Leinster Football Association Junior Cup First Round
Skerries Town FC (LSL Sunday Major) – 2
Glasnevin FC (LSL Sunday Premier 1) – 0
On a grey and drizzly day in North Dublin, Skerries made it into the second round of the LFA Junior Cup courtesy of Samba Shane Langan who scored an amazing solo goal that would not have been out of place on Brazil’s Copacabana Beach.
The seasiders were made to work for the win against a well-organised Glasnevin outfit who showed little evidence of the three divisions which separated the sides – however midfielder Langan’s goal was one which deserved to win any tie.
Skerries began on top but were restricted to long range efforts from Toye and Langan. After ten minutes Sean Lynch got on the end of a Colm Gill long ball but the big striker’s clever header was smartly saved by Wayne Kennedy in the Glasnevin goal.
The Dublin 9 outfit, missing a host of first team regulars, would have to wait until the twentieth minute for their first effort on goal, when Michael Mahon curled a free kick well over the bar. Soon after, however, they would have the best chance of the opening exchanges. A Sean Lynch free kick was easily saved by Kennedy, whose quick restart resulted in a mix-up in the Skerries penalty area. Karl Lenihan retrieved the ball for Glasnevin and accurately cut it back to Paul Burke who had his shot well blocked by Gill.
As the match approached the half hour mark, Skerries captain Keith O’Callaghan almost scored a bizarre, accidental goal. The centre half’s clearance had Kennedy back-peddling, and the keeper managed – just – to stop the 50 yard attempt from creeping under the crossbar.
Seemingly invigorated by this, The Goats began to attack Glasnevin with renewed ferocity. Lynch would beat his marker and blaze a shot over before Langan took centre stage.
The influential midfielder played a neat one-two with Moynihan before jinking his way past three players and into the box. Here he nutmegged a fourth and slotted past the keeper, sending Park Lane into pandemonium. Indeed many in attendance remarked that it was the best goal the ground had ever witnessed.
As the match approached half time, Skerries would twice go close through hard-working striker Darragh Walsh, who had two headed efforts flash wide.
Skerries began the second period on top. Chris Toye would have a curling shot well saved by Kennedy after some patient build-up play, and then Moynihan attempted to turn in a low Lynch cross but the winger could not connect properly with his stylish flick.
The North county side were then given a scare when Mahon slid a cross into Lenihan but the midfielder slipped at the crucial moment and could only scoop his close-range effort into the grateful arms of McGearty.
After fifty-seven minutes Skerries went close again. Lynch fed Dave Arthur whose powerful cross-shot was parried into the path of Walsh. The former underage international’s shot, however, was well blocked by a bevvy of Glasnevin defenders who threw their bodies on the line.
Glasnevin had a chance to equalise on the hour mark. A long ball managed to bounce through to Lenihan who was unfortunate to slip once again when faced with McGearty.
Two minutes later, Darragh Walsh almost scored a goal that would have rivaled Langan’s. From a full 35 yards out, the forward belted the crossbar with a rocket of a strike.
Soon after, Skerries hit the woodwork yet again when Moynihan got on the end of a deep corner, but could only clip the outside of the post.
Now well on top, Sean Lynch had a powerful shot headed over after being teed up by brother Darren, a second half substitute.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Lynch again went agonisingly close, muscling through and slamming a shot off the underside of the bar from an acute angle.
After seventy-seven minutes, Walsh finally got the goal his tireless play deserved. After being played through by Darren Lynch, the young striker hit a low left-foot shot across Kennedy into the bottom corner much to the jubilation of his team mates.
As the match progressed into the closing stages, both sides would exchange half-hearted penalty shouts when Egan, and then Walsh would go to ground in the box, but the referee was unconvinced.
To their credit, Glasnevin never gave up, and pushed big centre back Erdi Demirtürk forward in search of a goal – however the Skerries defence, marshalled by captain O’Callaghan, dealt well with the aerial bombardment.
With holes left in the Diggers backline, Skerries almost made it three at the death when a quick free kick put Sean Lynch one-on-one with Kennedy, but the young goalkeeper came out on top.
Skerries now progress to the second round of the cup, and will be aiming for a cup run to accompany their title challenge. Glasnevin on the other hand will take heart from a spirited display as they aim to put together a promotion push of their own.
Skerries Town FC: Colm McGearty, Colm Gill, Johnny Kennifeck, Keith O’Callaghan, Alex Doyle, Chris Toye, Shane Langan, Dave Arthur, Darragh Walsh, Sean Lynch, Andrew Moynihan. Substitutes: Caoilte Dillon, Darren Lynch, Stephen Gaffney, Dean Monks, Rob Armstrong.
Glasnevin FC: Wayne Kennedy, Craig Cormack, Michael Mahon, Niall Burke, Erdi Demirtürk, Ciaran McMahon, Karl Lenihan, David Egan, Francis McShea, Stephen Burke, Paul Burke. Substitute: Guillam Stresser.