Sunday 16 June 2019

Portmarnock fail to blow House down

Soccer, Leinster Senior League, Senior Div Sunday: Portmarnock 2 Firhouse Clover 3

Paul Byrne

Portmarnock were left scratching their heads at the end of a game which they somehow contrived to lose despite creating a number of chances and enjoying the majority of possession.

It was no exaggeration to say that Porto could and should have been five or six goals clear at half-time on Sunday morning, but some poor finishing cost them dear as Firhouse went in just 2-1 down at the break.

Portmarnock must have been feeling confident of victory as they took on the league's worst side in the shape of an already relegated Firhouse Clover.

Clover had managed just three wins all season, shipping 50 goals in their 24 matches played.

Portmarnock began the game well and it looked like it was going to be an easy day's work as they took the lead thanks to an excellent finish from the in-form striker Sam O'Connor.

However, with their first chance of the match Firhouse managed to equalise after 20 minutes as a scramble in the box resulted in the visiting striker prodding the ball home from close range.

Portmarnock should have retaken the lead just two minutes later as Alan O'Shaughnessy found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but his effort was brilliantly saved.

Graham Rusk then went within a whisker of scoring for the home side as he let fly from the edge of the box, but his effort went the wrong side of the post.

Portmarnock continued to pile on the pressure and O'Connor forced the Firhouse keeper into another excellent save as the home side continued to push for a second goal.

Firhouse, to their credit, were defending well, but they were being forced further and further back as the home side pushed up.

Portmarnock finally got the second goal their attacking play deserved before the break as Sam O'Connor played a ball through for strike partner Alan O'Shaughnessy who found the bottom corner of the net with a precise shot.

That put Porto 2-1 ahead, and just before the break they should have had a third as Firhouse Clover cleared a shot off the line after a scramble in the box.

That brought the first half to a close and the home side must have been wondering how they were only a goal clear.

Those missed chances would come back to haunt Porto in the second half as the visitors began to create chances on the counter.

Firhouse equalised on the hour mark as they broke up a Portmarnock attack before launching a counter which ended with Brian Kane being beaten at his near post.

Firhouse were growing in confidence now and unbelievably they took the lead with 20 minutes to go as they once again caught Porto short at the back following a quick counter-attack.

Portmarnock, now 3-2 down, launched attack after attack in the latter stages as they tried to force a draw, but Firhouse stood firm as Portmarnock ran out of ideas.

Sam O'Connor almost equalised for Porto at the death, but his fierce shot rattled the crossbar before being cleared to safety by a Firhouse defender.

Fingal Independent