Milk Cup 2010: Clinical Cofie gets Reds off to a flying start
Posted by nickogs20 on July 26, 2010
United made a blistering start to the defence of their Milk Cup crown with a 4-0 thrashing of County Tyrone at the Ballymena Showgrounds.
The Reds were on the front foot right from the off and John Cofie was too much for the Northern Irish side to handle, the big striker grabbing a first hat-trick in United colours. Michael Keane grabbed a fourth goal and there could have several more as the defending champions dominated.
United had already squandered a couple of early chances before taking the lead, Cofie latching onto an exquisite slide rule pass from Etzaz Hussain and coolly slotting underneath the advancing keeper. The 17 year-old’s second was an altogether simpler finish but the build-up play was no less impressive, Larnell Cole engineering a clever short corner with Tom Lawrence before skipping into the box and drilling across a fierce low centre that left Cofie with the simplest of tap-ins from all of two yards out.
United continued to pour forward in search of goals after the interval and the Reds’ Ghanaian-born striker soon secured the matchball. He started the move, laying the ball off to Will Keane on the edge of the box, and when the Reds’ No.10 saw his shot bounce off the bar and down onto the line, Cofie swooped to tap into the empty net.
The game long since sewn up, Paul McGuinness took the opportunity to give a number of substitutes a run-out, including first-year scholars Luke Hendrie and Charni Ekangamene and the schoolboy trio of Jack Barmby, Bradley Anderson and Donald Love. It was one of the starters who wrapped up the scoring however, although not the Keane you’d usually expect to see on target for the academy – Michael, right-back and twin brother of the prolific Will, collected Lawrence’s deflected shot near the right byline, cut back inside onto his left foot and beat the Tyrone keeper inside his near post.
Next up for the Reds as they chase a treble of Milk Cup triumphs are Qatari academy Aspire, who they meet at the Coleraine Showgrounds at 7pm tomorrow in a game that will be shown live on the BBC Milk Cup microsite.
13. Joe Coll
3. Luke Giverin
5. Sean McGinty
6. Tom Thorpe (c)
7. Tom Lawrence (14. Jack Barmby)
8. Larnell Cole (16. Charni Ekangamene)
9. John Cofie
10. Will Keane (15. Donald Love)
11. Etzaz Hussain (18. Luke Hendrie)
12. Michael Keane (2. Bradley Anderson)
17. Tyler Blackett
Subs Not Used
1. Liam Jacob
4. Michele Fornasier