Tuesday 20 February 2018

Williams' early Sporting goal signals the end for Mervue

Mervue United 0
Sporting Fingal 4
FAI Cup Third round replay

Sporting Fingal didn't encounter any bother in the West last night as Liam Buckley's charges cruised to an easy victory at Terryland Park.

The holders had surprisingly failed to defeat the First Division outfit at the Morton Stadium, but they were far too crafty for them in this delayed replay.

It was apparent from an early stage that Fingal were in the groove and the visitors quickly established control with Ronan Finn, Alan Kirby and Shane McFaul providing the central midfield subtlety.

Still, for all Fingal's invention, it was a set-piece that brought the first goal in the 13th minute as Shaun Williams glanced Ollie Cahill's free past Ger Hanley.


Mervue might have nicked an equaliser four minutes later, but Williams, operating in an unfamiliar centre-half role, executed an excellent last-gasp challenge to deny Rory Gaffney.

Though Mervue enjoyed a burst of pressure before the interval Fingal survived and added a second goal five minutes after the restart.

Ger O'Brien provided a sublime right-wing cross and Gary O'Neill's header was equally cool as he put Fingal firmly in control.

All that needed to be determined thereafter was the margin of Fingal's success, as Republic of Ireland U-19 international Hanley made a raft of spectacular stops, but Conan Byrne decorated the success in the last minute by striking two opportunistic goals in quick succession.

Mervue United -- Hanley; Crehan, Browne, Curran, Young; Ryan (Mannion, 60), Walsh, Tierney (Curran, 63), Lee (Collins, 75); Connolly, Gaffney.

Sporting Fingal -- Quigley; O'Brien, Browne, Williams, Fitzgerald (Frost, 46); Finn (James, 88), Kirby, McFaul; Byrne, O'Neill (Crowe, 72), Cahill.

Ref -- C Fitzgerald (Galway).

Irish Independent

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