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Rovers and Dundalk to meet again after underwhelming scoreless draw

Neither side were at their best in tonight’s encounter at Tallaght Stadium.

Andy Boyle of Dundalk after missing a late chance.
Andy Boyle of Dundalk after missing a late chance.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 0-0 Dundalk

SHAMROCK ROVERS AND Dundalk will do it all again on Monday night after their FAI Cup quarter-final ended scoreless tonight in Tallaght.

Both teams were less than convincing, and eventually cancelled each other out, but the replay means the teams will ultimately have faced each other three times in eight days, with their EA Sports Cup Final to come next Saturday.

Having spoken during the week about the need for creativity from his team, Pat Fenlon watched his side play some incisive football in the opening stages.

Jason McGuinness probably should have scored after just five minutes, but, with the ball at his feet in the penalty box after Andy Boyle had slipped, the Rovers centre-half also lost his footing.

Gary McCabe, who was looking to score for a third FAI Cup game in a row was his usual effervescent self, and he sought out Karl Sheppard whenever he had the ball, but Boyle and Gartland were alert to the danger.

Meanwhile, Barry Murphy had to be alive between the posts for the Hoops after a quarter of an hour when Daryl Horgan drilled a low shot to the near post, and the big talking point of the half soon followed.

Sheppard powerfully headed past Peter Cherrie from Patrick Cregg’s cross, but the goal was ruled out for apparent offside, to the dismay of the home support.

Stephen Kenny’s men ended the first period on top, and some quick passing between Sean Gannon and Towell resulted in the latter forcing Murphy into a fine save as he came off his line to close down the angle.

The second half took some time to get going, with referee Padraigh Sutton halting play on several occasions. The half eventually began to deliver on the entertainment front with 20 minutes left to play, when Kurtis Bynre whistled a shot just past the Rovers post.

Dundalk ended the game as the more offensive side, and their ability to press the Rovers defence will surely have given Pat Fenlon plenty to think about over the weekend ahead of Monday’s replay.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy, Madden, Kenna, McGuinness, Byrne, Robinson, Cregg, Finn, McCabe (Brennan 74), Sheppard (Kelly 67), Waters (Kilduff 89). Substitutes: Hyland, Cornwall, Bayly, McPhail, Kilduff, Kelly, Brennan.

DUNDALK: Cherrie, Gannon, Gartland, Shields, Horgan, Boyle, Massey, McMillan (Hoban 77), Towell, McDermott (Byrne 54), Meenan (Mountney 83). Substitutes: Sava, Mountney, Hoban, Higgins, Griffin, Rossiter, Byrne.

Referee: Padraigh Sutton

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Simon Walsh

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