GLEBE North gained a thoroughly satisfying victory over League of Ireland giants Shamrock Rovers last Tuesday night as manager Liam Kelly put one over his former assistant Trevor Croly.
The Hoops, playing their first pre-season friendly of 2013, named a strong starting XI containing a number of underage internationals and boasting more than 1,800 League of Ireland appearances between them. And they were still able to bring on more seasoned pros in Mark Quigley (pictured right), Ken Oman and Conor McCormack for the second half.
But while the full-timers had most of their star players on show, their finishing let them down and despite enjoying the lion's share of possession they failed to seriously test recent recruit Shane Finegan in the Glebe goal.
Arguably, Glebe could also justifiably claim that they weren't match-fit, having played only one competitive game in the previous eight weeks because of a number of postponements, and so the manner in which they organised themselves and defended gamely was commendable.
Their best chances both fell to Stephen Richardson in the first half, but on the first occasion he shot straight at keeper Barry Murphy, before side-footing the second opportunity wide at the near post.
Sean O'Connor, Ciaran Kilduff, James Chambers and Thomas Stewart all had efforts on goal for Shamrock Rovers, but three of the attempts were off target and the other - from O'Connor - was easily dealt with by Finegan.
Quigley came on at half-time to
make his Hoops debut, but would get only one glimpse of goal, firing wide with a snap shot, while other efforts from Stewart, Gary McCabe and Mark Sandford also missed the target.
Perhaps owing to all the substitutions made by the visitors, Glebe had gained more of a foothold in the game in the second half, however, and they were rewarded on 88 minutes when substitute Ronnie Maguire was brought down as he attempted to go round Rovers' sub keeper Conor Winn.
Austin McCann coolly slotted home the resulting penalty to break the deadlock, and two late opportunities for Rovers' Sandford were snuffed out as the Balbriggan men held on for a memorable win.
Reacting to the victory, manager Kelly said: 'It turned out to be a very important game for us.
'Normally we would give everyone a game and mix it up for a friendly like this, but we'd been off for two weeks and needed to take a different approach and put out a team geared towards the Bluebell game on Sunday and tried to get as many minutes into lads as possible.
'It was nice to win the game because we were playing against strong opposition and most of the best players in the League of Ireland are in that Rovers squad.'