Evan McEvoy in action against Galway Utd.
Portlaoise AFC first team suffered a setback in their promotion hunt on Friday night, when they were beaten 2-1 away to Maynooth University Town FC.
Maynooth started brighter and dominated possession for the first 18 minutes, but never really troubled Mateusz Cwienk.
Portlaoise settled into the game however, and had three shots blocked in quick succession, Jason Murphy with two efforts and Colm Poole, but Maynooth defended well.
On 24 minutes the visitors took the lead, Cwienk played a short kick out to Jason Caffrey and he played a delightful pass over two defenders heads and Jason Murphy produced a sublime piece of skill, before being taken down inside the penalty area. The referee waved play on and Colm Coss got to the ball but was taken down, and Murphy dispatched the penalty for his 12th goal of the season.
Maynooth went close on 28 minutes when David Travers long range effort was pushed away by Cwienk, and Eoghan White brilliantly blocked Eoin McDermot’s follow up shot.
Portlaoise went close on 33 minutes but Murphy headed wide from and excellent Poole corner kick, and Murphy had a great chance on 40 minutes to put his side further ahead but David Sterio did well to keep out his effort and on 43 minutes Maynooth were level.
Portlaoise lost possession three times in quick succession and Travers played a great pass to Cillian Duffy to fire past Cwienk.
Portlaoise went close again just after the break when a long throw was headed goalwards by Coss, but Sterio produced a brilliant save, and Murphy almost had a second from a counter attack but his effort was blocked, then Mullaney’s long range volley was blocked as well.
However, Portlaoise were made to pay for not taking their chances when a free kick on 58 minutes came off the head of a defender and flew past Cwienk to give Maynooth the lead and ultimately the winner.
Portlaoise threw everything at Maynooth and Coss went close twice, while at the other end McDermott volleyed over after an excellent Maynooth counter attack and time ran out for Portlaoise.
Portlaoise host Beggsboro AFC for the first time on Friday night with a 7.45pm kick off in Rossleighan Park.
Team: Mateusz Cwienk, Mark Dunne, Eoghan White, James Dermody, Oisin Fitzpatrick, Emmanuel Okpara, Colm Poole, Jason Caffrey, Colm Coss, James Mullaney, Jason Murphy. Subs: Jody Dillon for Okpara (50 mins), Brian Ging for Poole (60), Aaron Rafter for Mullaney (73), Danny Molloy for Dunne (83), Evan McEvoy, Joe Walshe.
Portlaoise AFC played two friendly games last week against Aitricity League opposition, losing narrowly to Galway Utd and Wexford FC. The team which played Galway on Sunday was as follows: Team: Mateusz Cwienk, James Mullaney, Eoghan White, Colm Coss, Evan McEvoy, Brian Ging, Emmanuel Okpara, Jimmy Dermody, Colm Poole, Jody Dillon, Aaron Rafter. Subs: Joe Walshe for Cwienk (46 mins), Jason Woods for Rafter (52), Mark Dunne for Okpara (60), Oisin Fitzpatrick for McEvoy (60), Robbie Ging for Dillon (74), Aaron Wright for White (75).