Cobh Wanderers and Avondale United will have to meet again in the FAI Irish Daily Mail Senior Cup Second Round Clash this Wednesday evening in Avondale Park at 6.30pm after playing out a six goal thriller in Old Church Park yesterday afternoon.
The visitors had the better start to the game going two up with goals from Gary Comerford and Simon Holland in the space of two minutes before the half hour mark.
However Cobh equalised through ex-Cobh Ramblers striker Davin O’Neill when he converted a penalty on 31 minutes after Conor Meade was fouled by Mark Horgan.
The second half saw more goals with Avondale stretching further ahead when Holland got his second goal on 70 minutes, heading home Karl Caulfield’s corner.
The home side looked dead and buried at that stage but Ian Stapleton fired home a free kick to make it 3-2 on 73 minutes and then, on 85 minutes, he capitalised on a defensive mistake to make it three-all. In the final minutes both sides tried for a winner but neither side found one and will now play again on Wednesday.
The opening attack came from Avondale on four minutes and Wanderers keeper Shane Hallahan had to be at his best to keep his goal intact. Karl Caulfield’s free kick was headed by Roy Long from close range with Hallahan clawing the ball away only for the ball to fall to Mark Horgan but his shot was blocked only to then fall to Roy Long whose shot was blocked on the line by Owen Kinsella.
Wanderers waited until the ninth minute for their opening attack when Shane Geasley’s free kick from 25 yards drifted narrowly wide of the Avondale goal.
The rain descended on the pitch with Cobh’s Brian Fitzgerald and Gavin Kavanagh stopping everything that Caulfield attempted to play behind the Wanderers rearguard as they looked for an opening goal.
Wanderers weathered the earlier play and just as the rain stopped they very nearly scored when a lovely passing play set up O’Neill who crossed across the six yard box to Ian Stapleton but the ball took a bobble and he shot wide of the goal on 22 minutes.
Avondale took the lead on 27 minutes when Dave Kiely’s cross was headed in by Comerford over Hallahan. And Wanderers hadn’t much time to recover when they found themselves two down when Gary Collins’ back pass was intercepted by Holland who stroked it past Hallahan.
From the resulting kick off Conor Meade picked the ball up deep before embarking on a run into the box which resulted in Horgan fouling him and conceding a penalty. Up stepped O’Neill and buried it into the right corner past O’Leary’s outstretched hand.
Avondale’s O’Leary denied O’Neill on 54 minutes making a superb one-handed save after he had been played in by Meade who disposssed Horgan.
The home side kept pressing though and were a post away from an equaliser on 55 minutes when O’Neill’s header hit the upright and went wide after Geasley’s corner picked him out at the back post.
Avondale should’ve extended the lead on 61 minutes when Declan Cahil’s free header went narrowly wide of the goal after Holland’s corner.
Eight minutes later he nearly scored again, this time his header from Caulfield’s corner was blocked off the line by Eoin Hastings for a corner. From the resulting corner Holland extended the lead by heading in Caulfield’s corner.
The Cobh side looked defeated at this point but Stapleton gave them hope on 73 minutes, smashing home a 20 yard free kick low into the corner of O’Leary’s goal.
Substitute Eoghan Lougheed nearly scored for Avondale shortly after his introduction when his cross-cum-shot went just over Hallahan’s crossbar.
The equaliser arrived on 85 minutes when Stapleton pounced on Horgan’s poor header to shoot past O’Leary and set up an exciting finish.
On 87 minutes O’Neill headed a Geasley corner over when free in the box and then on 89 minutes Lougheed saw his shot from Greg Kelly’s cross blocked by Geasley to set the teams up for Wednesday’s replay.
Cobh Wanderers: Shane Hallahan; Eoin Hastings (Steve Bruton 77), Gavin Kavanagh, Brian Fitzgerald, Gary Collins; Shane Geasley, Owen Kinsella, Ian Stapleton, Peter Nolan (Keith O’Flynn 77); Conor Meade, Davin O’Neill.
Subs Not Used: Tony O’Donovan, Eddie Nolan.
Avondale United: Daniel O’Leary; Declan Cahil (Jack Cairns 81), Mark Horgan, Michael Mulconry; Dave Kiely, Karl Caulfield, Gary Comerford, Dave Warren (Eoghan Lougheed 70), Greg Kelly; Roy Long, Simon Holland.
Subs Not Used: Kelvin Connolly, Michael Carroll, Dave O’Keeffe.
Booked: Comerford (19), Caulfield (39), Cahil (71).
Referee: David Keeler (Cork)
Attendance: 250 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ian Stapleton (Cobh Wanderers)