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Late, late show from 10-man Finn Harps brings Dundalk to a replay

Sean Boyd struck twice in the closing minutes on a dramatic night in Ballybofey.

Finn Harps' Sean Boyd celebrates scoring the equalising goal deep into injury time to send the game to a replay with team-mates and fans.
Finn Harps' Sean Boyd celebrates scoring the equalising goal deep into injury time to send the game to a replay with team-mates and fans.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Finn Harps 3

Dundalk 3

Alan Foley at Finn Park

JUST WHEN THEY looked beaten, 10-man Finn Harps produced a frenetic conclusion to deny Dundalk a place in the FAI Cup semi-finals with Sean Boyd the hero on a dramatic night in Ballybofey.

In the 95th minute, Boyd got on the end of a Ryan Rainey ball and steered home to salvage the most unlikely of draws with pretty much the last kick of the match. The same player had pulled one back for 3-2 in the 84th minute with a header from a Karl O’Sullivan corner. It looked like mere consolation.

The Lilywhites went behind when Tunde Owolabi smashed the locals in front before Patrick Hoban replied from the penalty spot and a Sean Murray daisycutter gave Vinny Perth’s team a 2-1 half-time lead. Hoban added a third on 65 from Murray’s delightful cross before Boyd’s last-gasp double.

Owolabi opened the scoring from an acute angle on 25 minutes when Barry McNamee had won possession off a Dundalk throw-in and the Belgian, with very little to aim at, drilled low cross the brows of Peter Cherrie.

Things then flipped when referee Damien McGraith sent off Jordan Murtoe, who bravely slid to block Murray’s piledriver, which was follow-up to Mark Anthony McGinley had turned away a Hoban shot.

Hoban scored the penalty for 1-1. The incident happened in a flash and Ollie Horgan, the Harps manager, and his assistant Paul Hegarty, claimed vehemently that the ball had struck Mustoe’s shoulder.

Dundalk edged ahead on 39 minutes through a long-ranger from Murray, which wasn’t his cleanest pop of the night, but took a slight deflection off Johnny Dunleavy and trundled into McGinley’s bottom corner.

Harps threw all they could at their visitors. Dundalk, despite their lowly position in the SSE Airtricity League where they are bottom-but-one, contain individual bucketloads of quality and it was on display for the third goal on 65 minutes when a delightful Murray cross was gleefully headed home by Murray.

However, just when it looked as though the 10 men were beaten they came to life; the sizable home crowd with a chip on their shoulder playing a part. Six minutes from time Boyd glanced home a corner from O’Sullivan before his dramatic leveller with Harps’ last chance. They meet again on Tuesday.

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Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle, Kosovar Sadiki, Dave Webster, Jordan Mustoe; Mark Coyle (Luke Rudden 86), Johnny Dunleavy (Adam Foley 73); Karl O’Sullivan, Barry McNamee (Stephen Doherty 73), Ryan Rainey; Tunde Owolabi (Sean Boyd 73).

Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Cameron Dummigham, Andy Boyle, Daniel Cleary, Raivis Jurkovskis; Sam Stanton, Greg Sloggett; Will Patching; Michael Duffy (Darragh Leahy 90+2), Patrick Hoban, (Moyowa Animasahun 87).

Referee: Damien McGraith.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

About the author:

Alan Foley

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