Brian Ging in action for Portlaoise against Home Farm. Pic: Denis Byrne.
Portlaoise earned a solid point at home to early pace setters Lucan United, where both teams will be rueing missed opportunities in a goalless draw.
Portlaoise sit third from bottom of the Senior 1A league, but having only played two games, Ger Dunne’s side won’t be too disheartened with that.
Portlaoise were the more energetic team early on, as Brian Ging went very close, with his attempt inches away from the goals. Portlaoise were the team playing all the football in the first quarter, but Brian Ging and Jody Dillon added to Portlaoise’s shots off target.
Lucan United began to settle down the longer the half went on, and they had their first shot on target through James Lee, but Matuesz Cwienk barely had to move. Jason Murphy went down the other end several minutes later, and his attempt could’ve been close had it not been for the body of centre back Sean Nolan in the way.
However, the best chances came at the end of the half. Lucan United were awarded a free kick only a number of yards outside the box. Derek Lawlor curled it towards goal, but he was denied by an eye-catching, one-handed save from Mateusz Cwienk.
Another free kick was awarded close to goal three minutes later, this time going in favour of Portlaoise. Jason Murphy forced Conor Barco to get down low near the post, before Oisin Fitzpatrick fluffed his lines by missing a sitter.
While Portlaoise were slightly the stronger in the first half, the second saw both teams equally matched. The opening stages of it were tight, with both defences coming out on top.
James Lee had the first opportunity of the half, and Portlaoise drew a sigh of relief when his shot went inches wide of Cwienk’s post. Cwienk was in outstanding form, saving Portlaoise time and time again and taking control of his box.
The best chance of the game, perhaps, went Lucan United’s way. Lackadaisical marking on Portlaoise’s behalf from a corner meant substitute Conor Foley had a free header, but he somehow managed to miss from all but a few yards out, leaving the tie scoreless, and that’s how it would finish.
Overall, coming in to this game, Portlaoise probably would’ve been content with the point. However, they will surely look back with some regret with the amount of missed chances they had.
Portlaoise: Matuesz Cwienk, Oisin Fitzpatrick, Eoghan White (C), James Mullaney, Daniel Molloy, Shane Collins, Colm Coss, Brian Ging, Colm Poole, Jody Dillon, Jason Murphy. Subs: Jason Caffrey, Aaron Rafter, Emmanuel Okpara, Niall Doran.
Lucan United: Conor Barco, Sean Foley, Shane Foley, Sea Nolan, Dave Fagan (C), James Lee, Brandon Payne, Jack Carey, Andrew Bracken, Derek Lawlor, Jonathan Luski. Subs: Conor Foley, Luke Maguire, Jimmy Macken.
Referee: Peter Maloney