Prospects Lucan good for Ports after latest success
Portmarnock's runs in the knockout competitions are continuing after Willie O'Leary's side booked their place in the second round of the Metropolitan Cup with a two-goal win at home to Lucan United on Sunday morning.
Portmarnock 3 Lucan United 1
Despite going down to 10 men with just 20 minutes played, Ports had enough quality and wherewithal to avoid a potential cup banana skin.
A pitch inspection on Saturday, followed by a quick check of the weather, ensured that Sunday's fixture wasn't going to fall foul of Storm Desmond.
The hosts took full advantage of a bright start to hit the front with just 10 minutes played. Once again it was Chris Burgess who found the back of the net as on this occasion he benefited from some nice interplay between Sean Moore and Ross Ward. They teed up the striker who emphatically buried his shot past the Lucan keeper.
Ports had received a warning early on when Lucan broke down the left and fired a snap shot just wide.
Then, minutes after conceding, Lucan went down their favoured left wing and got a cross off to the back post where they headed home to level matters.
Danny Butler was then shown a straight red just two minutes later as Ports looked to be imploding.
The defender hit a mis-placed pass back to stand-in keeper Oisin Taylor and he followed round the keeper in an attempt to retrieve the ball and force it behind to concede a corner. However, Butler was tracked out of play by a Lucan player and there was a coming together which Butler reacted to and the referee didn't hesitate to send him off.
Ports were forced to regroup but they were soon back on top when Burgess again got himself free and this time he made no mistake with a header from close range to send Portmarnock into the half-time break with a one-goal lead.
Early in the second half Darren Kelly secured the win with Ports' third goal. Kelly won the ball back in midfield before spraying it wide to Aaron Egan.
The midfielder sped down the right wing before pulling the ball back to the edge of the box to where Kelly had continued his run and he slotted the ball past the keeper with relative ease.
Lucan were then reduced to 10 men, with Burgess lucky to avoid injury after being subjected to a dangerous two-footed lunge, for which the referee instantly produced a red card.
Ports have one league game left before Christmas next weekend and if that goes ahead it means come the New Year they will have 15 league games remaining along with at least five cup ties.
For O'Leary, though, he's happy with how his side are going, although he does worry about a possible fixture pile-up.
Ports have been drawn away in the next round of the FAI Intermediate Cup, where they will face Cork side Carrigaline or Crumlin United. The manager feels his team will be confident no matter who they play.
Portmarnock: Oisin Taylor, Aaron Egan, Dave Reddin, Danny Butler, Niall Kenny, Alan O'Shaughnessey, Sean Moore, Callum Riches, Ross Ward, Darren Kelly (Cormac O'Leary), Chris Burgess.