A LATE strike from substitute Lee Roche saw league leaders Crumlin United inflict a narrow defeat on Glebe North, who will feel somewhat aggrieved to have come away pointless from Market Green.
This re-arranged fixture, played last Tuesday night, looked to be heading for a stalemate, but in the last few minutes Crumlin increased the pressure on their hosts. When Glebe keeper Dean Smith saved a penalty it seemed that his side would hang on for an important point, but moments later a ball through the middle from former League of Ireland striker Gerard Rowe found Roche who calmly slotted past the keeper from just inside the penalty area. The loss leaves Glebe still hovering just above the relegation zone, although they had their chances to claim all three points over the course of the 90 minutes. While Glebe were not short on commitment, with Stephen Larkin and Noel Barrett getting in some good tackles, they had their work cut out containing Crumlin's threat down the righthand side, and Smith was called into action early on when he pulled off a good save to deny Daniel Quinn.
Full back Reece McEnteer, who provided Glebe with most of their attacking thrust down the left flank, then set up his team's first chance, but Barrett's strike was well saved by the goalkeeper. Then on 25 minutes a terrific slide-rule pass in from Austin McCann released Rory O'Connor and the hard-working front man attempted to lift the ball over David Meehan, but the Crumlin netminder was alert to the danger and Adam Foley subsequently shot over the visitors' crossbar. With the Crumlin defence condensing the play, chances were proving hard to come by for the home side, however, and they almost fell behind before the break, with Larkin making a timely intervention to take the ball off the feet of an incoming Crumlin striker after Mark Cullen had sent in a teasing cross from the right wing. Crumlin continued to press after that, with Quinn having two chances to break the deadlock before Glebe's Pat Campbell let fly from the edge of the box. On that occasion Meehan was on hand to tip his piledriver over the bar in the final action of the first half. The second period, by comparison, was relatively low on incident, although Barrett had an impressive game in central midfield after the turnaround as he put in some astute passes into the forward line. With 10 minutes to go Foley came close to breaking the deadlock for Glebe, only to see his effort go wide of the keeper's post. After that United began to turn the screw and with seven minutes remaining a well-worked ball into Keith Raymond saw him bundled over inside the penalty area. Smith, however, got down low to deny the number six from the subsequent spot kick and was again on hand to deny the midfielder, before Roche finally settled the issue with a few moments to go. GLEBE NORTH: Dean Smith, Jason Rankin, Reece McEnteer, Ryan Thorpe, Stephen Larkin, Noel Barrett, Austin McCann, Pat Campbell, Rory O'Connor, Adam Foley, Keith Murray (Keith Richardson 52). -Elsewhere in the Senior Division, Glebe North's battling display against Crumlin United in mid-week was put into perspective on Sunday when their neighbours Malahide United were beaten 4-1 away to the same opposition. Victory for Vinny Perth's charges would have lifted last year's Division 1 champions into fourth spot in the standings, but instead they have dropped to seventh and at this early stage are looking set for a mid-table finish.