Malahide fight back for share of the spoils
Soccer - Leinster Senior League: Cherry Orchard 2 Malahide United 2
Malahide United had to show all of their fighting spirit to escape with a draw, with Terry Palmer's men scoring twice in the final 10 minutes to earn a point.
Malahide have become quite used to taking to the road in recent weeks, with five of their last six matches away from Gannon Park, and they continued that trend on Sunday morning with a trip to Ballyfermot to take on Cherry Orchard.
Malahide came into the game on the back of a convincing 4-1 away win against bottom side Drumcondra, but they knew they were in for a tougher test against Orchard who had lost just once in their previous seven games at home. Malahide were out for a bit of revenge, having tasted defeat against the Ballyfermot outfit back in February.
The game started with neither side really asserting their dominance in the early stages and in truth it was all a bit scrappy for the opening half-hour.
The first real chance to break the deadlock arrived in the 35th minute as Killian Timmins' cross was headed just wide by Darren Craven. That close escape for Orchard seemed to wake them up, with the home side finishing the half strongly as Ben Kelly was called to make a couple of decent saves in the Malahide goal.
Despite those late chances for Orchard the deadlock could not be broken and the sides went in level at the break.
Malahide began the second half well, but despite some excellent build-up play their final ball was poor on a number of occasions as they failed to test the Orchard keeper. The visitors did go close ten minutes after the restart, however, as a long-range effort from Ciaran McGahon whistled just wide.
The deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark as Orchard's Jack O'Connor pounced on a mistake in the Malahide defence before calmly slotting the ball past Kelly. The home side doubled their lead ten minutes later as O'Connor once again found the back of the net following an excellent run which started out on the right. That left it 2-0 to the hosts and seemingly signalled the end of Malahide's challenge.
However, Palmer's side have shown plenty of determination this season and they showed it once again here as they rolled their sleeves up and got themselves back in the game.
They halved the deficit with ten minutes remaining as Karl Moody was sent through before the striker deftly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 2-1.
Orchard were on the rack now and following a bad tackle from one of their defenders they were reduced to ten men, with seven minutes still to play.
With time running out Malahide were awarded a free out on the left which Dylan Cashin stepped up to take. Cashin's cross evaded everybody including the Cherry Orchard goalkeeper before nestling in the far corner to make it 2-2.
Malahide: Ben Kelly, Brian Foley, Karl Melling, Gary Kenna, Dylan Cashin, Rob Duggan, Gareth Craven, Darren Craven, Ciaran McGahon, Karl Moody, Killian Timmins. Subs: Gareth Logan for Rob Duggan, Mark Kelly for Ciaran McGahon, Aaron Harding for Brian Foley, James Burns for Gareth Craven.