Home Sport Soccer Portlaoise AFC draw as title hopes take a hit

Portlaoise AFC draw as title hopes take a hit

Portlaoise AFC 2 Inchicore Athletic 2

Leinster Senior League 1B

Portlaoise AFC blew a two goal league and potentially blew their chance of winning the Leinster Senior League Division 1B in the process.

Ger Dunne’s side led by two goals at half time but they gave up their advantage in the second half of a game which contained three red cards.

The Laois outfit took the lead after six minutes when James Mullaney beat the home keeper with a thunderous strike from all of 35 yards.

But Portlaoise then suffered a set back when striker Jody Dillon reacted to a late challenge and was shown a straight red card.

Jason Murphy went close for Portlaoise with a shot which just whistled by the post but Inchicore soon got on top using their numerical advantage and Portlaoise keeper Mateusz Cwienk was called into action on a number of occasions.

Nevertheless, Portlaoise doubled their advantage after 39 minutes when Jason Murphy cut in off the right wing and unleashed a thunderbolt into the bottom corner.

Inchicore suffered more misery before half time when they were also reduced to ten men and the sides headed for the interval with Portlaoise leading 2-0 and the title firmly within their grasp.

However, the home side emerged with renewed vigor on the resumption and Craig Adams narrowed the deficit to the minimum after 47 minutes.

And they were level by the 55th minute when Mateusz Cwienk’s punch was volleyed into the back of the net from the edge of the area.

Inchicore piled forward in search of the lead but keeper Mateusz Cwienk pulled off a great save after captain Eoghan White had cleared an effort off the line to keeper Portlaoise in it.

The home team were reduced the nine men before the end and Portlaoise desperately tried to get the third goal which would win them the title.

Paul Cahillane went close with a free and another effort was cleared off the line but that is as close as they would come.

Portlaoise AFC now move two points clear but if St James Gate beat Ballyfermot United on Tuesday night, they will be crowned champions.

PORTLAOISE AFC: Mateusz Cwienk; Eoghan White, Mark Brennan, James Mullaney, Oisin Fitzpatrick, Colm Poole, Jody Dillon, Paul Cahillane, Jimmy Dermody, Jason Murphy, Aaron Rafter. Subs: Shane Brophy for Rafter (73mins)

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.