FAI Cup QF
Date: 8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2013
Venue: Finn Park
Att:
TV:

Kevin McHugh 22' -
Scored: 22'


Ciaran Coll 56' -
Red: 56'


Scored: 85'
- Michael Daly 85'



Finn Harps 1 - 1 Drogheda United

Sat, Sep 14 2013

Ten-man Finn Harps’ almost produced the shock of the FAI Cup quarter-finals - only for Drogheda United to scramble a draw on a night of high drama at Finn Park.
 

As is so often the case in and around Ballybofey, talisman Kevin McHugh provided the inspiration for side from the Twin Towns. The 33-year-old scored a stunning opening goal on 22 minutes, curling past Michael Schlingermann and into the postage stamp top corner.
 

A tempestuous second half saw Harps left-back Ciaran Coll receive a straight red card and he was joined by his manager Peter Hutton on the sidelines for his vociferous appeals.
 

McHugh’s goal looked like it would be enough for Harps, third from bottom in the First Division, to seal a place in the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1999 only for Mick Daly to slot home an 85th equaliser for Drogheda. The teams must meet again on Monday night.
 

The draw marked the conclusion of a difficult week for the Louth outfit, whom are to part company with manager Mick Cooke at the end of the season following a disagreement over the direction the club is taking.
 

How the former Monaghan United manager would love to end his tenure on a high and still has that chance with the FAI Cup with Friday's reprieve and, of course, the EA Sports League Cup final against Shamrock Rovers to come next Saturday. The visiting support made their feelings felt with a banner stating ‘In Mick Cooke we trust.’


Drogheda also this week learned their striker Gary O’Neill will undergo treatment for testicular cancer and the Drogheda squad warmed up beforehand with t-shirts in support of their teammate.
 

Michael Funston made an enterprising break in from the right on four minutes and warmed the hands of Schlingermann and the Drogheda goalkeeper then had to be alert to get down to save a Damien McNulty header following a free-kick whipped in by Thomas McMonagle.
 

But the home side were 6/1 outsiders with the bookmakers prior to the tie and favourites Drogheda gradually began to exert control. Ciaran Gallagher in the Harps goal made a vital save from Ryan Brennan and Alan Byrne headed inches over. Gallagher then made an excellent one-handed save from a curling free-kick from Brennan on 18 minutes.


But if Harps’ opener came slightly against the run of play, they came within a whisker of a second as the balance of power certainly shifted with Drogheda still struggling to find their feet. A minute after the goal, McHugh’s deft touch split the away defence like the Red Sea and Coll was denied by Schlingermann in a one-on-one. The off-balanced Pat McCann could only steer the rebound over the crossbar.


Then, on 25 minutes, with the crowd trying to catch its breath, McHugh, this time from a Josh Mailey ball forward, played in McCann but again Schlingermann was equal to the close range effort. And the American’s second bite at the cherry was snuffed out by a combination of Schlingermann and Alan Byrne.
 

There was an edginess about Drogheda in the first half as a handful of pernickety incidents saw Shane Grimes, Ryan Brennan and Gavin Brennan all booked. However, it was Harps’ collective blood that was boiling 11 minutes into the second half when Coll was given a straight red by referee Tom Connolly.
 

The off-the-ball incident with David Cassidy saw the Drogheda player grounded with a retributive shove but Hutton, the Harps manager, was in the vicinity and was absolutely livid with the decision made by Connolly having been notified of the incident by fourth official Rob Rogers. One sensed Hutton's frustrations came as a result of no action being taken against Cassidy for originally shoving Coll.

 

Hutton was then banished to the stand for his protestations. There were disagreements and heckles breaking out around the pitch like bushfires with players on the turf here and there. Harps followers were furious afterwards when Funston left the field with what appeared to be a broken nose and McNulty looking for broken teeth.


That tetchiness dragged through the second half and with few chances being created, it certainly suited the team that were leading than chasing. Substitute Jason Marks’ effort, comfortably gathered in the bread basket by Gallagher, was Drogheda’s first shot on goal in the entire second half.


However, with Harps looking capable of the unlikeliest of results, Paul McVeigh misplaced a pass when the chance of a break was on. Marks instantly fed Cassidy on the left and his centre was swept home by Daly.

 

It was a heartbreaking conclusion for the gallant hosts but they'll come out fighting on Monday such was their level of frustration following the draw. 

 

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Josh Mailey, Keith Cowan, Thomas McMonagle; Michael Funston (Paul McVeigh 76), Pat McCann, Shaun McGowan, Ciaran Coll; Thomas Bonnar (Mark Forker 62); Kevin McHugh.
Subs not used: Shaun Patton, Lee Toland, Jordan Duffy, Shane McGinty, Gary Merritt.

Booked: McHugh (26), Funston (61), McCann (66), McGowan (90+4).
Sent Off: Coll (56).

 

Drogheda United: Micheal Schlingermann; Mick Daly, Alan McNally (Eric Foley 80) Derek Predergast, Shane Grimes (Peter Hynes 64); Alan Byrne; David Cassidy, Paul O’Conor, Ryan Brennan, Gavin Brennan (Jason Marks 55); Declan O’Brien.
Subs not used: Gabriel Sava, Philip Hand, Cathal Brady, Graham Rusk.

Booked: Grimes (26), R Brennan (40), G Brennan (41), Prendergast (58). 

 

Referee: Tom Connolly.

Attendance: 

 



Finn Harps
Ciaran Gallagher
Goalkeeper
Ciaran Coll
56Sent off: 56'
Defender
Keith Cowan
Defender
Thomas McMonagle
Defender
Damien McNulty
Defender
Thomas Bonner
62'
62Subbed Off: 62'
Midfielder
Michael Funston
61Booked: 61'
76'
76Subbed Off: 76'
Midfielder
Josh Mailey
Midfielder
Shaun McGowan
90Booked: 90'
Midfielder
Pat McCann
66Booked: 66'
Forward
Kevin McHugh
22Scored: 22'
26Booked: 26'
Forward

Substitutes
Jordan Duffy
Forward
Mark Forker
62'
62Subbed On: 62'
Midfield
Shane McGinty
Midfield
Paul McVeigh
76'
76Subbed On: 76'
Forward
Gary Merritt
Forward
Shaun Patton
Goalkeeper
Lee Toland
Defender
Drogheda United
Mícheál Schlingermann
Goalkeeper
Derek Prendergast
Defender
58Booked: 58'
Alan McNally
Defender 80'
80Subbed Off: 80'
Shane Grimes
Defender
26Booked: 26'
64'
64Subbed Off: 64'
Michael Daly
Defender
85Scored: 85'
Paul O'Conor
Midfielder
David Cassidy
Midfielder
Alan Byrne
Midfielder
Gavin Brennan
Midfielder
41Booked: 41'
55'
55Subbed Off: 55'
Ryan Brennan
Midfielder
40Booked: 40'
Declan O'Brien
Forward

Substitutes
Gabriel Sava
Goalkeeper
Graham Rusk
Forward
Jason Marks
Defender
55Subbed On: 55'
55'
Peter Hynes
Forward
64Subbed On: 64'
64'
Philip Hand
Midfield
Eric Foley
Midfield
80Subbed On: 80'
80'
Cathal Brady
Midfield


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