DCU staged an impressive second half comeback to beat IT Sligo 3-2 in their CUFL Women’s Premier Division match on Tuesday, 9th of October.
IT Sligo were dominant in the first half, exerting serious pressure on DCU from the get go. Sligo almost found the back of the net in the opening fifteen minutes, with Sligo striker Amber Lynch missing an early opportunity, as she dragged her effort wide of the far post.
The visitors had another great chance minutes later as Lynch was played in on goal by a ball over the top but one-on-one with the keeper, she got the ball tangled between her feet and DCU managed to clear.
It didn’t take long for them to open the scoring as they took the lead in the 32nd minute through a goal from Amy Boyle-Carr.
Boyle-Carr was played in on the left wing, rounded Maria Byrne in the DCU goal and slotted into an empty net.
IT Sligo then deservedly extended their lead in the 40th minute as Amber Lynch found the bottom left corner of Byrne’s net after again getting in behind the DCU defence.
As the second half started the match showed no sign of changing, with DCU goalkeeper Byrne being forced to make a fine save in the 48th minute.
However, DCU made three substitutions around the 55 minute mark, bringing on Abbie Molloy, Shauna Geldon and Aoife Burke, in what proved to be a major turning point in the game.
Substitute Abbie Molloy got DCU back in the game with a finish from close range after a fine ball in from Elena Lopez split the IT Sligo defence.
DCU then made their final replacement soon after, bringing on substitute goalkeeper Shauna Lennon in place of Maria Byrne.
With their tails up, DCU made the most of exploiting the tiring IT Sligo team.
The sides were brought level after a fine shot from Niamh Farrelly sailed over the head of the Sligo keeper from roughly 35 yards out in the 81st minute.
DCU found the winner only minutes later with Abbie Molloy scoring her second goal, sliding in to beat Sligo keeper Shania McElhinney at her near post.
DCU endured a nervous final few minutes, holding on to win the game 3-2.
Speaking to The College View after the game, DCU’s Denise Callinan saw the second half substitutions as being crucial to DCU’s success.
“We had way better possession in the second half, it was a good choice to make the substitutions.”
“Once we settled down and got a pep talk from Fran [DCU manager Francis Butler] we settled into the game”, she said.
DCU’s next league match is away to Letterkenny IT next Wednesday on the 17th of October.
DCU: Maria Byrne (Shauna Lennon); Erika Graham, Aine Fennelly, Denise Callinan, Jennifer Dowling; Niamh Farrelly, Rebecca Conlon (Shauna Geldon), Elena Lopez; Hadleigh Richard, Mairead Walsh (Aoife Burke), Claire Geraghty (Abbie Molloy).
IT Sligo: Shania McElhinney; Emma Gibbons, Katelyn McLoughlin, Grainne Gallagher, Amanda Healy; Denise McGrath, Ella McLaughlin, Amy Boyle-Carr, Katie Melly; Kirsty Gallagher, Amber Lynch.
Image Credit: Hugh Farrell.