Friday 20 April 2018

O'Neill rounds off fine Fingal display against battling Drogs

Sporting Fingal 4
Drogheda United 1

Ruaidhr O'Connor

A skipping CD playing over the tannoy led to the crowd being subjected to something of a '90s flashback in the early stages at Morton Stadium, but at least there was nothing stop-start on the pitch as Sporting Fingal made it back-to-back wins.

Drogheda played quite well in an action-packed game, but a leaky defence has been their main problem thus far and it only took four minutes for Eamon Zayed to finish well from Conan Byrne's low cross.

The Louthmen didn't drop their heads and they were level within eight minutes as Alan McNally fed Robbie Martin, who finished well.

Having drawn level, Alan Mathews' team pushed on and Martin missed a gilt-edged chance to double his tally within a minute, firing Eric McGill's cross over.

But even with their defence creaking, Fingal possess the quality to hurt any side and Ronan Finn brilliantly combined with Ger O'Brien and Gary O'Neill before giving Paul Skinner no chance with a low drive from the edge of the box.

Zayed had a penalty shout turned down by Richie Winter before the break, while Liam Buckley hauled off Stephen Paisley at half-time after the skipper was booked and generally humiliated by McGill.

His replacement, Keith Quinn, won the free that led to the all-important third goal just two minutes after the break as Byrne's pace took him past Eoghan Osbourne and Jamie Harris put the ball into his own net.

And after Byrne had rattled the crossbar, O'Neill completed the job 12 minutes from time, turning Osbourne in the box to score after Shaun Maher had knocked Byrne's free to his feet.

SPORTING FINGAL -- Clarke; O'Brien, Browne, Maher, Paisley (Quinn 45); Finn, McFaul, Williams; Byrne, O'Neill (Crowe 85), Zayed.

DROGHEDA UNITED -- Skinner; King, McNally, Harris, Osbourne; B McGill, Crowley, E McGill (Daly 63), O'Connor; Martin (Duffy 80), Fitzpatrick.

REF -- R Winter (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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