Drogheda United 1 St Patrick's Athletic 1
(AET. St Patrick's win 3-2 on penalties)
Vinny Faherty was the hero for St Patrick's Athletic at Hunky Dorys Park as he rescued the Inchicoremen with an equaliser in the 90th minute and then stroked home the penalty that sends the Saints through to the semi-final of the FAI Cup and keeps them on course to win the trophy for the first time since 1961.
Drogheda must have thought they'd won the tie when they took the lead eleven minutes from time and were in cruise control before conceding a fortuitous late equaliser. It became a turn of fate that handed the initiative to the visitors who fully capitalised on their good fortune to come through the nail-biting penalty shoot out.
Early on Ryan Brennan flashed a shot narrowly wide for Drogheda in what would be their only clear chance for quite a while as Pats dictated matters. Greg Bolger miskicked close in with the goal yawning, a Chris Forrester shot was somehow chested round the post by defender Brian Gannon and Conor Kenna's header was smothered by keeper Gabriel Sava as the visitors did everything but score.
However as the opening half wore on Drogheda grabbed the initiative and had the ball in the net with half an hour gone when a Ryan Brennan cross found brother Gavin at the back post and he headed home only to hear referee Damien Hancock's whistle sound for an infringement.
And before the break a Philip Hand corner was met by Gavin Brennan whose header down into the turf came up quickly and off the crossbar as the home side were unlucky not to break the deadlock.
Early on in the second half Bolger headed wide and Forrester drove into the side netting for the Saints while Derek Prendergast wasn't far away with a header for United at the other end.
With 74 minutes gone Gavin Brennan whipped in a fine cross from the left which got caught between Declan O'Brien's feet right in front of the target before finally with eleven minutes remaining Drogheda ended the goal famine.
From a corner on the right that Philip Hand sent over, Derek Prendergast stole in at the back post to bundle the ball over the line.
With the match in its final minute Pats grabbed a fortunate equaliser when a clearance by a Drogheda defender ricocheted off an unknowing Vinny Faherty and into the net to send the tie to extra time.
Nothing much happened in the thirty minutes of extra time so the tie was decided from the penalty spot. Eric Foley and Peter Hynes scored for United with Tiarnan Mulvenna and the Brennan's Sean and Gavin all seeing their efforts saved by net minder Barry Murphy. Despite Ian Bermingham's miss, Sean O'Connor, Jake Kelly and Vinny Faherty all found the net to send the Saints marching on.
Drogheda United: Sava, Hand, Prendergast, McNally, R Brennan (S Brennan 106), Sullivan (Quigley 85), G Brennan, Hynes, Gannon, O'Brien (Mulvenna 105), Foley.
St. Patrick's Athletic: Murphy, O'Brien (Price 73), Kenna, Flynn, Bermingham, Chambers, Carroll, Bolger (O'Flynn 82), Forrester (Kelly 67), Faherty, O'Connor.
Referee: D. Hancock.
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