LSL Senior Division Sunday
Tolka Rovers – 3
Glebe North – 3
It took a 95th minute equalising goal for Tolka Rovers to turnaround a 3-1 deficit and seal survival in the most dramatic of circumstances as Glebe North were sent down at Frank Cooke Park on Wednesday night.
Glebe took the lead on the stroke of half-time through captain Noel Barrett before Tolka equalised through Lar Ivors on the hour mark.
However that lead was to last barely a minute as Stephen Nolan put North back in front straight after.
Sean O’Connor made it 3-1 to put Glebe in the driving seat with 15 to play.
However in they dying embers of the game and with almost all the Tolka team in Glebe’s half, Ivers poked home on 90 minutes before Carl Murray scored the decisive goal in the depths of injury time to manic celebrations.
Going into the game Tolka knew a point would prove enough to seal survival while Glebe would need all 3 to beat the drop and the game began at the kind of pace you’d expect from a match with stakes as high as this.
Both sides were maybe a little too quick on the ball as neither could put a stamp on proceedings in the opening stages.
Glebe grinded out the first chance just inside the ten minute mark when Ciaran O’Connor got on the end of a looping cross only to head straight into the arms of Phillip O’Connor.
O’Connor then booted the ball deep down the right towards Ivers who nicked it inside to Craig Comiskey. Comiskey’s first touch was excellent in taking it past the defender before his close-range shot was saved brilliantly by Nicky May Potter who spread his body superbly.
From the resulting corner Mark McCormack rose highest and his header flashed just wide of the target.
Both sides continued to battle but chances were at a premium in the first half-hour with both sides defences performing well in cutting out the final pass on numerous occasions.
On 31 minutes, Tolka captain Alan Barrett floated a free-kick from just outside the D which took a wicked deflection on its way causing it to nearly creep into the goal only to bend just off target.
Glebe were beginning to edge the possession with a lot of the play taking place in Tolka’s half and their pressure prevailed 3 minutes before the break.
Reece McEnteer won a free down the left side after some excellent work. Austin stepped up and swung it towards the danger zone where Noel Barrett was on hand to plant the ball home.
Glebe were inches from doubling their advantage right before the half-time whistle when a free-kick found its way to Nolan inside the six yard box however his shot somehow rolled wide of the mark.
Glebe carried their momentum into the opening stages of the second period with Barrett coming close when his header from a corner looped over the bar and onto the top of the net.
Minutes later Nolan came agonisingly close to adding a second only for Phillip O’Connor to stretch across his line and bring the shot into his grasp.
Tolka then went straight up the other end with Comiskey driving a low centre where Ivors stuck out a leg to direct it on target however it lacked power and the keeper saved easily.
Tolka continued to push for a leveller and five minutes a later a ball was cleared into the path of Alan Barret who hit a smashing first-time effort only for May Potter to pull off a fantastic stop to turn it away.
On 58 minutes Tolka levelled. Comiskey found an inch of space down the right to force a lofted cross onto the head of Ivors who directed it beautifully into the bottom right corner.
However, within a minute Glebe went back ahead as straight from the tip-off they won the ball back and played it to Nolan who rifled it into the bottom left in what was a stunning finish.
Things began to calm down after what was a nuclear opening 15 to the second stanza.
Tolka continued to chase with Carl Murray hitting the side netting and Lee Fahy having a glancing header cleared off the line at the back post but it would be Glebe who would get the next goal.
The North defence cleared the ball and it broke into the path of Nolan who sprinted down the left before squaring it into Sean O’Connor who slid the ball home to make it 3-1 with 15 to play.
Rovers continued to press despite the 2 goal disadvantage and right on the 90 th minute mark, a corner broke to Ivers who prodded the ball into the net.
And then with 5 minutes of injury time played another long ball into the Glebe box fell to Murray who powered it home to make it 3-3. Unbelievable celebrations ensued around a packed Frank Cooke Park as survival was assured for Tolka in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Credit to Glebe who have now been relegated in the cruelest way possible, they put up a brilliant fight and their time spent in Senior Division 1 Sunday surely won’t be long.