The Shamrock players were still checking out the stadium where Ray Houghton scored the winning goal for Ireland against Italy in the ’94 World Cup when New York AC went ahead 1-0. Matt Roberti’s low shot eluded Kevin McPartland after just 90 seconds had elapsed in the inaugural Cosmopolitan Charity Shield last week at Giants Stadium.
The Shamrocks, who fell 5-2, fought back and came close several times with efforts from Billy Henderson, Shane Martin, Johann Lannon and Anto Murphy, who hit the post after some fine approach work by Martin. When Roberti struck again, just before the break, it was much against the run of play. It was also a killer time to score as far as the Shamrocks were concerned.
The Rocks opted to give some of their most loyal a run in the second half. And three men with 62 years’ service among them — Paul Wilson, Mick Haley and Paul Woodley — took the pitch. Paudie Moloney replaced the injured Kevin McPartland in goals and almost immediately Greg Smalley made it 3-0.
The Shamrocks, even with the veterans on board ,never gave up and the busy Shane Martin made it 3-1 with a fine turn and shot. But a fourth from Johnny Cavanagh killed off the game. Martin was still causing all sorts of problems and when he won a penalty in the 70th minute. John Guildea converted with aplomb.