Portlaoise made it through to round 4 of the FAI Junior Cup after an incident packed game at Rossleighan Park on Saturday night.
FAI Junior Cup 3rd Round
Portlaoise AFC 3
Sheilton 2 (aet)
Portlaoise started the brighter and an excellent run and shot from Niall Guilfoyle after 12 minutes almost opened the scoring. On 18 minutes visiting ‘keeper Mark O’Reilly made a tremendous double save, first to deny Jason Murphy and then Shane Brophy. At the other end Danny Browne saved at the feet of Mark Ryder as the visitors got more into the game.
The deadlock was broken on 31 minutes when Shaun Tobin found Brophy on the edge of the penalty area and his clever pass set up Murphy to score. Portlaoise were dealing well with the visitors’ attacks and should have been ahead by more at the break.
The second half started with Sheilton more in the game and their cause was helped when Portlaoise were reduced to 10 men on 58 minutes due to a second yellow card offence. The visitors drew level on 66 minutes from the penalty spot with Andrea Marsella scoring.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Portlaoise were still well in the game and went ahead again on 79 minutes. It came after a tremendous run by Jason Murphy who cut in from the right and shot past O’Reilly.
Portlaoise saw the visitors up their game and just on full time on a breakaway, Jordan Barry forced home an equaliser from close range.
Extra time saw Portlaoise go down to nine players after just three minutes again a second yellow card offence and it seemed penalties were the best option.
However a tremendous display in the second period of extra time saw a tremendous dipping shot from Jason Murphy put Portlaoise ahead again and keeper O’Reilly then pushed a Murphy free kick onto the post as Portlaoise looked to finish off the game.
The visitors were then reduced to 10 men as Portlaoise saw out the game. Portlaoise will look back and rue the missed early chances but overall it was a tremendous team display with some very gutsy performances through out the team inparticular late in the game when Sheilton had a two player advantage.