EA Cup R2
Date: 6 p.m. May 4, 2009
Venue: United Park
Att: 300 (est)
The ball was freely given away by both sets of players and it took Fingal 22 minutes to get an effort on target as Eamon Zayed announced his presence on his old stamping ground with a effort comfortably saved by Paul Skinner in the home goal. Fingal seemed to take heart and with Zayed proving to a handful up front. They forced a corner on their right from which Zayed glanced a header wide from six yards when he should have at least made the keeper work.
The next chance fell to Drogheda on 33 minutes as they played a hopeful ball down their outside left channel for O’Connor to chase. Darren Quigley and Brian Gannon collided with each other in trying to clear the danger. O’Connor centred for Conor Kenna whose effort was blocked and the danger cleared.
As we neared half time indecisive defending from Drogheda nearly cost them dear as a dinked delivery from John Frost fell to Philip Byrne who was given far too much time in the box to bring the ball down, turn and get his shot off. However sheer numbers in the box blocked the goal bound effort and the teams went in all square at half time.
During half time the DJ played Steelers Wheel, Stuck in the middle with you, as opening line of “I don’t know why I came here tonight” rang out, art and life coincided perfectly.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with misplaced passing being the predominant feature. Drogheda began to get more success trying to release Jamie Duffy in behind the Fingal back line with balls over the top and looked as if it might yet bring some their best chance of a goal. It nearly worked on 63 minutes when a low corner from the right found Duffy unmarked ahead of the front post, his attempt at a flick with his right instep finished just wide of the near post.
The introduction of Doyle on 71 minutes saw the game swing decisively in favour of Fingal. On 80 minutes, James Chambers in the Drogheda midfield misplaced his pass and picked out Doyle perfectly; he trotted on 20 yards, drew the keeper and slipped the ball coolly into the far corner of the Crosslanes end net.
In the third minute of added time Skinner deserted his goal for Drogheda to supplement their numbers for a corner, the gamble backfired when the ball broke to Doyle in space on the right hand side of his own half he sent Conan Byrne away down the outside right channel and he finished to the unguarded net.
Alan Matthews must be wondering where the next goal is coming from never mind the next victory but there is always next week at Bray to look forward to. Meanwhile Liam Buckley can look forward to another night of cup football and hopefully a better performance than tonight.
Drogheda United FC: Paul Skinner; Ian Ryan, Robert Clarke, Conor Kenna, Alan McNally; Paul Shiels, Gavin Whelan, James Chambers, Mark Salmon (Shane Barrett ’64), David O’Connor (William Woods ’84); Jamie Duffy. Booked: James Chambers
Sporting Fingal: Darren Quigley; Brian Gannon, John Frost, Shaun Williams, Gareth Whelan; Philip Byrne (Robbie Doyle ’71), Conan Byrne, Robert Bayly, Alan Kirby, Ross Gaynor; Eamon Zayed. Booked: Gareth Whelan, Robert Bayly, Eamon Zayed.
Referee: Damien Hancock
Attendance: approx 300.
Man of the Match: Robbie Doyle for his short but telling nights work.