Ballymun United are within touching distance of a second successive promotion and LSL Sunday Senior football following a 2-0 win over UCD on Sunday.
David Lacey – a December signing from St Mochta’s – scored both goals as the Mun took one step closer to top-level football next year.
In what was a toughly-contested game that saw the Mun defend stoutly at times, Lacey’s clinical finishing proved the different between the sides.
The striker opened the scoring shortly before the break as he held off a defender before drilling the ball low and hard into the corner.
UCD put Ballymun under serious pressure in the second half but left themselves vulnerable on the counter-attack, and so it turned out when Lacey added a second at the death.
Peter O’Reilly was played through and, with just the keeper to beat, he hit the post. The ball was returned to Lacey, who made no mistake from close range.
“In fairness to UCD they gambled and really piled the pressure on and a lot of the game was played in our half,” Ballymun manager Joey Graydon told the Dublin Gazette.
“We got back to doing what we’ve been doing well this season, which was defending well, and we kept a clean sheet.
“At times, we could have kept the ball a bit better, but we didn’t, which invited the pressure. We got one chance on the break and we took it.”
The Mun were promoted at the end of last season alongside Liffey Wanderers, and they’ve watched as Liffeys have toppled them from the summit as their challenge faltered in the past month.
They still have a little bit of work to do, as a draw at home to TEK United should be enough to secure promotion, barring Glenville posting a cricket score against relegation-fighting Glebe
“We’ve been fighting all season squad-wise. We started off really light, added one or two as the season went on and then lost one or two.
“We’ve always been tight squad-wise and I think that hurt us the last couple of months of the season between injuries and players not available. You can’t afford that in this league.
“We hit the wall a little bit. We hit a bad run of form without really doing a lot wrong. If we had everyone available over the season, we’d be up by now, but that hasn’t happened.
“At the beginning of the season, we said if we had a chance of promotion going into the last couple of games, that’s what we aim for, and that’s how it’s worked out.”