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St Vincent’s Hospital FC 1-2 Balscadden FC
Pearse Park Astro, Crumlin
FAI Junior Cup 4th Round 8 November 2019
St Vincent’s and Balscadden met for the second time in seven days in an all-Major 1B clash in the FAI Junior Cup with the same net result.
The Vincent’s performance was, however, incomparable to the previous weekend’s league encounter, when they were on the receiving end of a 5-0 humiliation. This was the first time in four knockout games this season that the doctors suffered defeat, but the battling performance is a major plus for the season moving forward.
After shipping two early goals last time out, the hosts began with a compact shape and extremely high work ethic, working hard to close down the space afforded to a Balscadden side comfortable on the ball across the pitch. The deadlock was eventually broken by the visitors, who created a well-worked chance down the right to allow Luke Kimmage a clear sight of Louis Bourdiol’s goal; the forward made no mistake, putting his side a goal to the good midway through the first half. That advantage was soon doubled, when Oisín Kimmage’s long-range effort squirmed past the unfortunate Bourdiol.
The Vincent’s keeper kept his side in the tie moments later however, making two excellent stops as Balscadden threatened to kill the game before the interval.
The Scad led by two at the break, just as they had at home a week earlier. While Vincent’s capitulated on that occasion, shipping three more sloppy goals in the second half, they redoubled their efforts here and piled the pressure on the north Dublin outfit, despite the loss of creative number 10, Brian Gaffney, to a hamstring injury in the opening 45 minutes.
They poured forward in search of a way back into the game, with substitute Edward Wrynn lively and debutante Yasser Zeroug dangerous. The latter had a good opportunity but failed to connect properly with a lobbed effort, but the doctors’ strength in depth finally showed when David Gildea, another replacement, blasted home via the Balscadden goalkeeper’s palms to halve the deficit. Despite pushing hard for the equaliser, it ultimately never arrived — Balscadden had a lucky escape when a goal-bound header was inadvertently blocked on the line by a Vincent’s player in an offside position, but managed to hold on to seal their place in the next round of the national cup.
Matchday squad: Louis John Bourdiol; David Kennedy (c), Kieran Keane, Paul Bourke, Mark Dwyer; John Cosgrove, Kevin Nally, Brian Gaffney; Matthew Berkeley, Barra Neary, Yasser Zeroug, David Gildea, Edward Wrynn, Paul Lynch, Rory Duran.