Defender Sean O'Sullivan sets up a Portlaoise United attack against Mullingar Athletic Pumas on Saturday morning in Rossleighan Park.
U-15 Division 1
Portlaoise Utd 4
Mullingar Athletic Pumas 3
Portlaoise Utd entertained Mullingar in their last home game of the season at Rossleighan Park on Saturday afternoon last. Despite overnight rain the pitch was in excellent condition, allowing Portlaoise to play fine early football.
Luke Makem had an early strike for Portlaoise, while Benedict Fordjour was a fraction away from opening the scoring following a fine run and cross from Fionn Devoy.
At the other end, Sean O Sullivan and Tadhg Duffin were once again combining well in central defence. Luke Makem and David Burke combined to set Benedict up, but the Mullingar keeper pulled-off a fine save. Minutes later the keeper pulled off another great save, this time from a well struck Sean O Sullivan free kick which he tipped over the crossbar.
Portlaoise got their reward ten minutes in when Andrew Goggin continued where he left off left off last week by starting the attack. He found Brandon McCarthy in central midfield, who in turn set David Burke clear on the left wing. David put a well flighted ball into the box, and no better man waiting than Fionn Devoy who duly beat the keeper with a low placed shot.
Brandon McCarthy went close to doubling the lead when he connected with Finn Delaney' s well struck corner, while Matthew Walsh defended well as Mullingar threatened a break away.
Soon afterwards, Portlaoise got their second. Again Goggin started the move from defence with a trademark ball up the line to Devoy who slipped the ball to Brandon McCarthy to score from just inside the box, a nice follow up to his hat-trick last week.
Mullingar reacted by forcing a free kick just outside the box, but Aidan Keane was equal to it and pulled off an excellent save to keep out the well struck effort. Portlaoise did not take heed from this let off and conceded another dangerous free kick within minutes, and this time Mullingar scored to get back into the game. Portlaoise reacted straight away, and went on the attack. Benedict Fordjour showed tremendous determination to win a tackle on the edge of the penalty area, regained his footing and fed Finn Delaney who slipped the ball through the advancing keepers legs.
It was 4-1 soon afterwards when another well delivered corner from Delaney was met by a powerful header by Sean O’Sullivan that gave the keeper no chance.
Matthew Walsh and Tadhg Duffin got some good tackles in as Mullingar tried to get back into the game, but a deflection just before the break resulted in a lifeline for Mullingar, 4-2 at the break.
The second half got a bit messy, with Mullingar losing their discipline and no good football being played. John Ging twice went close for Portlaoise, and despite some good balls into the box from Calum Leonard and Cameron Clarke, they failed to increase their lead.
With ten minutes remaining Mullingar got a third after a lapse of concentration from Portlaoise. This gave them hope of rescuing a point, and Hubert Siler pulled of a superb save to palm out a shot that was heading to the bottom corner of the net. Portlaoise finished the game on a high with Luke Makem and Fionn Devoy going close before the end.
After a good first half in which the game could have being well out of site for Portlaoise the second half was a niggly affair. Credit to Portlaoise who kept their composure and discipline to hold out for a well deserved victory.