St Patrick's Athletic are spot on
Soccer: Drogheda United 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 1 (AET, St Patricks win 3-2 on penalties). Vinny Faherty rescued St Pat’s with an equaliser in the 90th minute and then scored the decisive penalty that sent the Inchicore men through to the semi-final of the FAI Cup and keeps them on course to win the trophy for the first time since 1961.
St Patrick’s Athletic continued where they left off from Friday’s first tie by dominating the early exchanges with Sean O’Connor going close on eight minutes. On 16 minutes, from a corner, Chris Forrester’s shot was blocked by a defender although there was the suspicion of handball
Three minutes later and the visitors should have taken the lead. Gavin Brennan’s pass in midfield was intercepted before Forrester found O’Connor who couldn’t hit the target from close in. Drogheda did manage to exert some pressure of their own on 29 minutes when Peter Hynes put the ball in the net following a corner but the goal was disallowed for a foul on a defender. The home side went agonisingly close again four minutes later as a Phillip Hand corner found Gavin Brennan whose downward header bounced off the turf and on to the crossbar.
Early in the second half Greg Bolger headed wide and Forrester drove into the side netting for the Saints while Derek Prendergast wasn’t far away with a header for United at the other end.
With 74 minutes gone Gavin Brennan whipped in a fine cross from the left which got caught between Declan O’Brien’s feet right in front of the target before finally with 11 minutes remaining Drogheda broke the deadlock. From Hand’s corner on the right Prendergast stole in at the back post to bundle the ball over the line.
With the match in its final minute Pat’s grabbed a fortunate equaliser when a clearance by a Drogheda defender ricocheted off an unknowing Vinny Faherty and into the net to send the tie to extra time.
Nothing much happened in the 30 minutes of extra time and so the tie would be decided from the penalty spot. Eric Foley and Peter Hynes scored for United with Tiarnan Mulvenna and the Brennan’s Sean and Gavin all seeing their efforts saved by net minder Barry Murphy.
Despite Ian Bermingham’s miss Sean O’Connor, Jake Kelly and Vinny Faherty found the net to send the Saints marching on.
St Pat’s will return to Co Louth as they were drawn to visit Dundalk in the semi-final.
As reward for hammering Mervue United 7-1 in the quarter-final,. Derry City have been drawn at home to face last year’s beaten finalists Shelbourne.
All ties are to be played on Sunday, October 7th and will be shown live on RTE television. The final will be played in the Aviva Stadium in November .
Drogheda United:Sava; McNally, Hand, Gannon, Prendergast, Foley;G Brennan, R Brennan (S Brennan, 105 mins), J Sullivan, Hynes, O'Brien (Mulvenna, 105 mins).
St Patrick’s Athletic:Murphy; O'Brien (Price, 73 mins), Kenna, Flynn, Bermingham; O'Connor, Forrester (Kelly 62 mins), Chambers, Carroll, Bolger (O’Flynn 81 mins); Faherty.
Referee: D Hancock (Dublin).