Clinical Clover condemn Mals to fourth loss
MALAHIDE UNITED 0 FIRHOUSE CLOVER 2
AN improved second half performance from Malahide wasn’t enough to prevent a fourth defeat of the season for Terry Palmers men in the Leinster Senior League’s top flight.
Malahide were hoping to bounce back from a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Crumlin United three days earlier but were undone thanks to a clinical firsthalf display from Firhouse Clover who scored two goals from their only real clear-cut chances of the 45 minutes.
Malahide were dealt a blow right before kick-off as Glen Daly pulled up in the warm-up, which meant Collie Curtis came in for his first start of the season.
Nevertheless, Malahide started well, with Gareth Craven and Mark Brennan looking lively in the opening exchanges, albeit without troubling the Firhouse goalkeeper too much.
However, after that initial bright start Firhouse slowly began to take control of midfield and looked dangerous on the break whenever Malahide lost the ball high up the pitch.
Firhouse took the lead after 20 minutes after Malahide lost the ball in midfield. The visitors quickly turned defence into attack and although Darren Forsyth saw his initial shot saved by Stephen Cashin, Conor Byrne was in the right place to slot home the rebound and give the visitors a deserved advantage.
Malahide continued to push forward, but Scott Lawless was having a fine game at the back for Firhouse and the hosts struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the opening half.
Malahide’s woes deepened just before the break as they lost the ball once again in midfield due to some sloppy play. Carl Forsyth picked up the loose ball for Firhouse before spraying a wonderful 40-yard ball to Ryan Coombes who beat the keeper to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
The second half saw an improved Malahide performance as they finally began to create some chances for in-form striker Darren Craven.
A lovely move which began at the back with Jason Rankin saw the ball end up at Craven’s feet just outside the penalty box, but his snap shot flew just wide of the target.
Substitute Cillian Timmins went close on the hour mark, but his low drive was well saved by the Firhouse goalkeeper.
Malahide continued to pour on the pressure and were almost rewarded with 20 minutes remaining when Brian Foley rose highest to meet a Gareth Logan corner. However, his powerful header was once again well saved by the keeper as the home side began to realise that this would not be their day.
Malahide fashioned a couple more half chances late on, but in truth they were struggling to break down a resolute Firhouse rearguard and in the end the visitors left Gannon Park with a deserved three points.
Palmer’s young side will be hoping to bounce back this Thursday evening when they take on Arklow at home in one of the cup competitions.
MALAHIDE UNITED: Stephen Cashen, Jason Rankin, Brian Foley, Collie Curtis, Karl Mellin, Robert Duggan, Mark Kelly, Mark Brennan, Gareth Craven, Gareth Logan, Darren Craven. Subs: Sam Burgess for Mark Kelly, Dave Fallon for Rob Duggan, Karl Moody for Mark Brennan, Killian Timmins for Dylan Cashin.