Mayo International Cup Day 1
On Day One (Fri 22 Aug 2014) of the annual Mayo International Cup, Millwall FC and the Republic Of Ireland put themselves in poll position to top their groups, with opening wins.
Millwall top Group 1 after they defeated Northern Ireland today, whilst the Republic Of Ireland top Group 2 after narrowly defeating Chesterfield FC.
Millwall started off their encounter with Northern Ireland very brightly in the tournaments opening game, taking the lead after 10 minutes. Lone striker Noel Leighton, the games outstanding player, danced through Northern Irelands back four, before coolly finishing past Conor Larken. Seven minutes later, they doubled their lead. Despite Larken pulling off an impressive save from Leighton, lively winger Tanito Olaofe was on hand to tap home.
Despite being 2-0 down, Northern Ireland produced an accomplished display for the rest of the game, and were in the ascendency for most of it. They reduced arrears just before half time, with David Parkhouse finishing off a sweeping move. Millwall held firm despite being under pressure, using their physique to keep the opposition at bay. They sealed the victory with a third goal in the last minute, Delayne Simpson finishing to the back of the net after being played in Noel Leighton.
The Republic Of Ireland left it late before they eventually seeing off Chesterfield in the days second game - Michael Cregan scoring the game's only goal with five minutes remaining.
In a cagey opening 30 minutes, Chesterfield's mercurial winger Merlin Ferrinho had the best opportunity, hitting the crossbar from all of 25 yards. Ireland's best chance fell to Sean McBride, whose snap shot from 12 yards was well saved by Joe Parker.
Ireland dominated territory and possession in the second half, yet it took 25 minutes before they saw off a plucky Chesterfield side. They put together a slick passing move, which eventually led to Callum Brummell's cross being headed home by Limerick native Cregan.
In tomorrow's morning games (Sat 23 Aug 2014), Ireland will face Glentoran at 10am, whilst FAI Castlebar will face Millwall at 10.30am.
Glentoran will then face Chesterfield at 2pm, with FAI Castlebar and Northern Ireland facing off at 2.30pm.
The two semi finals will then take place at 6pm and 6.30pm.