Wicklow Rovers go through on penalties
FOCUS MATCH WICKLOW CUP SECOND ROUND
Wicklow Rovers 3, Aughrim Rangers A 3 (AET, Wicklow won 4-2 on pens): Wicklow Rovers just pipped Aughrim Rangers to the next round of the Wicklow Cup after a very dramatic match at The Whitegates on Sunday which ended in a penalty shoot-out.
Rovers found themselves behind after just 30 seconds after a freak own goal but fought back and found themselves 3-1 up by the 32nd minute.
Aughrim weren’t allowed to let their dream die though and fought back to 3-3 with David Dillon getting both goals.
Twenty minutes of extra time couldn’t separate the sides though and the dreaded penalties were needed.
Niall Byrne gave Rangers the lead but the hosts pegged them back. Wicklow were then 3-1 up in the shoot-out after their ‘keeper Alan Duffy pulled off two fantastic saves from Clive Horan and Darragh O’Brien. This meant Willie Kavanagh had to score to keep his side in with a shout and he did, but Wicklow converted their fourth penalty to advance.
It wasn’t even 2:01pm when the opener was scored and it was like a flashback to Gary Neville’s infamous own goal against Croatia but this time it was Alan Cody who passed it back to his ‘keeper who was left swinging at the air thanks to the ball hitting a divot and evading the keeper’s clearance.
Rangers were pegged back with 11 minutes gone in the match and it was another own goal, after Mark Sullivan’s cross from the by-line was palmed in by Paul Cullen, who was standing on for their usual goalkeeper, to the delight of Wicklow Rovers.
Wicklow then scored two minutes in a frantic five minute spell. First Jonathan Dunne’s free kick went through the wall and found its way into the bottom corner of the net. Then Kevin Cody’s corner kick went through the arms of stand in goalie Paul Cullen to make it 31.
Early into the second period the visitors reduced the deficit to a single goal after David Dillon got in behind the defence and chipped the ball into the net.
Twenty minutes later he repeated the trick with a very similar goal leaving the sides all level.
Neither side could find the breakthrough however penalties it was.
Wicklow Rovers penalty takers were Aaron Earls, Mark Delaney, Mark Sullivan and Robin Kelly.
During the match Wicklow Rovers’ centre-half Alan Cody suffered a suspected concussion after a clash of heads and had to be taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital via ambulance so People Newspapers would like to wish him a speedy recovery.