Date: 7:45 p.m. June 8, 2010
Venue: Oriel Park
Sporting took the lead in the fifth minute from their first attack as Conan Byrne was given too much room in the right hand corner. He crossed accurately to the near post where Shaun Williams met the ball with a neat downward header into the left hand bottom corner of Peter Cherries net.
Dundalk struck back in the ninth minute as a ball into Neale Fenn and Kudozovic from Mick McGowan on the right wing was first lost and then won back by Fenn; his tidy lay off to Kudozovic was chipped sublimely to the far corner of Clarke's goal from the edge of the box.
Dundalk looked far brighter as Sporting, playing with Eamon Zayed as a sole striker, tried to hit the makeshift Lilywhite backline on the break.
Kudozovic had chances for a first half hat trick as he blasted straight at Clarke on 28 minutes after taking the ball from Lorcan Fitzgerald.
On 41 he chipped wide of the goal when well placed, then a glorious diagonal ball behind the Sporting defenders from Ross Gaynor on 43 minutes left him facing Clarke. He tried to pull the ball back to avoid the sliding challenge of a Fingal defender who seemed to make contact with his arm and the ball rolled back to a grateful Clarke in the Fingal net.
The Dundalk team had to make wholesale changes to their backline due to injuries and suspensions but had coped well, but the loss of Nathan Murphy on 53 minutes seemed to have a big effect on Ian Foster's side's rhythm. Stephen Maher replaced him at right back after Murphy strained his right knee and this seemed to cede control of midfield to Sporting.
There wasn’t too much to report from the second period but had the better of it and their winner duly arrived on 78 minutes. Glen Crowe had arrived as a sub and his neat back heeled flick into the path of Finn was taken on beautifully by the midfielder. As he came onto the ball at pace he went past Wayne Hatswell into the box and finished low past Peter Cherrie into the far corner.
Dundalk had a last chance to salvage something from the game when Ger O’Brien was harshly sent off after tangling with Gaynor on the edge of the box. Sporting saw out the six remaining minutes and three added with no great alarms and will go into the break with a spring in their step.
The Lilywhites will be happy to have a break to get some of their walking wounded back into the first team before they face Bohs on their return to action. Fingal will be facing up to UCD at Morton Stadium when they shake the sand out of their sandals.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Tom Miller, Wayne Hatswell, Nathan Murphy (Stephen McDonnell 53’); Michael McGowan (Tiarnan Mulvenna 75’), Stephen Maher, Alan Cawley; Fahrudin Kudozovic, Neale Fenn, Ross Gaynor (Johnny Breen 90’).
Subs not used: Matt Gregg, John Smyth..
Sporting Fingal: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Shaun Williams, Shaun Maher; Kenny Browne, Conan Byrne, Ronan Finn, Shane McFaul; Eamon Zayed (Glen Crowe 73’), Alan Kirby (Brian Gannon 87’).
Subs not used: Darren Quigley, Kevin Dawson, Keith Quinn
extratime.ie Man of the Match:Fahrudin Kudozovic.
Referee: Tom Connolly