The Stadium of Light hosted its second game of the day on a slightly damp and grey Monday 15th May. And the number 15 was, surprisingly, a very telling number for the England side as they put on an unstoppable performance to come out on top against the Republic of Ireland team 15-4, in a fantastic game for any football fan to watch. Despite the result our 1st ever England vs Ireland game was still a hugely enjoyable occasion for all involved and we’re hopeful it will become a permanent fixture in the Football Aid calendar.
Date: Monday 15th May 2017
Venue: Stadium of Light
England (Home) vs Republic of Ireland (Away)
Kick Off: 12:30 pm
Legends & Managers: Micky Horswill, Gary Bennett & Thomas Butler
Match Officials: Adrian Holmes, Paul Burt, Kevin McKitterick, & Robin Raymond
It was the Home side that almost went ahead early on after a cross-cum-shot from Jon Dixon rattled off the bar and went out for a goal kick.
Shortly after, a quick bit of footwork in the box from England’s Jamie Martin allowed him to find space for a shot but the ball ended up going straight down the throat of keeper Eoin McCafferty.
If not for a fantastically timed slide tackle from the Ireland’s Kevin Maree, the Away side could have been a goal down, after Jon Dixon found himself 1-on-1 with just the keeper to beat, however his 1st touch was taken away from him.
However England did get their goal with just 8 mins on the clock after a good bit of hold up play from Neil Robbins allowed the Centre Mid to find the run of Jamie Martin who fired his shot low and hard across the keeper into the bottom corner (1-0).
It was a quick double from the Home side, as Michael Fulthorpe’s glancing header was enough to force its way past the keeper in the 10th min (2-0).
England would have got their 3rd goal if not for keeper Eoin McCafferty reacting well and pushing away a low, drilled shot from Chris Rogerson.
But the Home side did get their 3rd goal in the 18th min, after some good passing play led to Jamie Martin feeding in Chris Rogerson, who kept his composure and slotted the ball into the bottom corner (3-0).
The England side were in full flow now and a fantastic solo run from England’s Jamie Martin in the 20th min opened up the Irish defence and the skilful winger comfortably placed the ball past the keeper to score his 2nd goal of the game (4-0).
Jon Dixon was then denied, with Irish keeper Eoin McCafferty having to make a diving save to push away Dixon’s powerful effort on goal and then from the rebound McCafferty did brilliantly to make himself big to deny Michael Fulthorpe his 2nd of the game.
The Away side were desperate to get something from the early stages and they did have the ball in the net after Sean Sweeney fired the ball past the keeper, however the offside flag was raised without hesitation.
From the resulting free kick, England went up the other end and scored after substitute James Leeson played an inch perfect through ball to Dean Thorpe, the classy midfielder picked his spot and curled the ball around the keeper. With just 23 mins gone the England side already looked to be out of sight (5-0)!
However the Away team did find themselves a lifeline in the form of a penalty decision in the 25th min after James Leeson was judged to have fouled Sean Sweeney. The Irish midfielder picked himself up and made no mistake from the spot, smashing the penalty home left footed (5-1).
However the Irish celebrations were short lived, and Jon Dixon got the goal his impressive play deserved after controlling a pass from Dean Thorpe and beating the keeper with a classy finish on the 28th min (6-1).
England’s number 1, Mark Graham, was then called into action after a powerful shot from Sean Sweeney needed to be stopped.
Play was raging from end to end and a quick burst of pace from Jamie Martin allowed him to get behind the Irish defence, but with just the keeper to beat he surprisingly put his effort wide.
The Home side did get a 7th goal soon after though, Jamie Martin found Jon Dixon and the No 11 drilled his shot under the keeper to bag himself a brace on the 30th min. (7-1).
It was soon 8 goals for the Home side, after Jamie Martin put the ball on a plate for that man Jon Dixon again, the tall striker turning the ball in from close range into an empty net on the 33rd min to notch his hat-trick (8-1).
Things went from bad to worse for the Away side when Jamie Martin raced onto a through pass and poked the ball around the oncoming keeper to net his hat trick in the 43rd min (9-1).
The Home side weren’t going easy on their opponents and it took a clearance off the line from a free kick by Mark Clyne keep the score at single digits just before half-time.
The old proverb “Luck of the Irish” wasn’t looking to be true, as Robert Fullam raced past the Home side’s defence, only to find his low shot hit the post and get cleared out of danger.
The ref’s whistle brought an incredible 45mins of football to a close soon after, it had certainly been an impressive 1st half performance from England which left the Republic of Ireland with a huge mountain to climb to get themselves back into the game, with them trailing 1-9. A tale of two vastly different changing rooms at half time.
Half Time: England (Home) 9 - 1 Rep of Ireland (Away)
Given a boost by some fresh legs coming on at half-time the Irish Away side certainly started the 2nd half promisingly, with Mark Clyne’s chipped effort beating the keeper, but also drifting wide of the goal.
Then there was a spectacular save for the cameras from Eoin McCafferty, after he acrobatically tipped a swerving shot from outside the box over the bar.
At the other end Mark Graham pulled off another great save when Sean Sweeney made space for himself in the box but fired his shot too close to the keeper.
Despite the improved efforts from the Ireland team the next goal went to the England team and it was another great finish from Jamie Martin. The right mid running into the box and audaciously lobbing the keeper to score his 4th goal of the game on 60 mins (10-1).
The Away side were still fighting for goals though and the impressive Robert Fullam cut inside and buried a shot at the keeper's’ near post in the 65th min (10-2).
Then a golden chance fell for the Away side’s Sean Sweeney, however 1-on-1 with the keeper he found his goalbound shot blocked by Jamie Martin.
He just can’t stop scoring! Jamie Martin found his 5th goal of the game in the form of another skilful chip right over the keeper on the 68th min (11-2).
The Republic of Ireland showed yet again that the game wasn’t dead and buried for them, and after an upfield kick from the goalie found Robert Fullam, the No 9 took it in his stride and confidently slid the ball past the keeper on 71 mins (11-3).
It had been a much closer 2nd half, but the England team weren’t to be denied and they racked up their 12th goal of the game in the 76th min. Jamie Martin’s back-heel pass from a corner found Neil Robbins who controlled well and drilled a shot into the bottom corner (12-3).
The tiring Irish team had ran themselves into the ground and with just 10 mins to go they were powerless to stop Jamie Martin going on another skilful solo run, Martin rounding the keeper and dispatching the ball from a difficult angle into the net in the 80th min (13-3).
England were definitely uncatchable at this point, and James Leeson knocked the ball past the keeper and slotted the ball into a vacant net to bring up his side’s 14th goal of the game in the 84th min (14-3).
Then a missed clearance from the otherwise impressive keeper Eoin McCafferty allowed Chris Rogerson to calmly tap the ball into an empty net after 88 mins (15-3).
However it was the Republic of Ireland team that enjoyed the satisfaction of scoring the final goal of the game, a great run from the pacy Sean Sweeney allowed the No 7 to square the ball across goal to Robert Fullam, and the striker made no mistake, steering the ball home for his hat trick goal (15-4).
The ref’s whistle went seconds later, bringing to an end an incredible end to end game. It was a convincing 15-4 win for the impressive England team, however the Republic of Ireland looked a more dangerous outfit in the 2nd half and were able to score some great goals and demonstrate great character and sportsmanship throughout.
Thanks to the excellent efforts of both sets of players our 1st ever England vs Ireland game had been a huge success and provided great entertaining from the 1st minute to the last, and the watching fans in the stands had certainly got their money’s worth!
Full Time: England (Home) 15 - 4 Rep of Ireland (Away)
Man of the Match Home: No.7 Jamie Martin
Man of the Match Away: No.1 Eoin McCafferty
Moment of the Match: No.11 Jon Dixon
Home Team: Mark Graham, Scott Whensley, Robert Thorpe, Damian Hall, Neil Robbins, Jamie Martin, Michael Fulthorpe, Chris Rogerson, Dean Thorpe, Jon Dixon (C), Stephen Leighton, James Leeson, Shay Leighton, Lee Shilton
Home Manager: Micky Horswill & Gary Bennett
Away Team: Eoin McCafferty, Peter McStravick, Thomas Butler, Kevin Maree (C), Eugene Lavery, John Wall, Sean Sweeney, Baljinder Singh, Robert Fullam, J. Scullion-Stevenson, Mark Clyne, Kev Wright, Padraig Coakley, Robert Green
The photographs used in this report were taken on staff mobile phones. A wider selection of fantastic Official Photographs are available from Matt Nuttall Photography. To order just visit www.footballaidphotos.com or contact Matt on T: 07793 818021 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to order a DVD of your game please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on E-mail: email@example.com
AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
“Thank-you so much for Monday. It truly is something that i will always remember. Even if we did get hammered!! I thoroughly enjoyed it, you guys make everyone feel relaxed and really look after everyone. Please tell me there will be another Rep. Ireland game next year! We cant go out on a loss like that...
Thank-you so much again”
Kevin Maree, Rep of Ireland No 4
“Another well organised game, well done to Simon and team, we had a warm welcome also from all at Sunderland and it was a pleasure to play for Micky Horswill. I will be using his diddly dee warm up in our next seasons warm up! Pity the game was a little one sided but that's how it goes, the main thing is enjoying the day of which I did.”
"Great day out two weeks ago representing Ireland in another @footballaid match. Result didn't go our way but raised money for great charities and meet and played with some great people."
Eoin McCafferty - Republic of Ireland No.1
"Class Day! Great cause and great bunch of lads! Pleasure was all mine."
Jamie Martin - England Team No.7
"Fantastic event again today and amazing organisation @FootballAid. Can't wait to do it again! Delighted to score a header. Great day!"
Michael Fulthorpe - England Team No.8
Match report by Joshua Brimble.