The new SSE Airtricity League season came to a crashing halt last week as all football activities in the Republic of Ireland have been suspended until the 29th March. A decision that has been accepted by all as the country looks to contain the Corona virus. Before the curtain came temporarily down there were some games played in the EA Sports Cup as well as a new signing for Dundalk.
Starting with the Lillywhites they have signed 24-year-old winger Nathan Oduwa. A former English underage international he started his career with Tottenham Hotspur and was previously on loan at Rangers. Since then he has had spells in Slovenia, Denmark and most recently with Hapoel Hadera in Israel. He had been on trial with a few clubs in England before learning of Dundalk’s interest.
In some on the pitch action there were four games played in the First Round of the EA Sports Cup. Dundalk are the holders. First Division leaders Cabinteely needed extra-time to see off the challenge of non-league side Crumlin United eventually winning 4-3. Craig Walsh scored two for Crumlin with Stephen Larkin getting the other. Kaito Akimoto, Eoin McPhillips, Dean Casey and Oliver White scored for Cabo. White’s goal coming in the 119th minute.
The meeting between UCD and Cobh Ramblers in the Belfield Bowl also went to extra-time and in the end penalties were needed to separate the sides. Cian Leonard gave Cobh the lead in the 100th minute with Owen Collins levelling for the students in the 113th minute. In the end it was Cobh who progressed as they won 4-3 in the resulting shoot-out.
There were two games played on Tuesday. In Eamon Deasy Park Galway United took on Athlone Town. Galway won 2-0 with both goals coming in the second half. Alberto Cabanyes scored the first with Wilson Waweru getting the second. The remaining fixture saw Wexford FC host Bray Wanderers in Ferrycarrig. Bray coming away with a 2-1 win after extra time. Janabi Amour gave Wexford the lead in the 55th minute.
Joe Doyle though scored in the 92nd minute to take the game to extra time. He then got the winner in the 108th minute. Former Bray keeper Evan Moran has signed for Northern League North side FC United of Manchester. He was most recently with Dungannon Swifts. So, for now, things are a little up in the air, clubs are looking to the FAI for guidance especially given the financial constraints that they will now face.