Chad McEneaney scored direct from a corner-kick in the second half as Glenmuir overcame a gallant Ardee Celtic side to claim an important 2-1 victory at the Dundalk Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Glenmuir are currently in second spot in the U15 Premier Division league table and they had to pull out all the stops to beat a hard working Ardee Celtic team who came so close to causing an upset.
Ardee had the advantage of the gale force wind in the first-half and showed their intent as early as the fifth minute with a clever free kick from Alan McGauley but Glenmuir keeper Mark Byrne was equal to the task to make a comfortable early save.
Byrne was tested again in the 12th minute when he did brilliantly to turn a stunning volley from Cian Halpenny around the post.
Glenmuir created their first chance a minute later and were awarded a free-kick after a foul on Caolan Dines. The Ardee defence were expecting Azeez Ogunfowora to send over a cross but the Glenmuir striker went for goal and was unlucky to strike the top of the crossbar.
Paul McArdle sent over a well flighted free-kick for Ardee from the left wing in the 25th minute that beat the entire Glenmuir defence and found the unmarked Cian Halpenny at the far post but Halpenny just couldn’t direct his shot on target.
The Ardee Celtic attacking policy paid dividends in the 27th minute when a Glenmuir defender was caught in possession in the penalty area by Ardee’s Killian Scott who was then fouled. Referee Colm McConville was well placed to award a penalty and Alan McGauley slotted home from the penalty spot.
Ardee nearly doubled their advantage before the half-time whistle when Paul McArdle’s excellent corner-kick flew across the face of the Glenmuir goals but there was no Ardee player available to take advantage.
Glenmuir came out after the break and laid siege to the Ardee Celtic half. Dean Connolly’s shot was well save by Niall McDonnell in the second minute and Connolly just failed to connect with Chad McEneaney’s superb corner-kick from the right side before another McEneaney corner, this time from the left side, struck the outside of the Ardee post.
Glenmuir launched a number of attacks as Ardee were unable to get out of their own half and they deservedly equalised seven minutes into the second-half when Dean Connolly’s cross field shot deceived the Ardee goalkeeper and found the top corner.
Caolan Dines went close to putting Glenmuir in the lead in the 51st minute when his well stuck free-kick got over the Ardee Celtic wall but McDonnell produced a good save by diving to his right to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The impressive John Callaghan refused to give it up for Ardee and following a pacey run he set up Seanie Dowdall in the 62nd minute but he pulled his shot wide of the Glenmuir post.
Glenmuir upped the tempo in the closing stages, searching for a winner and McDonnell produced a brilliant save to deny a powerful long range effort by Aaron Matthews.
That earned a corner-kick for the home side and Chad McEneaney’s accurate delivery deceived the unlucky Ardee keeper to nestle into the net for the winning goal.
Azeez Ogunfowora was unlucky not to increase Glenmuir’s lead in the final minute when he was denied by the Ardee crossbar for the second time in the game.
Glenmuir United: Mark Byrne, Emmanuel Keenan, Amara Ibeh, Mubarak Adewunmi, Michael Somers, Peter McElroy, Chad McEneaney, Dean Connolly, Azeez Ogunfowora, Caolan Dines, Conor Nicholson, Niall Caraher, Edgar Bitanis, Gavin Markey, Aaron Matthews, Ciaran McShane.
Ardee Celtic: Niall McDonnell, Lonan Dixon, Armidas Bernotas, Mark Whelan, John Callaghan, Seanie Dowdall, Killian Scott, Cian Halpenny, Alan McGauley, Jake Gillespie, Daniel O’Boyle, Paul McArdle, Desmond Jibona.