Liffey Celtic 2
Kildare Town AFC 1
Liffey Celtic consolidated their pole position at the top of the PMB Construction Masters Division 1 with this hard-earned win over a stubborn Kildare Town side on Friday at Newhall.
Kildare started strong, creating chances early on through Justin Gleeson and Kevin Bradley. With Mark Murphy, Fergal Finn and Keith Burns creating chances in midfield for the visitors.
However it was Liffey who took the lead against the run of play in the 20th minute when a ball cleared out of defence by Paddy O'Neill was latched onto by Neil Dwane.
Dwane beat Fergal Finn and sent in a cross for Ger Thorpe to volley home from six yards past John Clarke in the Kildare goal.
This shocked the visitors into action but poor finishing and some excellent defending by Liffey's Martin Meehan and Paddy O'Neill kept Kildare at bay to the break and the home side went in 1-0 up.
Some tactical changes by Kildare Manager Jim Finn at the restart saw Robert O'Neill move to the left side of midfield and this immediatly showed dividends.
After 15 minutes O'Neill won the ball, releasing Keith Burns who sent in a pin-point cross to John Carty to power home from close range to equalise for Kildare.
Kildare were on top at this stage but again luck deserted them in front of goal and it was Liffey who went 2-1 up when substitute Paddy Campbell won a free on the right.
His stinging shot could only be parried by Clarke in the Kildare goal, and Pat Devanney was on hand to tap home with 15 minutes remaining.
The home side were not going to relinquish their lead and through some excellent defending by the back-four of Martin Meehan, David O'Connor, Paddy O'Neill and Alan Thornton, held on for a valuable three points which sees them just one point ahead of nearest rivals Woodstock Celts.
Best for the winners were the above mentioned back-four and Ger Thorpe up front. For a very disappointed Kildare, Justin Gleeson, Kevin Bradley, Robert O'Neill, Keith Burns and Anthony Kinsella tried best in an all-round team performance.
Liffey Celtic: Darren McDonald, Martin Meehan, Paddy O'Neill, David O'Connor, Alan Thornton, Pat Devanney, Ian Moore, Neil Dwane, Seamus Mooney, Ger Thorpe, Derek Stafford, Steven Whelan, Darrren Cunningham, Paddy Campbell.
Kildare Town: John Clarke, Warren Delaney, Keith Byrnes, Anthony Murray, Robert O'Neill, Fergal Finn, Mark Murphy, Anthony Kinsella, Kevin Bradley, Liam Carty, Justin Gleeson, John Carty, David O'Brien, Mark Hayden.
Referee: Robert Kennedy.