Sporting stage late comeback to win the FAI Cup

Sligo Rovers 1 Sporting Fingal 2

Sligo Rovers 1 Sporting Fingal 2

Gary O’Neill scored a dramatic late winner as Sporting Fingal came from behind to win the FAI Ford Cup and add to their promotion to the Premier Division in just their second year of existence.

Trailing to Eoin Doyle's 57th minute lead, Sporting turned the game on its head in the final few minutes with Colm James levelling from a penalty before O'Neill headed the winner in the second minute of added time before a crowd of 8,105 at Tallaght Stadium.

Sporting shaded the first half with Conan Byrne coming closest to taking the lead when shooting a free kick off the butt of a post on 32 minutes.

But Sligo were better in the resumption and deservedly took the lead shortly before the hour.

Benin international Romuald Boco worked a one-two with Matt Blinkhorn to set up Raff Cretaro.

And though his shot was blocked back to him off Shaun Maher, he quickly laid it off to Doyle to shoot home, despite the best efforts of Lorcan Fitzgerald on the line to keep the ball out.

Sporting wasted a chance of an equaliser on 79 minutes when Eamon Zayed missed a sitter from Byrne’s cross. But Liam Buckley's side finished strongly and duly got their reward.

Zayed was central to the equaliser on 84 minutes when he was tripped by Sligo keeper Ciaran Kelly following an awkward back header by Alan Keane from Robert Bayly’s long ball.

Cork referee Alan Kelly pointed to the spot and right-back Colm James blasted the penalty to the roof of the net.

The real drama then arrived two minutes into added time when Bayly’s sublime cross from the left was headed home at the back post by O’Neill.

Sligo Rovers: Kelly; Boco, Peers, Keane, Kendrick; Cash (Morrison, 55), Ventre, Ryan, Doyle; Blinkhorn, Cretaro (Meenan, 69).

Sporting Fingal: Quigley; James, Maher, Paisley, Fitzgerald; Bayly, McFaul, Williams; C. Byrne, O’Neill, Zayed.

Referee: Alan Kelly (Cork).

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