Monday 21 October 2019

Points go to Mals as Glen Daly goal brings 'House down

Soccer, Leinster Senior League Senior Sunday: Malahide United 1 Firhouse Clover 0

Paul Byrne

Malahide United climbed back into the top half of the table thanks to a hard-fought victory over bottom side Firhouse Clover last Wednesday night.

Glen Daly's goal half an hour from time ultimately proved the difference between the sides as Gerard Coughlan's side ended a run of four league games without a win to move up to seventh.

Malahide came into the game off the back of a 2-2 draw with Cherry Orchard, which was unbelievably their eighth league draw this season from just 14 games, and were hoping to pick up a fifth win to re-ignite their hopes of a top-four finish.

Playing at home under the lights in Gannon Park, Mals started well and had the ball in the back of the net after just five minutes, but unfortunately for the hosts the 'goal' was ruled out for offside.

The hosts were by far the better team early on, with Ciaran McGahon and Darren Craven causing the Firhouse defence all kinds of trouble and their pace and skill creating openings.

McGahon had his head in his hands in disbelief after 13 minutes as his goal-bound shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by one of the visiting defenders. McGahon seemed to do everything right as he took the ball around the keeper, but his effort on goal was miraculously cleared to safety to ensure the score remained 0-0.

That goal-line clearance seemed to spur on Firhouse, who enjoyed a decent 10-minute spell of possession following that lucky escape.

Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half, though, as the visitors began to make more of a game of it and Malahide were seemingly running out of ideas.

Firhouse began the second half well and were inches away from taking the lead after some excellent build-up play. The visitors worked the ball down the left flank and after beating his man their winger squared the ball to his teammate who rattled the post from close range. That was a bad miss for the visitors and a huge let-off for Malahide.

That incident seemed to awaken Malahide from their slumbers and they came within inches of taken the lead just three minutes later as a wonderful Darren Craven free kick from distance cleared the bar by inches, much to the relief of the visiting keeper.

Malahide were back on top now and on the hour mark they finally broke the deadlock thanks to a towering header from central defender Glen Daly who rose majestically to put Mals 1-0 up.

The home team almost doubled their lead five minutes later when Levi Boardman found himself through on goal, but just as he was shaping to shoot he was stopped in his tracks as the referee called play back for an earlier foul.

Firhouse rallied late on as they piled forward in search of an equaliser, but the home defence stood tall and held out for an important three points.

Fingal Independent