Cruel blow for Farm


Home Farm/Everton ultimately lacked a finishing touch as they lost out on an FAI Cup quarterfinal place their performance more than deserved.

The First Division side dominated last night's second round replay at Whitehall even more than they did the first encounter on Sunday, but lost out to, of all things, an own goal against a UCD who's abject display was emphasised by the fact they failed to win even one corner.

As in the first game at Belfield, Dermot Keely's side took the initiative, but, the sense of deja vu was such that they once again had to suffer the misfortune of finding themselves behind very much against the run of play.

This time, however, it proved to be the only goal, and thus an inglorious winner, for an out of sorts UCD who, nonetheless, progress to a home tie against the winner's of tonight's replay between Finn Harps and Galway United.

It must be said that Home Farm failed to make full use of their possession in a match disrupted by a very strong breeze, and were restricted to two long-range efforts from a Graham Doyle free-kick and a 25-yard drive from Barry Ferguson in the opening half.

But having dominated virtually the whole half, Home Farm cruelly fell behind in the final minute. And, as if to add insult to injury - as indeed they also did on Sunday - it was a dreadful defensive error that cost them a goal, and, on this occasion, the match.

Ferguson, facing his own goal, appeared to mis-kick as it seemed he was attempting to put the ball out for a corner. The ball ran straight to UCD's Tony McDonnell's who shot it across goal and Home Farm right-back Stephen Gifford could only help it over the line as he tried to clear.

Home Farm maintained the upper hand throughout the second-half but failed to seriously test Seamus Kelly in the UCD goal.

Ironically, the only clear scoring opportunity of the second-half fell to UCD's Mick O'Byrne five minutes after the restart, but his looping volley from 20 yards dipped inches over the crossbar.

Home Farm/Everton: Whelan; Gifford, Maher, Ferguson, Keenan; Heary, S. Byrne, Doyle, Kavanagh; Gill, Moore. Sub: Farrell for Kavanagh (68 mins).

UCD: Kelly; McLoughlin, Lynch, Palmer, Fitzgerald; Bennis, McDonnell, O'Byrne, Martin, Griffin; Kilmurray. Sub: Martyn for Bennis (90 mins).

Referee: P Whelan (Dublin)

. Tranmere Rovers warmed up for Saturday's English FA Cup fifth-round trip to Newcastle with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Swindon Town that lifts John Aldridge's side out of the First Division relegation zone.