FA Cup: Irish teenagers Festy Ebosele and Ola Ibrahim debut as Covid-hit Derby bow out to non-league Chorley

Sat, Jan 09 2021
Festy Ebosele celebrates a Republic of Ireland goal during a 2019 under-17 European Championships game with the Czech Republic.

Festy Ebosele celebrates a Republic of Ireland goal during a 2019 under-17 European Championships game with the Czech Republic. Credit: Hugh de Paor (ETPhotos)

It was a proud day for Irish teenagers Festy Ebosele and Ola Ibrahim as they made their senior debuts for Derby County in the FA Cup.

The duo were introduced as second-half substitutes in a 2-0 defeat to non-league Chorley as the Rams were forced to field a side made almost entirely of under-18 players.

Wayne Rooney’s first team and the entire first-team squad, as well as many of the under-23s, were forced to self-isolate following a Covid-19 outbreak.

Winger Ebosele and midfielder Ibrahim were introduced on the 63-minute and 83-minute mark respectively as the visitors chased an equaliser.

Wexford native Ebosele, 18, was on the books with Bray Wanderers before joining Derby in 2018, while former Cherry Orchard youth Ibrahim, 17, joined from Manchester United last year.

It wasn’t to be for a Rams side with an average age of 19 as an early goal from Connor Hall and a late finish from Mike Calvely saw the Northern Premier League side to a famous victory.

Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Danny McNamara and Troy Parrott started for Millwall as they ran out 2-0 winners at Boreham Wood, for whom Adam McDonnell was a late sub.

Gavin Kilkenny starred for Bournemouth as they ran out 4-1 winners at home to League Two Oldham Athletic, who had Ian Lawlor in goal.

Seamus Coleman played 90 minutes of Everton’s 2-1 win at home to Rotherham United, who introduced Trevor Clarke as a second-half sub.

Jordan Shipley started Coventry City’s 2-0 defeat at Norwich City, as did Darragh Lenihan in Blackburn Rovers’ 1-0 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers.

Ireland under-21 defenders Dara O’Shea and Conor Masterson were subs for West Brom and QPR respectively as they were knocked out by Blackpool and Fulham.

And Robbie Brady started for Burnley, while Richard Keogh started and Joe Mason was introduced late on for MK Dons, as the Premier League side advanced after a penalty competition.

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