Date: 7:45 p.m. May 7, 2010
Venue: United Park
The visitors opened the scoring after only eleven minutes, a calamitous effort in the Drogheda defence which saw Damien Brennan caught in possession and his dalliance allowed Zayed to steal in and dispossess the centre half and roll the ball back to Finn who hit a low shot past the floundering keeper.
Drogheda levelled after 69 minutes through a wonder strike by Garreth O’Connor from 35 yards out. A series of Drogheda attacks had Fingal pinned in their own half and a poor clearance fell to the midfielder who put his head down and drilled the ball through a congress of Ravens and left Darren Quigley with no chance.
The Dublin side started well and should have been ahead after only two minutes, a deft Glen Crowe pass picked out Eamon Zayed who controlled the ball and then dragged his shot wide from only eight yards out but at an acute angle. Drogheda almost took the lead themselves moments before conceding, a Brendan McGill cross was met by the head of Paul Crowley, whose header just looped over the bar.
Drogheda were blessed with a glorious chance on 18 minutes when Fingal keeper Quigley was caught in possession by Colm Smith and the Drogheda forward managed to get the ball to McGill who failed to shoot with the goal at his mercy. He kept possession before laying off to Crowley, who had an effort from long range but Quigley had managed to get back into position and dealt with the shot.
The dual threat of Glen Crowe and Zayed was always evident as they hung on the shoulders of the back four, Crowe in particular pinpointing a clearly struggling Jamie Harris and looking to exploit the defenders lack of pace.
Alan Kirby almost doubled the visitors lead right on the stroke of half time as Crowe was adjudged to be just onside and he chased down a loose pass at the byline, laying the ball back to Kirby who unmarked chipped a shot over Paul Skinner only to see his shot bounce off the top of the bar and over.
The home side upped the pace in the second as they looked for that all important equaliser, a flurry of O’Connor free kicks almost yielded a goal as Harris dived at the back post to make contact but his shot rebounded off the post and wide.
The Fingal shot stopper proved to be a commanding presence in the Sporting defence as he claimed a lot of crosses and acted as a sweeper when forced to come screaming off his line to head a through ball out of play.
The Fingal attack was somewhat dulled by the great midfield play of O’Connor and McGill who worked tirelessly and had it not been for some wasteful play by Glen Fitzpatrick the Drogheda side may have taken all three points.
Both sides had chances right at the death, Crowe just a shade too slow as his through ball was picked up by Skinner, while right on the 90th minute Fitzpatrick was denied by another great Quigley save.
Drogheda United: Skinner, D Brennan, McNally, B McGill, Crowley, O’Connor, Harris, Daly (E McGill 66), King, Fitzpatrick, Smith (Duffy 77).
Subs not used: Murphy, Osborne, R Brennan.
Sporting Fingal: Quigley, O’Brien, Fitzgerald, Williams, Dawson, McFaul, Byrne, Finn, Kirby (James 88), Crowe, Zayed (Quinn 81).
Subs not used: Boyd, Clarke, O’Neill.
extratime Man Of The Match: Garreth O’Connor.
Attendance: 650 (est).
Referee: K. Halliday (I.F.A)