Sunday 17 November 2019

Excellent Skerries step up

Soccer, FAI Inter Cup: Portlaoise 1 Skerries Town 2

Paul Byrne

Skerries battled the elements as they produced an excellent performance in Portlaoise to deservedly earn a spot in the third round of the FAI Intermediate Cup.

Alan Sweeney's side arrived in the midlands on a very wet and windy Wednesday evening as they looked to see off their Senior Sunday 1A opponents. Skerries preparations for the game weren't ideal with a couple of players arriving just after the game kicked off, which forced Sweeney to re-jig his team just before the game started.

The Fingal side settled into the game well despite those late changes with Karl Costello, in particular, seeing plenty of the ball early on. The first real chance of the game arrived after fifteen minutes as Bob McKenna turned smartly inside the box before rifling a shot which just flew wide of the post. Skerries continued to create chances and with twenty-five minutes gone they deservedly took the lead when Bob Mckenna stroked home a penalty to make it 1-0. The spot kick was awarded to the visitors when Brian Snowe was bundled over in the box following an excellent through ball from Karl Costello.

Skerries were full value for that lead and they almost doubled their advantage five minutes later as Bob McKenna again went close with an effort which was well saved by the Portlaoise keeper. Skerries concluded a near faultless opening half with a second goal right on the stroke of half-time when the excellent Karl Costello threaded a pass through to Karl Young who took a touch before firing a slightly deflected shot which flew into the top corner. That put the Fingal side 2-0 up and well in control of the tie as the two sides went in at half-time.

The second half saw Skerries sit back content to hit Portlaoise on the counter when the opportunity arose. Barry Davey and Alex Doyle in the heart of the Skerries defence were excellent as they thwarted Portlaoise attacks time and time again. When Portlaoise did manage to get through the Skerries defence, goalkeeper Shane Davies was on hand to ensure that his side maintained their two goal lead. Skerries had a couple of chances through Brian Snowe and Bob McKenna to kill the tie off when through on goal but the Portlaoise keeper managed to keep his side in it with a couple of decent saves. Portlaoise did finally manage to score a goal deep into injury time after a scramble in the Skerries box but it proved too little too late as the Fingal side deservedly held on for a 2-1 to ensure their name will be in the hat for the third round draw.

Skerries Town: Shane Davies, Eoin Dempsey, Shane Kiely, Barry Davey, Alex Doyle, Karl Young, Harry Nugent, Karl Costello, Darragh Walsh, Brian Snowe, Bob McKenna. Subs: Paul O'Carroll for Harry Nugent, Emmet Mullen for Darragh Walsh, Shane Langan for Brian Snowe.

Fingal Independent