NFC Kesh 2

St Oliver Plunkett 3

NFC Kesh are out of the fonaCAB Junior Cup after suffering a 3-2 defeat to Belfast side St. Oliver Plunkett.

The Fermanagh team fought back from two goals down to level the scores in the second half thanks to goals from Mark McCauley and Lee Walker, but they could not complete the comeback and the visitor’s goal 20 minutes from time marked the end of Kesh’s run in the competition.

“It was really a game of two halves,” said Kesh manager Nicky Noble.

“We didn’t start well and they went 2-0 up and that triggered something in the boys and they really went at it. We got two goals back quickly and I thought we were going to go on and do it, but their keeper made some great saves and that was when I kind of knew that it wasn’t going to be our day.

“I can’t fault the players for their efforts, but we were on the end of a sucker punch. We will try to pick ourselves up now for the game against Town this Saturday.”

After an evenly matched opening to the game Plunketts started to gain the upper hand, and they were rewarded after 20 minutes when they took the lead, taking advantage of a defensive slip to set up Reid to fire past keeper Ross McClelland.

Kesh struggled to impose themselves on the match and remained a goal adrift at half time.

The manager made a tactical change at half time with Josh Flack moving into a more attacking role, but it was Plunkett that were celebrating early in the half when Reid grabbed his second of the match, lobbing McClelland.

The goal belatedly sparked Kesh into life and they were back in the game within five minutes when Mark McCauley got his head to a Lee Walker free kick, and followed up his own initial header by out jumping the Plunkett keeper to head into the net.

Jordan Toal was the next to test the keeper, and although he fumbled the initial shot, Flack’s follow up was well saved.

The equaliser arrived minutes later when Toal’s cross from the right was volleyed in by Walker at the back post.

The momentum seemed to be with the home team, but Plunketts had other ideas and their goal from McCloskey restored their lead and resulted in a cup exit for Kesh.