Our U18 side played out a two all draw with hosts Hungary in their second contest played in Budapest this morning. Poor defending cost Ireland a goal after just two minutes but a splendid goal from Southampton striker Luke Pearce levelled matters ten minutes later. The joy was short lived however as the hosts again capitalised on careless defending to regain the lead just minutes later. The remainder of the first half and the early stages of the second half provided little of note with both sides cancelling each other out. Ireland upped the tempo in the closing stages and were awarded a penalty on 83 minutes which Derby County midfielder Cian Kelly-Caprani converted. While the match lacked real intensity there were some admirable performances with midfield captain Ed McJannet of Luton Town catching the eye as did centre back Tommy Fogarty of Birmingham City and goal scorer Pearce up front.
Team: Owen Mason (Mansfield Town); David Toure (Shelbourne), Tommy Fogarty (Birmingham City), Darragh Reilly (Sligo Rovers), Alex Murphy (Galway United); Justin Ferizaj (Shamrock Rovers), Ed McJannet (Luton Town), Cian Kelly-Caprani (Derby County); Jad Hakiki-Filloche (Shelbourne), Billy Brooks (Lincoln City), Luke Pearce (Southampton),
Cian Coleman (Leeds United) for Ferizaj 59′
Dara McGuinness (Shamrock Rovers) for Hakiki 59′
Rio McEvoy (Bolton Wanderers) for Brooks 69′
Newly appointed Republic of Ireland U18 Head Coach Colin O’Brien, who also retains his U17 role, led a 20 player squad to Hungary for two friendly fixtures this week. The first match took place at 5pm on Tuesday afternoon at the BVSC Stadion in Budapest where Ireland secured a two nil victory. Derby County midfielder Cian Kelly-Caprani opened the scoring on 44 minutes and striker Dara McGuinness of Shamrock Rovers added the second in the 50th minute.
Team: Josh Clarke (AFC Bournemouth); Edwin Agbaje (Ipswich Town), Sean Grehan (Bohemian), Cathal Heffernan (Cork City), Alex Murphy (Galway United); Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh (Cork City), Ed McJannett[C] (Luton Town), Cian Coleman (Leeds United); Dara McGuinness (Shamrock Rovers), Rio McEvoy (Bolton Wanderers), Cian Kelly-Caprani (Derby County)
Billy Brooks (Lincoln City) for Whitmarsh 61′
Luke Pearce (Southampton) for McEvoy 61′
Tommy Fogarty (Birmingham City) for Grehan 73′