Glenmuir United U17s leapfrogged over Ardee Celtic into 4th position in the league table after this fine 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals from John Byrne and one from Kalkaran Kieran gave Glenmuir a 3-0 lead early in the second-half but Ardee Celtic kept battling and reduced the deficit with a goal from Alex Marmion late in the second half.
And it could have been even closer for Ardee but for a brilliant penalty save by Glenmuir goalkeeper John Burlingham with seven minutes remaining in the game.
There was nothing between the teams early on but Glenmuir began to get on the top around the ten minute mark through John McNally and John Byrne who were both creating problems for the Ardee defence.
McNally was denied by a superb save by Ardee keeper Dylan Sheridan in the 16th minute after he ran on to Oisin Murray’s perfect defence splitting pass and a minute later Byrne went further when he collected the ball just inside the penalty area, turned sharply and fired past the stranded Sheridan to open the scoring.
Glenmuir were now dominating as Ardee struggled to keep the ball and Byrne was unlucky not to double their advantage in the 22nd minute when he cut inside from the left wing and skipped past two defenders but he was denied on this occasion by Dylan Sheridan who produced a top class save.
A perfectly curled free-kick from John McNally in the 27th minute found the unmarked Connor Richardson at the back post but he headed over from close range.
Ardee finally created a goal chance a minute later when BJ Matthews raced past his marker on the right wing but John Burlingham dived full length to tip the ball away for a corner. Gareth Kane did score for Ardee just before the half-time whistle with a glancing header but the goal was ruled out as the Ardee striker had strayed into an offside position.
Aaron Culligan went close for Glenmuir early in the second half when he headed inches wide of the post after he connected with Sean Murray’s inviting corner-kick after six minutes and a minute later the home side were 2-0 ahead when Kalkaran Kieran fired past Dylan Sheridan from the edge of the box.
A stunned Ardee then conceded a third goal two minutes later when a huge kick out from keeper John Burlingham bounced over the head of the last defender and John Byrne reacted the quickest to calmly hook the ball over the advancing Dylan Sheridan.
Ardee somehow managed to lift their game despite losing 3-0 and pushed forward at every opportunity in search of a way back. Josh Bishop tested Burlingham with a powerful shot in the 56th minute and soon after Ardee earned a penalty when Alex Marmion was upended in the box but Burlingham produced a brilliant diving save when he guessed the right side to push Mark Lonegan’s penalty around the post.
Ardee did get a deserved goal three minutes from time when Alex Marmion timed his run to perfection to slot home after a clever pass from Bishop and John Matthews was denied in the last minute when his piledriver was finger tipped over the crossbar by another superb save from John Burlingham.
Glenmuir United: John Burlingham, Aaron Culligan, James Bellew, Jake Fannin, Adam Shields, Oisin Murray, Kalkaran Kieran, Connor Richardson, John McNally, John Byrne, Sean Murray, Sean Caldwell, Michael Lambert, Dean Gill, Michael Byron, Mark O’Hagan.
Ardee Celtic: Dylan Sheridan, John Matthews, Stephen Birmingham, Josh Bishop, Patrick Taaffe, Dan O’Connor, Alex Marmion, Jamie Conlon, Gareth Kane, Killian Smith, BJ Matthews, Mark Lonegan, Killian Byrne.