Liffey Celtic closed the gap on Countrywide Forklift training Womens Division leaders Kilcullen when they just about did enough to overcome lowly Mountmellick by the odd goal in three on Monday last.
Countrywide Forklift Training Women’s Division
Liffey Celtic: 2
Mountmellick AFC: 1
Both teams started brightly and it was Mountmellick who threatened first when after five minutes Michelle Carroll shot marginally wide of Emily Patterson’s goal from the edge of the box. The visitors always looked dangerous on the break with front runners Michelle Carroll and Susan Lee causing all kinds of problems for the Liffey Celtic defence.
Midway through the half Emma Hayden played a neat one two with Marie Hyland however Hyland’s shot was cleared off the line by Liffey Celtic defender Rebecca Coogan and the follow up shot by Susan Lee was eventually cleared to safety by Nicola Farrell.
Mountmellick determination finally paid off in the first half with some great work again coming from left back Emma Hayden and midfielder Marie Hyland releasing Susan Lee on the left and she shot low and hard from close range only to be parried by Patterson in the home goal but she followed up and slotted past the outstretched home keeper to put the visitors deservedly 1-0 up on the half hour.
Mountmellick missed several glorious chances to extend their lead just before the break when Chloe Carroll’s free kick shot over from 20 yards and Marie Hylands effort was saved by Patterson in the home goal.
Liffey Celtic came out more determined in the second half having weathered the storm for long periods of the first half and lucky to be behind by such a slender margin.
The home side’s persistence paid off and within ten minutes of the restart they snatched a deserved equaliser. A long ball by midfielder Michelle Gogarty over the Mountmellick defence found Emma Furlong in space, her stinging effort was parried by Avril Westman in the visiting goal and fell kindly to the inrushing Furlong to make no mistake from five yards to even the score at 1-1.
Liffey Celtic kept the pressure on and created several glorious chances through Aoife Connolly and Dawn Hayden only to be stopped by some couragious defending by the Mountmellic back four of Emma Hayden, Bernie Bowe, Linda Lee and Gemma Murphy.
However following a long clearance by Liffey Celtic defender Carol Moran, the home side broke and as substitute Jessica Turner ran at the visitors defence Bernie Bowe slipped allowing Turner into the area where she was brought down by Mountmellick net minder Avril Westman and referee Packie O’Brien pointed to the spot.
Celtic midfielder Michelle Gogarty stepped up to coolly slot the resultant penalty past the unfortunate Westman to put the home side 2-1 up with 20 minutes remaining.
Efforts from Mountmellick’s Nicole Kelly, Michelle Carroll and Marie Hyland were well defended by the Liffey back four of Nicola Farrell, Rebecca Coogan, Carol Moran and Ashling Powell and Liffey held out for a very important three points to keep the pressure on the leaders.
Best for the winners were Emma Furlong, Amy Reid and goalkeeper Emily Patterson. While for an unlucky Mountmellick who will be disappointed not to have got something from the game, Emma Hayden, Gemma Murphy and Michelle Carroll shone.
A Westman, E Hayden, G Murphy, B Bowe, L Lee, C O’Riordan, C Carroll, M Hyland, N Kelly, S Lee, C Carroll.
E Patterson, N Farrell, R Coogan, C Moran, A Powell, C Fay, M Gogarty, A Reid, Connolly, E Furlong, D Hayden, D Byrne, S Ronan, J Turner, A Dunne.