Dundalk reach FAI Cup quarter-finals for 8th year in succession after overcoming Finn Harps

Georgie Kelly, with his first goal for the club, helped the Lilywhites prevail.

Dundalk's Ronan Murray celebrates scoring a penalty.
Dundalk's Ronan Murray celebrates scoring a penalty.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Dundalk 2
Finn Harps 0

Caoimhín Reilly reports from Oriel Park

DUNDALK QUALIFIED FOR the FAI Cup quarter-finals for the eighth year in succession at Oriel Park tonight.

The second First Division outfit to visit Dundalk in this season’s competition, after Cobh Ramblers in round one, Finn Harps put up a spirited showing. However, they shot themselves in the foot on 23 minutes as midfielder Mark Coyle unceremoniously booted Dundalk skipper Dane Massey as he entered the penalty area.

Harps boss Ollie Horgan was furious with the match official, Paul McLaughlin, at the break, though in truth, he could have few complaints over the penalty call. And, from 12 yards, Ronan Murray found the corner of Ciarán Gallagher’s net to give the Lilywhites a lead, which they held to half-time.

Chances were traded throughout a first half that was largely dictated on Dundalk’s terms. John Mountney, one of seven players to come into the hosts’ starting line-up, thundered a shot against the ‘bar, while Seán Gannon’s looping effort went narrowly over.

At the other end, a mistake from Daniel Cleary saw Mark Timlin advance on Gabriel Sava, but the ‘keeper stood tall to prevent a Harps leveller.

The visiting manager vented his frustration at the whistler’s decision-making both at half-time and shortly after the restart, something which resulted in his banishment to the stands.

His team were already 2-0 down by that point, though, as Georgie Kelly, with his first goal for the club, nodded Murray’s teasing cross past Gallagher. It’s the former UCD striker’s fifth against Harps this season.

Dylan Connolly twice ought to have added a third for the winners in the closing stages, but it mattered little, as Dundalk enter Monday’s draw.

Dundalk: Gabriel Sava; Seán Gannon (Stephen Folan 89), Daniel Cleary, Seán Hoare, Dane Massey; John Mountney, Dean Jarvis; Dylan Connolly, Patrick McEleney (Michael Duffy 76), Ronan Murray; Georgie Kelly (Patrick Hoban 84)

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Finn Harps: Ciarán Gallagher; John Kavanagh (Jesse Devers 78), Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan, Niall Logue, Ciarán Coll; Mark Coyle, Gareth Harkin, Tommy McBride (Mikey Place 65), Mark Timlin; Nathan Boyle (Oluwatunmise Sobowale 65)

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan)

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Caoimhín Reilly

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