Friday 22 March 2019

Happier days for Porto after 'Liffey' spell

Soccer: Leinster senior league - Portmarnock 2 Liffey Wanderers 1

Paul Byrne

Two goals in the final twenty minutes helped Portmarnock come from behind to pick up their first league victory since September.

It was a well-deserved victory for Porto who showed great spirit to earn a win which lifts them up into the top half of the table.

These two sides played out a hard-fought scoreless draw just over a month ago and once again there was nothing between the sides in the early exchanges at a wet and windy Paddy's Hill.

Porto created the first real chance of the game on the quarter hour mark as Chris Burgess headed a Graham Rusk cross just over the crossbar.

Liffey Wanderers went close soon afterwards, but Brian Kane showed a safe pair of hands as he ensured the game remained scoreless.

A fairly even first half ended with the home side going close once again, with Philip Rusk's long-range effort flying just wide.

The second half began with Portmarnock continuing to take the game to their opponents and they were inches away from taking the lead as Sam O'Connor's snap shot went the wrong side of the post.

The game began to get scrappy as the conditions worsened, with both sides now struggling to keep a hold of the ball.

Porto brought on Raoui Lassoued for Barry Caulfield in an attempt to add a bit more creativity and that move almost paid instant dividends when the midfielder played in Chris Burgess who got a shot away which was well saved by the Liffey Wanderers keeper.

With 20 minutes remaining Porto began to take some risks and they were punished as Liffey caught them on the counter. A Porto move broke down in the final third, which allowed Liffey to break at pace down the right-hand side. The Liffey midfielder cut inside before unleashing a curling shot which flew into the top corner.

After that excellent goal the visitors proceeded to sit back and try and defend their lead, but the home side responded well and were level less than five minutes later thanks to a fine finish from Jake O'Connor.

Noel McGinty picked the ball up in midfield before threading an inch-perfect ball through to O'Connor who kept his composure before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

The home side had all the momentum now and with six minutes to go they completed the comeback thanks to a superb free kick from Philip Rusk. The midfielder bent his shot around the Liffey wall, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance as the ball nestled in the bottom corner to secure league success for the first time in 11 games.

Portmarnock: Brian Kane, Danny Butler, Noel McGinty, Darragh McCormack, Robert Gaul, Jake O'Connor, Philip Rusk (Darragh Keating), Graham Rusk, Chris Burgess, Sam O'Connor, Barry Caulfield (Raoui Lassoued).

Fingal Independent