FAI Cup R4
Date: 7:45 p.m. Aug. 10, 2010
Venue: Fahy's Field
Two late Conan Byrne goals put the gloss on Fingal’s performance after headers, early in either half, from Shaun Williams and Gary O’Neill had them 2-0 up.
Despite taking an early first half lead Fingal didn’t have it all their own way in that opening period as the home side certainly had enough chances to go in level at the break. A very good half of football saw both sides create plenty of chances but the home sides failure to take any of theirs proved costly as Fingal went on to dominate the second period.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 12th minute as Shaun Williams headed home an Ollie Cahill right wing free-kick. Mervue could have been level just 5 minutes later after Simon Walsh’s clever ball released Rory Gaffney through on goals but a wonderful saving tackle in the box by defender Williams averted the danger just as the striker was about to shoot.
Ger Hanley produced a wonderful point blank saved from O’Neill a minute later, while Nicky Curran’s long range effort almost caught out Darren Quigley as he back peddled to collect under the crossbar. Conan Byrne then headed over an Alan Kirby cross to the back post.
A very good passing move from the home side saw Walsh play Mike Tierney through but his first touch was not good and this allowed Quigley get to the ball first and clear the danger.
A period of pressure by the home side saw Simon Walsh go close after the half hour mark. A Nicky Curran low free-kick had to be palmed away by Quigley with Williams clearing the loose ball for a corner on 38 minutes. Darren Young then shot just over from the edge of the box following the resultant corner.
Five minutes after the re-start and Fingal doubled their lead as O’Neill punished hesitant home defending nipping in to head a Ger O’Brien right wing cross past Hanley. O’Brien did well again six minutes later as he crossed for O’Neill again but a combination of Kevin Crehan and Hanley kept out his two efforts.
Hanley did well again on the hour mark as he blocked an O’Brien shot from inside the box. On 62 minutes O’Neill shot just past Hanley’s left hand post, while he missed an even better chance a minute later shooting over in front of goal following a delivery from Byrne.
A rare foray at the other end saw Gaffney play in sub Enda Curran but his tame effort was straight at Quigley who gathered easily. Kenny Browne headed another free-kick over the crossbar on 70 minutes, while Byrne was denied by another good Hanley save five minutes from the end. Gaffney shot over for the home side at the other end before Fingal finished the game very strongly.
O’Brien curled a brilliant effort just around Hanley’s post after he had nutmegged Gaffney to create the opportunity. Byrne finally got the third with a minute remaining after he picked up a McFaul pass before firing past Hanley. He quickly added his second and Fingal’s fourth a minute into injury time when he latched onto a ball over the top, before lobbing the ball over the advancing Hanley.
Fingal can now look forward to a home tie in the fourth round against another First Division side as Limerick FC await in the next round at the end of the month.
Mervue United: Ger Hanley; Kevin Crehan, Darren Young, Nicky Curran, Eric Browne, Mike Tierney (Enda Curran 63 mins), Simon Walsh, David Ryan (Bryan Mannion 60 mins), Evan Connolly, Rory Gaffney and Alex Lee (Michael Collins 75 mins).
Subs not used: Martin Conneely, Ollie Keogh, James Casserley and Noel Varley.
Booked – Enda Curran (70 mins)
Sporting Fingal: Darren Quigley; Ger O'Brien, Shaun Williams, Kenny Browne, Lorcan Fitzgerald (John Frost 46 mins), Ollie Cahill, Conan Byrne, Shane McFaul, Ronan Finn (Colm James 87 mins); Alan Kirby, Gary O'Neill (Glen Crowe 71 mins).
Subs not used: Brian Gannon, Kevin Dawson and Brendan Clarke (GK)
Referee – Conor Fitzgerald
Attendance – 100 approx
Extratime.ie Man of the Match – Ger O’Brien (Sporting Fingal)