UNITED IN CONTROL
Glencormac edge closer to Division 2 title
The ball is now very much in Glencormac United's court in the Division 2 title race.
That is despite the fact that this top of the table clash started in the worst possible fashion for them when Seaview Wanderers captain Mark O'Regan helped his side into an 11th minute lead.
The massive home support that had turned up only had to wait nine minutes for United to get their title plans back on track when Cian McGoldrick drove home a leveller with the help of referee Carl Doyle.
McGoldrick put his side ahead with the second of what would become a hat-trick on 38 minutes; sweeping home after good work from man of the match Kevin Redden.
Early in the second half tempers threatened to boil over as both sides realised what was at stake. Two goals within the space of a few minutes then had the Glens three goals to the good. Redden's never-say-die attitude enabled him to make it 3-1 on 58 minutes and then a few minutes later the striker pocketed the goal of the day accolade with a scorcher from distance.
Wanderers' Craig Ledwith kept the tie alive when he dispatched a 72nd minute penalty to make it a two-goal deficit but McGoldrick put the result beyond doubt in the 88th minute when he headed home from close range.
Ledwith gave the Arklow side a slither of hope by finding the net in the second minute of injury time but the end result was a priceless 5-3 success for the Kilmacanogue side.
Both sides were well aware of the permutations of this contest and the hosts started at break-neck speed as McGoldrick forced his man into a mistake; gifting the ball to Redden but he scrambled his effort wide with mere seconds on the clock.
Seaview struck first though. The Wanderers defence launched the ball towards the opposition back four and Glens captain Paul Devlin attempted to head it back to goalkeeper Stephen Pepper. Devlin's header was too weak though –as O'Regan anticipated – and the striker raced in to prod the ball past Pepper to give his side the early lead.
Pepper's nets then had to be repaired and that caused a four minute delay which suited the hosts as 60 seconds later they were level.
Mick Rooney's run was illegally halted but Doyle played advantage. Ian Devlin collected the loose ball but he too was stopped in his tracks and once again, Doyle instructed United to continue.
The ball rolled through for McGoldrick and he set himself before spanking a low drive into the bottom corner of Alan Duffy's net from the edge of the box.
Ross Turner almost fortuitously nudged the Arklow side back in front when his floated free kick swerved towards the top corner thanks to the wind's help, but Pepper clawed the ball away to safety.
Seven minutes before the break, United hit the front. Redden's refusal to give up panicked the away defence and he managed to steal possession before popping it back to McGoldrick who fizzed it past Duffy from 15 yards.
Half time quickly came and went, but an incident between Wanderers' Alan Hudson and United's Eoin Farrell got the pulses flowing.
Farrell was trying to keep the ball in but, after leaving the field of play, he found himself barged to the floor by Hudson when the ball was clearly out of reach.
The two exchanged words and their team-mates joined in but it proved to be much ado about nothing.
Hudsdon's temper will not have been helped by the action in the 58th minute. Redden moved in from the left and he did well to get the ball away to Barry Fitzpatrick.
The wandering right-back couldn't get his shot away but fortunately for the hosts, Redden had continued running and was able to move onto the ball before steering it home.
And before you knew it, he'd struck again. He controlled a long pass before swinging his right foot at the ball to send a 30 yard half volley whistling through the air and into the far corner.
O'Regan tried to give his side a fighting chance as he met Hudson's left wing corner but Pepper denied the striker.
Pepper was beaten four minutes later from the spot though. Paul Devlin was guilty of fouling Alan O'Shea, brother of Sunderland and Republic of Ireland star John O'Shea, and Ledwith, brother of Shamrock Rovers' Danny Ledwith, stepped up to guide his shot beyond Pepper's dive.
Paul Devlin crashed a free kick off the crossbar on 74 minutes but McGoldrick put the game to bed in the 88th minute. Andy Free curled in a free kick and McGoldrick dashed ahead of his man to glance it home and inch Glencormac United closer to the Division 2 title.
Top Form: Kevin Redden (Glencormac United): Outshone the hat-trick man. Enough said.