Fortress Rialto sees off Leixlip

Rialto FC 3 Leixlip Town 1

Jimmy Geoghegan

Some teams seem inspired by playing on their home ground. There's something about the familiar surroundings that gives the players a sense of security and well-being.

A feeling that no matter what the visiting team bring as part of their armoury the home side will prevail -- eventually.

When it comes to turning out at their own patch at Dolphin Road Rialto enjoy a certain invincibility.

It has stood to them many times in the past. It stood to them again on Saturday afternoon when they defeated Leixlip Town in this Leinster Junior Cup encounter.

Ross McNally's side have lost just once in their home base in close to two years now. That was to Cashel Celtic earlier this season.

That defeat hurt and his players appear resolute in their resolve to prove that any team that shows up looking to take something from the venue do so at their peril.

A former Brighton & Hove Albion professional McNally knows a thing or two about how to squeeze a result from a tight cup tie.

His charges certainly did the business in this contest. They weren't just content in winning the game they had to do it the hard way.

Leixlip Town from the UCL must have started to feel that it was going to be their day when they went a goal up from the penalty spot with John Costello converting after Ronan Brophy was fouled.

Rialto, who were playing their first games in weeks, looked, according to their manager, a little rusty and below par.

They did create a couple of chances with Noel Chubb and Joseph Cully going close yet it remained 1-0 to the visitors at the break.

Then all changed, changed utterly after the break. Urged on by McNally to keep the ball and pass it around Rialto started to carve out openings.

They equalised when James Mooney came on to make the net dance. And it got even better for them. Noel Chubb added a second and victory was secured when Lar Keane slotted home from the penalty spot after Matthew Furey was brought down.

That wasn't all that Furey brought to the table. He was picked out for his huge workrate up and down the right side. It typified the team's positive attitude.

Another player who made a big contribution to the victory was Keith Windrum who excelled at left back. There were other heroes for Rialto all over the pitch.

On the sideline was player/manager McNally's assistant Austin Moore who made the switches when he felt the team needed to change tack.

The combined efforts of all involved worked a treat as Rialto now march onto the fourth round. "The lads showed great spirit here today, they went a goal down yet they came back to win," added manager McNally.

If Rialto get a home draw in the next round -- no matter who the opposition is -- they will know they have a real chance of victory.

Rialto -- Brian Fennell; John Sheridan, Keith Windrum, Lar Keane, Paul Kelly, Ross McNally, Joseph Cully, Noel Chubb, Matthew Furey, Karl Smith, Ray Daly. Subs -- James Mooney, Andrew Kelly, Ray McNevin.

Leixlip Town - Niall McConnell; Dave Allen, Ross Tierney, Paul Duffy, John Silke, Darren Murray, Brian Homewood, Sean Geoghegan, Brendan Sexton, John Costello, Ronan Brophy. Subs - Alan Stapleton, John Dalton, Niall White.