FAI-ETB XI impress in draw with Fulham U-19s
With Fulham’s first team training in the background, the game started at a frantic pace. The FAI/ETB selection, made up of players from eight different centres around the country, settled well into the game against their illustrious opponents.
In fact it was the visitors who went closest early on with Charlie Smith shooting over from an acute angle. The home side began to settle in to the game with some slick passing and creative movement. But it was the boys in green who came closest to scoring with a brilliant top corner 20-yard finish from James McGrath being ruled out for offside.
Fulham came roaring back with a brilliant move down the right and forced a brilliant near post save from Cory McManus in the Irish goal.
The second half started with the home side on the foot forcing the impressive McManus in to a number saves in the Irish goal. However the visitors started to gain a foothold in the game with Irish captain Jamie Geoghegan driving on his charges. Up front, centre forward Regix Madika became more and more influential giving the home defenders a tough time.
With the clock ticking down a brilliant run down the right and cross from Amos Sholanke was just missed by Josh Ojelabi on the back post for a certain winner. Overall, it was a great performance from the Irish boys.
Head Coach Gerry Davis was very happy after the game: "We only had one training session on Monday when we got here so there was only so much we get done, but we asked the players for a performance and I think we got that as they were all excellent. To play against a Premier League academy side was a fantastic experience for our players and the Fulham coaches were very complimentary after the game."
FAI/ETB: Cory McManus, Kevin Williams, Peter Adigun, Jamie Geoghegan, Conor Maguire, Aaron Byrne, Adam Doyle, James McGrath, Marty Walsh, Charlie Smith, Regix Madika.
Substitutes: Tyrick Reilly, Tristan Finnane, Amos Sholanke, Luke Ring, Josh Ojelabi.