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County collect a point againt Fingal

Kildare County 1 Sporting Fingal 1

John Ryan refused to make wholesale changes following the 6-0 drubbing by Derry City in the Ford FAI Cup last Tuesday night- Colin Murray was replaced at left full by Baba Issaka Otherwise the team was the one that fell so heavily to Derry City last Tuesday night.

Despite the point gained from one of the top teams other results in the Division dictated that Kildare fall to the bottom of Division One however if the fighting qualities shown by the team last night are to be repeated for the remainder of the season there is little doubt that County will be challenging for a much higher position.

Last night’s result does little for Sporting Fingal in their fight to get out of Division One at the first attempt. Up to two weeks ago Sporting Fingal were being tooted as the favourites however two successive draws against Dundalk and County now sees Fingal 8 points behind Dundalk.

County opened brightly and Ciaran Kilduff had a header off target and County with a refreshing approach looked to force the game to Sporting Fingal. With the central partnership of Walsh abd OC rebuffinganything that Sporting Fingal could muster chances were few and far between.

OC former Sundays Well centre Half who was starting only his sixth game in the Eircom League was a tower of strength at the back and surely “kills off “ the theory that local lads are not good enough to play.

With Robbie Doyle operating in midfield, Sporting gradually came into the game and could have taken the lead through Dinny Corcoran or Paul Byrne who both had clear sightings at goal only to be denied by poor finishing and excellent defending respectively.

With time running out in the first half it appeared as if the sides would go in all square however Craig Mooney changed all that. Ger Robinson attempted to dribble the ball into the Sporting penalty area only to be challenged by John Frost. The ball fell to 19 year Craig Mooney and he smashed the ball low under the body of Clarke who may well feel that he could have kept the shot out.

The second half was an end to end affair which more of a cup tie feeling than that of a league game. Once again, it was Sporting who came out of the blocks quickest with Robbie Doyle shooting narrowly wide after a through ball from Paul Byrne five minutes after the restart.

Conan Byrne then almost took advantage of a mistake from Colin Osbourne in the 61st minute when he latched onto a poor clearance. His delightful chipped effort beat O’Neill but rebounded off the upright back into the path of Corcoran who thought he had scored only for Osbourne to get back and make the block on the goal line.

Former UCD winger Byrne wasn’t to be denied though and he equalised ten minutes later when he smashed an unstoppable shot past O’Neill from the edge of the box.

Philly Hughes and Greg Kilkenny went close late on for John Ryan’s team but in the end, neither side could argue that a draw wasn’t a fair result.

Kildare County: O’Neill; Osbourne, O’Connell, Walsh, Issaka; Mooney, Slattery, Fortune, Kilkenny; Robinson (Hughes 57), Kilduff.

Subs not used: Murray, Bowers, Kavanagh, Powderly.

Yellow Cards: Kilduff 77, Fortune 87. Goalscorer: Mooney 45.

Sporting Fingal: Clarke; Tyrell (Gannon 68), Collins, Ferguson, Frost; C Byrne, James, Doyle, McArdle (Doran 87); Corcoran (Bracken 80), P Byrne.

Subs not used: Williams, McKay. Yellow Cards: Tyrell 44, Doran 90.

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).

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