Sam McKeever reports from the Carlisle Grounds
Finn Harps advanced to the FAI Cup Quarter Finals with an Alexander Kogler double helping Ollie Horgan’s side past Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
In an opening 15 minutes that was quite open in terms of play it was Harps that had the first shot on goal as Mark Coyle’s cross to the edge of the box was met by Adrian Delap. However, his side footed volley evaded Brian Maher’s post in the Bray goal.
Just a minute later Bray had an attempt on goal themselves as Gary Shaw closed down quickly to win the ball back. Despite his ingenuity producing the opportunity, the former Shamrock Rovers forward’s shot was very tame as it rolled into the hands of Mark McGinley.
Harps took the lead in the 12th minute after long throw from Dave Webster from the left evaded everyone in the box.
Alexander Kogler reacted the quickest on the back post to head home from close range past Brian Maher.
The reaction from Bray was a good one and they nearly levelled the game just before the half hour mark as Callum Thompson picked the ball up from 35 yards out.
He went on a fantastic solo run evading two Harps tackles before his shot was saved well by McGinley who got down to his left to save well from the former Bohemians and Wolves winger.
Minutes later Bray were hit with a sucker punch as Harps doubled their lead through Kogler.
A sublime pass from Barry McNamee found Delap on the right who’s bursting run took him past Dylan Barnett. His cross found Kogler at the near post who expertly headed home into the top corner leaving Maher flat footed in the Bray goal.
Five minutes into the second half and the Seagulls were reduced to ten as Mark Russell bumped into Paul Keegan.
Keegan didn’t take kindly to it before the midfielder stamped on him with his left foot down his thigh in retaliation, leaving referee Rob Hennessy with no option but to send Keegan off.
The second half wasn’t as action packed as the first as it became a scrappy affair between the two sides with mainly half chances coming from both sides.
The first real shot of quality in the second half came just four minutes from the end as substitute Adam Foley picked the ball up on the edge of the box from Ryan Connolly. Harps’ new recruit could only direct his low driven shot wide of Maher’s far post.
Harps were quite comfortable throughout the second half as Bray created very little against a stubborn defence with Ollie Horgan’s side now into the last eight of the cup which will take play later on in the year.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Maher; John Ross Wilson; Dylan Barnett, Killian Cantwell, Aaron Barry (Darragh Lynch, 67); Ryan Graydon (Derek Daly 67), Callum Thompson, Joe Doyle (Paul Keegan, 15), Gary Shaw (Marlon Marishta, 79); Luka Lovic(Jack Watson, 79), Sean McEvoy
Subs not used: Adam Hayden, Tristan Noack-Hofmann.
Booked: Killian Cantwell (50), Ryan Graydon (61)
Sent Off: Paul Keegan (50).
Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; Kosovar Sadiki, David Webster, Barry McNamee (Tony McNamee. 85), Mark Coyle (Gareth Harkin, 93); Mark Russell (Raffaele Cretaro, 80), Adrian Delap, Sam Todd, Ryan Connolly; Alexander Kogler (Adam Foley, 80), Stephen Folan
Subs not used: Tom McDermott, Kieran Farren, Stephen Doherty.
Booked: Mark Russell (38), Ryan Connolly (62).
Referee: Rob Hennessy
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Alexander Kogler (Finn Harps).