It has been a busy couple of days in the SSE Airtricity League with plenty happening on and off the pitch. There was action in the EA Sports Cup with games in the First and Second Rounds. In the first round First Division side Drogheda United and non-league St. Mochta’s finally got to play, the game had twice been postponed and in the end Drogheda won 3-2 in United Park. Mark Doyle, Eoin McPhillips and Stephen Meaney got their goals although they were given a good test by the side from the Leinster Senior League. There were two games in the second round and in something of a surprise Cobh Ramblers of the First Division put out Premier Division outfit Limerick FC as they beat them 1-0 in the Markets Field. Ben O’Riordan with the games only goal a minute from time. The tie of the round though was the all Premier Division clash of St. Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk in Richmond Park. It was an incredible game that saw the sides level at 4-4 come the end of extra time and Dundalk ended up winning 8-7 on penalties. Extra time had looked unlikely give that at half time Dundalk led 2-0 thanks to goals from Marco Tagbajumi and Ronan Murray. Two goals inside a minute in the second half from first Graham Kelly and then Christy Fagan saw the sides level as the game went into extra time. It proved to be an eventful period for St. Pat’s defender Mick Leahy. First he scored to put his side 3-2 up then he was unfortunate to score an own goal for Dundalk to level the game only to atone by putting his side 4-3 up! Dane Massey leveled the game in the 120th minute to take the game to penalties. Darragh Markey was the unfortunate player to miss for St. Pat’s with Tagbajumi getting the winner for Dundalk. The draw has been made for the quarter finals and it as follows:
Cobh Ramblers vs. Shamrock Rovers/Longford Town
Dundalk vs. Bohemian FC
Sligo Rovers vs. Waterford FC/Cork City
Derry City vs. Shelbourne/Drogheda United
Off the pitch there were some noteworthy news as well with the first managerial departure of the season as Bray Wanderers manager Dave Mackey left the club over the weekend. Bray have announced that they are in the process of recruiting a new manager with Martin Russell and Roddy Collins the early favourites. Limerick have added to their squad bringing in former Chelsea youth player Conor Clifford who had been with Dundalk last season and has just finished a six month Worldwide ban from football for betting offences. The midfielder will be anxious to get his career back on track. One player exiting the league is Sligo Rovers midfielder Craig Roddan who left the club by mutual consent. He had been in his third season with the club but had falling down the pecking order and will now be hoping to get a club back in the UK.