STRUGGLING Glebe North will be looking to pile more misery on Firhouse/Clover when they play host to the bottom club at Market Green this Thursday (7.30pm).
It's a vital game for the Balbriggan outfit who have won just once all season and taken only one point out of a possible 12 at home, and they come up against a Firhouse side who suffered an 8-1 drubbing at home to Wayside Celtic on Sunday. However, manager Liam Kelly admitted that he's expecting a much more resilient Firhouse when they come to town.
'They didn't have a manager for that Wayside game, but their new man is the former Liverpool player Niall Byrne and he's starting on Tuesday, so they'll be looking to bounce back after that result,' he said. Glebe haven't had the best of weeks themselves, although they were unfortunate not to hold out for a point in Tuesday night's home game against Bluebell United. Goals from Rory O'Connor and Noel Barrett had them level at 2-2, but the visitors snatched a 93rd-minute winner to take over at the top of the table for 24 hours. Glebe's next assignment was on Saturday evening away to Arklow whose subsequent point - their first of the season - lifted them off the bottom at Firhouse/ expense.
The sides ended an uneventful first half deadlocked at 0-0, and Glebe - Adam Foley and Rory O'Connor in particular - were repeatedly foiled in the second 45 minutes by the excellence of the Arklow keeper. It was the Wicklow side who eventually broke the deadlock on 70 minutes with a fine goal scored by a player who recently returned to the club after a spell across the water with Sheffield United. But Glebe hauled themselves level once more with 10 minutes remaining from a great counterattack, set in motion when Pat Campbell dispossessed the Arklow centre-forward near Glebe's own goal-line.
He worked a one-two with substitute Ronnie Maguire and then picked out Foley who burst through the back four before squaring to O'Connor for an easy finish. There was one late chance for Glebe to snatch a winner, but as he'd done on several occasions previously in the match the Arklow keeper came out smartly to foil O'Connor. Nevetheless, Kelly pronounced himself happy with a point, given the absence of Angel Fernandez, Austin McCann, Neil Beasley and Stephen Chambers. The latter will be sidelined for around eight weeks after breaking his wrist during the Bluebell match.
GLEBE NORTH (v Arklow)
Dean Smith, Darren McCann (Ronnie Maguire), Ryan Thorpe, Stephen Larkin, Reece McEnteer, Keith Murray, Noel Barrett, Pat Campbell, Adam Foley, Jason Rankin, Rory O'Connor.