out the game with some neat passing moves involving Flood, Henderson and Laverty on the left side, where they were afforded plenty of space by a deflated away side.
The final whistle saw a jubilant Iveagh side reach the third round of the Irish Cup in their first ever campaign with Club Secretary Jonah McCann declaring it a ‘great performance and a great day for the players and staff.’
Next week sees Iveagh travel to the home of Kilmore Rec for a tough match in the first round of the Coca-Cola Intermediate Cup.
The Committee of Iveagh United is currently on the lookout for two volunteers to join the club, the first position would be for a qualified coach to join the first team management.
The second position is for a volunteer to help out the second team management, anyone interested should contact Gerard on 07759542510.