Tuesday 20 March 2018

Port draw comfort with late equaliser

Portmarnock 1 Glebe North 1

Paul Byrne

Noel McGinnity's late late goal rescued a point for Portmarnock as they potentially ended Glebe's hopes of promotion this season.

Glebe had just four games left going into this game and realistically needed to win all four if they were to give themselves a shot of a top three finish. A midweek draw at Home Farm had seen them lose further ground in the race and meant they faced a daunting task of winning away to Portmarnock to keep their season alive.

One glimmer of hope for the Balbriggan outfit was the fact that they had been the last team to beat Portmarnock with a 3-1 victory back in December. Meanwhile, this game was of equal importance for Willie O'Leary's Portmarnock side as they continued their quest to finish top of the division. The top spot looks to be a battle between Dublin Bus, Portmarnock, Newbridge and Leixlip as the season enters its final stages.

The game kicked off in beautiful sunshine and it was the visitors Glebe who looked more lively early on despite losing three first team players through injury from their midweek battle with Home Farm. Portmarnock gradually found their way into the game and from the ten-minute mark they began to dominate as Glebe rode their luck at times. Despite being on top Portmarnock just couldn't create any clear-cut chances and that would cost them as they fell behind late in the half as Glebe took the lead. The goal was a result of some quick thinking from the Balbriggan side as Philly Kavanagh played a short corner to Aiden Bissett who whipped the ball in for Andy Haran to score at the back post. Portmarnock almost responded instantly but they were out of luck as Chris Burgess fierce shot cannoned back off the bar. That proved to be the final action of an entertaining first half which saw Glebe go in 1-0 ahead.

The second half saw Glebe pass the ball around confidently as they began to frustrate Portmarnock who continued to struggle to test Alan Connor's goal. Glebe were beginning to look very comfortable now as Chris Polis and Sean O'Connor stroked the ball around with increasing confidence in the middle of the park. Portmarnock have failed to find the net just once this season in the league but it looked as if they were in danger of doing so again with time running out.

With seconds left Portmarnock launched one final attack which resulted in a corner kick for the home side. The corner was whipped in dangerously and with a prodigious leap midfielder Noel McGinnity rose highest to head the ball into the net to break Glebe hearts. Seconds later the final whistle blew as Portarnock picked up what could yet prove to be a crucial point in their quest for league glory.

After the match Glebe manager Kevin Curley admitted that he had all but accepted that his team would not be in the hunt for promotion this season.

"Unfortunately we have drawn another game we probably should have won and that has been our failing all season. We have drawn way too many games and it's cost us.

'We have three games left now and we will do our utmost to win them and see where it takes us. I don't think it will be good enough to get into the top three but all we can do is pick up nine points and hope other results go our way," stated Kevin.

Fingal Independent