ARKLOW CELTIC could do little to halt Glencormac United's promotion push on Sunday after being steamrolled by the Kilmacanogue side.
GLENCORMAC UNITED 5 ARKLOW CELTIC B 1
It took all of 45 seconds for Emmett Burke to fire the hosts ahead against their depleted opposition; who were forced to start the match with less than the full compliment. The rest of the delayed squad did eventually make it to Ryder's Field but the reinforcements could do little to halt United's incessant attacks and those attacks saw the Glens, and Burke, double their tally in the tenth minute.
Despite utterly dominating the remainder of the first period, the home side were unable to add to their lead. They found their scoring touch in the second half in a ten-minute period that saw them rack up three goals but some wasteful finishing combined with some fine goalkeeping by Dylan Delaney meant that a sixth strike was beyond the home side's reach.
Arklow Celtic did finally have something to cheer about on 83 minutes when Tommy Hurly netted from the penalty spot after Stephen Morgan had rather harshly been penalised for a handball in the penalty area.
It was feared that this contest might not even go ahead after the away side suffered a major delay on their way to the ground. Ironically, it was their second time in seven days to have visited the pitch. Due to some confusion over the fixture list, Celtic turned up at Ryder's Field on Sunday, November 9, only to find the ground deserted due to the fact that the two sides were actually not scheduled to play each other for another week.
That proved to be a wasted trip for the Arklow men and they must have felt like they'd wasted another trip when they fell behind after just 45 seconds. Ian Devlin found his volley from Andy Free's cross blocked and Emmet Burke followed it up to sweep home the rebound.
Burke then grabbed his second on ten minutes. Mick Rooney threaded a ball through for him that he appeared to have no chance of latching onto but Delaney and one of his defenders got in a muddle and gift-wrapped an early present of an open goal for Burke to tap home into.
Midfielder Simon Doyle must have felt he'd added a third minutes later but his low effort came back off the inside of the post. Free and Colm Nolan both followed up but somehow neither of the pair were able to convert with their efforts.
Burke had several chances to complete his hat-trick, the first of which saw him slice badly wide from Rooney's 39th minute cutback.
Rooney then thought he had gotten himself on the scoresheet on 46 minutes. Eoin Farrell skinned his man on the left and hung up a cross to the back post that Rooney powered home but he was adjudged to have been offside.
Glens goalkeeper Stephen Pepper had practically been a spectator for the opening half but he almost handed Celtic a goal four minutes after the interval. A hoofed ball should have been bread and butter stuff for the netminder but he spilled the ball behind himself and needed centre half Stephen Morgan to save the day as he hooked the ball off the line. Pepper departed the field with an injury moments later.
Order was soon restored as Glens' Paul Devlin saw his header blocked on the line by Gerry McLoughlin.
The third finally came when Burke released Nolan and his early shot couldn't be kept out by Delaney, who got a hand to it but couldn't prevent the ball from looping over him.
Nolan then turned provider when he nodded Simon Doyle's cross into the path of substitute Cian McGoldrick and the striker finished the chance just three minutes after coming on.
Ian Devlin then completed the scoring for his side in the 67th minute when he was played through and the attacker kept a cool head to tuck his effort away into the far corner of Delaney's net.
There was a slight blemish on the cards for United with seven minutes remaining though when Morgan was penalised for a handball and Tommy Hurley fired the spot kick past replacement shot-stopper Shane Vickers.
Top Form: Eoin Farrell (Glencormac United): The leftback floated forward with menace throughout the contest.