Monday 16 September 2019

A tough night at the office for Glebe

Soccer: FAI Senior Cup first round: Glebe North 0 Sligo Rovers 8

Paul Byrne

Leinster Senior League second-tier club Glebe North put up a great fight, but ultimately the gap between the sides was clear to see as Sligo Rovers - three-time winners of the FAI Senior Cup in this decade alone - eased into the second round last Friday evening.

Glebe North manager Gary McCormack said before the game that he just wanted his players to give it their all and he will surely have been satisfied with his charges who gave it everything against the League of Ireland Premier Division side.

Market Green was looking wonderful under the floodlights and the pitch was in immaculate condition as roughly 500 people watched on, with the vast majority of them hoping for the mother of all upsets.

Glebe looked up for the battle early on as they tried to unsettle former Sporting Fingal boss Liam Buckley's (pictured) side with high pressing and biting tackles.

However, Sligo eventually got into their rhythm, and with 12 minutes on the clock they cut Glebe open with a neat move which ended with David Cawley tapping in Lewis Banks' cross at the back post.

Glebe were well and truly on the back foot after that as Sligo looked to push home their advantage, with the pace of Banks and Kris Twardek in particular causing the Balbriggan side all sorts of trouble.

Glebe's central defensive partnership of Josh Dunbar and Jason Rankin were working overtime, but to the duo's credit they were helping keep the Westerners at bay with some last-ditch tackles and defensive headers.

Eventually, however, the relentless pressure from Sligo told as Alan O'Connor was beaten for a second time. The shot-stopper had no chance as Regan Donelon unleased a thunderbolt from 25 yards which rifled into the bottom corner to double his side's lead.

Glebe made their way into the Sligo half for a rare attack just before the break, but Chris Pollis'attempted effort was well blocked by Dante Leverock to ensure the visitors maintained their two-goal lead going into the break.

The home side came out for the second half with all guns blazing after McCormack's half-time team talk and they enjoyed their best spell of the match during the five minutes after the restart as they pegged the visitors back into their own half.

Glebe got off a couple of shots and forced a corner as the home supporters began to increase the volume inside Market Green. They were almost cheering a home goal in the 51st minute when Reece Weldon let fly with a fine effort, but his shot was well saved by Ed McGinty in the Sligo goal.

Having suffered that scare, Sligo began to reassert their dominance and they put the game beyond Glebe's reach with a well crafted third goal as Romeo Parkes broke before putting in Banks whose saved shot was tapped home by Cawley.

Two more goals followed in the following 10 minutes as Sligo's class began to tell against a tiring Glebe side. Leverock scored the fourth with a close-range header before Canadian striker Twardek made it five with a neat finish.

Cawley completed his hat-trick with 25 minutes to go as the Sligo fans began to find their voice.

Noel Barrett and Reece Weldon went close to giving the home side a deserved goal for their efforts throughout the match, but it was Sligo who had the final say with two late goals from Twardek which completed his hat-trick.

Overall, it was a tough evening for Glebe North on the pitch, but a great night for the club after some trojan work had been put in to ensure Market Green could stage this match.

Glebe: Alan O'Connor; Aidan Bissett, Josh Dunbar, Jason Rankin; Noel Barrett, Paul Haran (Mark Murray, 58), Sean Lynch (Ian Devine, 58), Keith Murray, Chris Pollis; Darren Lynch, Reece Weldon. Subs not used: Andy Haran, Steven Larkin, Paul McCarville, Michal Skrzypczak, Bill Sosso.

Sligo: Ed McGinty, Lewis Banks, Regan Donelon (Ronan Murray 66), John Dunleavy (Danny Kane 64), Dante Leverock, John Mahon, David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce, Kyle McFadden, Romeo Parkes (Brian Morley 75), Kris Twardek. Subs not used: Luke McNicholas, John Russell, Sam Warde.

Fingal Independent