Drogheda set up FAI Cup semi-final showdown with neighbours Dundalk
Drogheda Utd 2 Finn Harps 0
Drogheda United’s Alan Byrne (right) tackles Shaun McGowan of Finn Harps during their FAI Cup quarter-final replayin Hunky Dorys Park, Drogheda. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Drogheda United once more underlined their excellent cup pedigree with a hard fought win in this replay that sees the Boynesiders set up a mouth-watering semi-final meeting with neighbours Dundalk in early October
The first opportunity came Drogheda’s way when David Cassidy’s strength took him past two hefty challenges before he clipped his shot just over.
The home side went closest to opening their account after 25 minutes after Ryan Brennan got a block on Michael Funston’s clearance and the ball ricocheted into the path of Declan O’Brien, who raced clear but pulled his shot past the post.
As the half time whistle beckoned Ryan Brennan glided down the right flank before whipping a fine cross over for O’Brien, who guided his header only just the wrong side of the post .
And with two minutes remaining in the half Harps Michael Funston sent over a corner which Keith Cowan met powerfully at the back post. Michael Schlingermann acrobatically tipped the ball over for a corner.
The second half was only five minutes old when a one-two between Shane Grimes and David Cassidy saw the former cross for Philip Hand, whose shot was blocked on the line for O’Brien to follow in and score.
Hand was denied a second for United by goalkeeper Ciarán Gallagher who somehow managed to beat away the defender’s pile driver.
For the second time in the tie the Donegal side had a man sent off with 20 minutes remaining when Damien McNulty was cautioned for a second time.
Drogheda eventually killed the tie off two minutes into the additional six as they broke swiftly through O’Brien, who sent Ryan Brennan on his way and he selflessly slipped the ball to Cassidy who sent Drogheda through to the semi-final.
DROGHEDA: Schlingermann, Hand, Prendergast, McNally, O’Conor, R Brennan, Hynes (Rusk 84), Grimes, Cassidy, O’Brien, Byrne (Foley 74).
FINN HARPS: Gallagher, McNulty, Bonnar, McMonagle, Cowan, McGowan, Funston (Merritt 84), Mailey, Forker (McVeigh 73), McHugh, McCann.
Referee: D. Tomney (Dublin)