Tuesday 23 May 2017

Mixed fortunes for Fingal exports

ON a busy weekend of FA Cup action for Fingal players, Malahide native Conor Sammon was on target again for Championship club Derby County as they routed Tranmere Rovers 5-0 on Saturday.

Sammon, who began his career with UCD before moving on to SPL club Kilmarnock and then Premiership side Wigan Athletic, was criticised by fans before Christmas for not scoring enough goals, but the £1.2 million signing has since netted five times in 10 games and the rampant Rams have been drawn at home to Blackburn in the next round. Another Malahide man - Shaun Williams - was denied an 85th-minute winner by the post as Milton Keynes Dons held Sheffield Wednesday to a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough. The former Sporting Fingal captain will be hoping to inspire the League 1 promotion chasers to victory in the replay, with an away tie against Premiership opposition QPR or West Brom awaiting the winners. Kevin Dawson's elder brother Stephen was in the manager-less Barnsley side who beat Burnley 1-0 on Saturday and their reward is an away trip to the club he captained previously, Leyton Orient. Another Portmarnock man playing at the same level as Stephen Dawson is Stephen Ward who recently passed 200 league appearances for Wolves, but he won't be featuring in the fourth round of the Cup after the shock 1-0 defeat by non-league Luton Town, a result that cost manager Stale Solbakken his job. Twenty-year-old Wolves full-back Matt Doherty, who hails from Swords, was recently loaned out to League 1 club Bury and he scored his first goal for them in an FA Cup tie against Southend last month. They were still knocked out, though, and the relegation-threatened club face Shaun Williams' MK Dons in the league next Saturday. Also currently in League 1 is Rush native David McAllister, the former St Patrick's, Shelbourne and Drogheda United midfielder, who is now establishing himself in the first team at Sheffield United - although he wasn't in the match-day squad for Saturday's 3-0 FA Cup win at Oxford United. In round four Sheffield United have been drawn away to Premiership strugglers Reading, Portmarnock man Karl Sheppard's club. The former Shamrock Rovers and Galway United striker joined Reading a year ago this week but was sent out on loan to League 2 Accrington Stanley last August and that deal comes to an end in three weeks' time. Elsewhere, Stephen McPhail returned from injury for Cardiff City, but he couldn't prevent the Championship leaders being dumped out of the Cup by lowly Macclesfield. It was also a weekend to forget for Swords 'keeper, Rene Gilmartin, who shipped four goals as Plymouth Argyle were plunged further into crisis by Port Vale.

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