Finn Harps strike at the death to take Dundalk to a replay

Remarkable late comeback keeps Donegal side’s Cup hopes alive

Finn Harps’ Babatunde Owolabi celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Evan Logan/Inpho

Finn Harps’ Babatunde Owolabi celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Evan Logan/Inpho

 

Finn Harps 3 Dundalk 3

A 95th Sean Boyd equaliser sparked wild scenes as Finn Harps came from 3-1 down in the last six minutes to earn an unlikely FAI Cup quarter-final replay against Dundalk.

It looked as though Dundalk would remain on track for a seventh consecutive appearance in the final with the first half sending off of Jordan Mustoe sparking considerable debate.

With the home side 1-0 up courtesy of a belter from Tunde Owolabi on 25 minutes, Dundalk were awarded a penalty just three minute later by referee Damien McGraith. Harps full-back Mustoe was adjudged to have handled a stinging drive from Sean Murray, who had followed up a save from Mark Anthony McGinley from a Patrick Hoban drive.

Hoban eventually scored the spot kick to make it 1-1 as Harps claimed adamantly that the ball hit the defender’s chest as he slid in and their feelings of injustice were exacerbated when McGraith didn’t point to the spot when Ethan Boyle seemed to be taken out by Cameron Dummigan.

Then, on 39 minutes, with the complexion of the match changed thanks to Dundalk’s numerical advantage, a long-range Murray shot ended up in the bottom corner having taken a nick off Johnny Dunleavy.

Dundalk, despite their lowly position in the SSE Airtricity League where they are bottom but one, contain plenty of individual quality and it was on display for the third goal on 65 minutes when a delightful Murray cross was gleefully headed home by Hoban.

Four minutes from time Sean Boyd’s header from a Karl O’Sullivan gave the Donegal side hope and, urged on by a boisterous home support, almost grabbed an unlikely equaliser with Boyd denied by a last-ditch block from Daniel Cleary.

Then, in injury time, Kosovar Sadiki somehow hooked over the Dundalk crossbar in the depth of injury from six yards out. However, with the four minutes injury time seeping into its fifth, Boyd got on the end of a Ryan Rainey ball in to seal a replay, which will take place at Oriel Park on Tuesday night.

Finn Harps: McGinley; Boyle, Sadiki, Webster, Mustoe; Coyle (Rudden 86), Dunleavy (Doherty 73); O’Sullivan, McNamee (Foley 73), Rainey; Owolabi (Boyd 73).

Dundalk: Cherrie; Dummigan, Boyle, Cleary, Jurkovskis; Stanton, Sloggett; Patching; Duffy (Leahy 92), Hoban, Murray (Animasahun 87).

Referee: D MacGraith.

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