FAI Cup round-up: Dundalk blitz Derry, Pat's and Galway get scare from non league teams
St Patrick’s Athletic had to produce a battling performance to earn their 2-0 win at Leinster Senior League side Portmarnock and a place in the second round of the FAI Cup.
Striker Christy Fagan’s header on the stroke of half time and a late own goal by defender Gareth Whelan earned the Saints victory at Paddy’s Hill.
Fagan (right) headed home Conan Byrne’s cross into the bottom corner in first-half injury time.
Saints dominated the game from start to finish and could have led as early as the first minute when Ian Bermingham picked out Billy Dennehy, but the winger shot straight at Brian Kane.
Irish Amateur record caps-holder Ray Whelehan had a chance for the hosts after a Dave Sheppard break, but he failed to keep his shot on target.
However, the task was to prove too much for the part-timers as St Pat’s scored again when central defender Whelan turned Conan Byrne’s cross into his own net.
Meanwhile, ex-Ireland international Keith Fahey helped Bluebell United overcome junior football’s all-conquering side Sheriff YC, with the LSL side running out 3-0 winners.
Two goals in the first-half from Gary Seery and a penalty early in the second half from striker Dean Ebbe saw The Bell comfortably into the next round.
Struggling Premier Division side Galway United avoided a humiliating exit to another Leinster Senior League side Killester United at Haddon Park as on-loan Brighton striker Jonah Ayunge scored the decisive sudden death penalty.
Ronan Murray netted a 16-minute hat-trick for Galway as the Connacht side looked to have done enough to finish off their opponents within 90 minutes.
Killester hit the front early on through Stephen Chambers but Murray put his side in front late on before Lennie McMillan equalised. Murray got a third two minutes from the end.
Chambers levelled again deep into injury time and, with no further goals in extra time, an 18-penalty shoot out followed that eventually ended 7-6 to the Tribesmen.
Rampant Dundalk too strong for Derry
STEPHEN KENNY, who last week agreed a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2020, saw his side outclass Derry City at Oriel Park yesterday evening.
It meant Kenny was given an even warmer reception than usual when he emerged from the tunnel before kick-off. The players were energised too as they seized the initiative inside a minute.
Patrick McEleney found plenty of space to release marauding full back Seán Gannon whose precise cross was slotted home by John Mountney.
Another ex-Derry man, Michael Duffy, gave makeshift right full Lukas Schubert a torrid time with Conor McDermott badly missed.
Dundalk started the second half with a purpose to get the job done and they quickly doubled their advantage from the penalty spot when ref Neil Doyle penalised Dean Jarvis for a tug on the shirt of David McMillan. The Lilywhites’ top scorer emphatically converted.
That silenced the substantial travelling support and Kenny Shiels pushed Schubert further forward in a reshuffle. He was quickly denied by a goal saving challenge from Niclas Vemmelund with the former Candystripes really a thorn in the side of the visitors. The centre half added insult to injury by embarking on a series of mazy runs that made him look more like Daryl Horgan’s replacement as opposed to Andy Boyle. It was in keeping with an entertaining game packed with chances.
Derry were beaten yet they could still travel home with regrets over key moments that could have shifted the momentum. A brilliant goal-line clearance from Dane Massey to deny Barry McNamee delivered another example.
But that came after Robbie Benson had squandered an open goal with Derry’s adventure always leaving them exposed to trouble. Dundalk were given plenty of opportunities but the third goal came from distance when McNamee was caught in possession and Mountney punished him with a superb right footer that fizzed into the bottom corner.
That wasn’t the end of the action, though, with Kenny’s subs influential and yet another ex-Derry player coming to the fore with Thomas Stewart teeing up Michael Duffy for the goal his efforts deserved. It completed Dundalk’s statement of intent.