Action from Portlaoise AFC v Edenderry Town. Pic: Denis Byrne.
Portlaoise AFC and Edenderry Town played out an end-to-end, highly entertaining game in Rossleighan Park last Friday.
The home team were pegged back twice to drop two valuable points and remain winless four games into the new season.
Portlaoise found the back of the net just four minutes in, but Jason Murphy was deemed to have timed his run prematurely. Edenderry Town, who sit nicely poised in third place in the league, had their first chance through Sean Moriarty. Portlaoise failed to clear their lines, and as a result Moriarty nicked the ball and forced Mateusz Cwienk to react promptly.
Portlaoise were playing the ball around the park marvellously at times in the first half, and got their reward twenty one minutes in when Jason Caffrey was tripped just outside the penalty area. Jason Murphy, who has continued his outstanding form from last season, cleverly caught Eddie McDonald out in goals by going to the side of the keeper and leaving him flat-footed.
Edenderry Town nearly carved out an immediate response. Barry Clancy played a brilliantly accurate long ball into an unmarked James Rafferty, who took it down well, but was excellently blocked down by Eoghan White.
Murphy nearly produced a goal out of nothing at the start of the second half. He chased down what looked like a hopeless ball, managed to earn possession, beat his man, then attempted an audacious chip over Eddie McDonald, which went agonisingly just over.
Edenderry Town equalised no more than ten minutes into the half. Portlaoise were causing themselves all sorts of problems by not clearing their lines, and Liam Donnelly took advantage of this by giving himself a bit of space, and toe-poking it past Cwienk.
Edenderry Town, who noticeably brought along a large crowd of supporters, had all the momentum. Goal scorer Liam Donnelly played a one-two with Dean Commins, but his resulting shot was at a comfortable height for Cwienk, who has been consistently solid in goals for Portlaoise in recent times.
Murphy almost grabbed his second when midfielder Colm Coss whipped a ball into the back post where Murphy was left unmarked, but he could only find the side netting.
However, then Portlaoise, who had found their bearings after the early setback, restored their lead. Murphy turned provider from another set piece delivery, and no Edenderry Town man could get near the colossal Colm Coss, as he found the net with his head.
Edenderry Town refused to give Portlaoise a breather though, and Jack Foran flicked on a header from a corner to ensure they would leave with a well-earned point.
Portlaoise: Mateusz Cwienk, Oisin Fitzpatrick, Eoghan White, Mark Dunne, James Mullaney, Brian Ging, Colm Coss, Jason Caffrey, Jason Murphy, Jody Dillon, Colm Poole. Subs: Emmanuel Okpara, Niall Doran, Evan McEvoy, Shane Collins.
Edenderry Town: Eddie McDonald, Kenny McNamara, Barry Clancy, Derek Foran, Stephen Doyle, Bryan Donoghue, Dean Commins, James Rafferty, Liam Donnelly, Aaron McDonnell, Sean Moriarty. Subs: Jack Collins, Jack Foran, Niall O’Neill.