Friday 18 October 2019

Glebe feeling Blue after cup hopes ended

Brian Baneham

Glebe North made their exit from the FAI Intermediate Cup at the first hurdle after going down to a late super strike from Bluebell United's Keith Quinn in an epic tussle at Market Green on Friday night.

The Balbriggan side, who were in the ascendancy for large portions of the second period, looked to have earned a replay after Sean Hughes levelled the tie with 15 minutes to play, but Quinn's eye-catching volley eight minutes from time silenced the home crowd and ensured the LSL Senior Division champions' passage into round two.

The hosts went close on two occasions in the dying minutes to draw the match level for a second time, but Ciaran O'Connor saw his header cleared off the line before Adam Foley, latching onto a diagonal ball, struck a sumptuous volley that was brilliantly saved by Bluebell stopper Graham Bedford, denying Glebe a draw that they richly deserved.

Both sides began the game tentatively and neither managed to craft any noteworthy chances until the 29th minute when Glebe's right winger Foley got on the end of a delightful Austin McCann delivery to leave him one-on-one with the keeper, but he slid his shot just wide of the post.

That scare seemed to spark Bluebell into life and they dominated the remaining 15 minutes of the first half. Dean Ebbe fired a hefty shot off the post before Stephen Larkin steered the rebound goal-ward but saw his effort deflected wide. Soon after, the visitors had the ball in the net, but the celebrations were cut short after a flag was raised for offside.

Although Glebe emerged from the dressing-room the more purposeful side and out-played the visitors for most of the second half, it was Bluebell who edged in front after 70 minutes. A deep corner kick was sent back into the mix where Larkin rose majestically to power his header home, giving Bluebell the lead very much against the run of play at that point.

But Glebe's heads didn't drop and they battled their way back into the contest to restore parity five minutes later when sub Sean O'Connor out-jumped two centre-halves to flick a header into the path of Hughes whose rasping left-foot shot found the bottom corner.

However, a touch of misfortune led to Glebe conceding a late goal that sent them crashing out of the cup. Attacking the Bluebell goal, Paul Haran's incisive pass looked to have sent Aaron Connor in behind the visitors' defence, but the ball inadvertently struck the referee and broke to 'Bell's Willo McDonagh and his raking ball landed to former Sheffield United player Quinn who volleyed home.

Although bitterly disappointed with the result, Glebe boss Kevin Curley was very encouraged with the performance against the champions.

He said: 'Performance-wise, I couldn't complain, I absolutely couldn't complain with the effort the lads put in. But at the same time, I don't do glorious losses - you either win or you lose. I told them in the dressing-room afterwards that they need to start putting these good performances into wins.

'The league is always our priority and we're disappointed to go out of the cup, but if we put that level of performance into the next five or six league games we'll be flying. Bluebell have won the Senior Division for the last two years and we have just proved that we can compete at that level, but we need to take that standard into our league games.'

Glebe have a short break before they return to league action the week after next.

Glebe North: Michal Skvaypozak, Jason Rankin, Phil Kavanagh (Aaron Connor), Keith Murray, Ciaran O'Connor, Aidan Bissett (Sean O'Connor), Adam Foley, Paul Haran, Noel Barrett, Austin McCann, Sean Hughes (Stephen Carter).

Fingal Independent