MK Irish 3-1 FC Romania

First Team

12th August 2023

Irish's strong start to the season continues with another win...

By Dom Domaingue

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Milton Keynes Irish continued their positive start to the season with a 3-1 victory over FC Romania at Manor Fields.

The goals came early for the home side, opening the scoring through Ryan Smith after just five minutes, before Spence doubled the lead and Ty Ward capped the perfect first half by making it three just before the break.

FC Romania improved at the start of the second half and got one back after ten minutes, but a second yellow card to reduce them to ten men killed their building momentum and saw Irish through to a comfortable win at home. 

Irish began excellently, knocking the ball around with purpose, resulting in the scoring being opened after five minutes – it was a lightning quick start at Manor Fields.

A succession of attacks started after George Shrieves was played down the right after a ball over the top from Nathan Smith. His cut back almost found Mason Spence but was cleared, breaking to Clinton Zawe.

The full back delivered a teasing ball right across the face of goal but it couldn’t be touched in, going right over to Andre Olukanmi on the left where the attack could continue. The ball was whipped back in, finding Ryan Smith at the back post who’s header into the ground and back across goal found the net to make it 1-0.

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Ryan Smith's header opens the scoring
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Celebrations after Spence's goal doubled the lead

Goals had to been hard to come by in Irish’s first two games on the season, but after breaking the deadlock early on they had their tails up and just a couple of minutes the later the lead was doubled.

Just before the goal there was a chance for Ty Ward, after some tidy passing around the penalty area found him in space to fire a left footed shot at goal from 20 yards, which was palmed away well by the keeper.

Another cross in from the left, this time low, was aimed towards Ryan Smith, but the ball ran through his legs to Spence. His first touch on to his left foot dropped the FC Romania keeper, leaving a simple finish into the net to make it 2-0.

FC Romania’s first effort on goal took almost 40 minutes to arrive, and it was a hopeful shot from distance that trickled towards the far corner but did need saving by Owusu Kyeremateng in goal.

And just on the stroke of the break the excellent first 45 from the home team was rounded off with a third goal.

Spence was taking out whilst laying the ball off on the edge of the box and the referee played a great advantage with Irish still on the attack. Running forwards into space was Ty Ward, who was slipped through before calmly slotting past the goalkeeper first time.

The visitors gave Irish something to think about ten minutes into the second half as they got one back, scoring from close range after a corner for the left wasn’t cleared properly to make it 3-1.

FC Romania looked buoyed by the goal and were pressing higher up the pitch as the second half progressed, but with 20 minutes on the clock they made it a whole lot harder for themselves after being shown a second yellow to reduce them to ten men.

Irish were content to protect their two goal lead as full time approached, keeping possession well and stretching the visitors who were a man down, seeing the game out to confirm a straightforward win.

nathan smith MOTM
Nathan Smith's commanding midfield performance saw him named Man of the Match