FAI Intermediate Cup winners Avondale United progressed to the third round proper of the FAI Cup thanks to a 3-1 win over Kildrum Tigers at Station Road on Sunday.
Kildrum Tigers 1
Avondale United 3
The side under the stewardship of player-manager John Cotter travelled to St Johnston with just 12 players but still had far too much for their Ulster Senior League opponents. Their win means Donegal will not have any interest in the draw for the next round of the competition, following Finn Harps and Drumkeen United’s respective hammerings at the hands of Derry City and Bohemians.
It was a tough way for Kildrum to mark their first ever home fixture in the FAI Cup but for Avondale, they continue their 100 per cent record in Donegal having won at Station Road in the semi-final of the 2007 intermediate cup and triumphed at Fanad United in both the years preceding that.
Former Cork City striker Mark O’Sullivan scored twice in the sunshine, while Conor Meade was also on the mark. Cormac Carlin curled home a well-taken free-kick for the hosts but it was merely consolation.
Favourites Avondale, who had popped into the Curragh on Saturday en route to the north-west on Saturday, certainly justified their tag, even minus the services of club captain Karl Caulfield due to work commitments. At the same time, Raymond McDaid had to plan without Paddy McLaughlin, after the central defender’s sending off against Glenea United in the Knockalla Caravans Cup seven days’ beforehand, while Neil Lloyd failed to make the cut with an injury.
O’Sullivan snuck in behind Dermot Kelly following a pass from Meade and coming in from the right flank scuffed the opening goal past Marty McGinty in the Kildrum goal in the ninth minute.
Other than that, the first 45 was devoid of many openings although former Finn Harps winger Oisin McMenamin drew a decent save from Daniel O’Leary.
Meade made sure of the away win eight minutes into the second half when he rose unchallenged to head home a tempting cross from O’Sullivan. Then, on 69 minutes, O’Sullivan had the freedom of east Donegal as he had all the time in the world to pick his spot for number three.
Kildrum managed to get a goal back 14 minutes from time when Carlin scored a fine free-kick, which was awarded after Avondale goalkeeper O’Leary was penalised for handling outside the area.
Sub Darren Doran had a glorious chance to inch Kildrum even closer, but he was off balance when Carlin’s centre fell into his path. It was Avondale who finished the stronger with Meade denied by McGinty and then O’Sullivan being denied by the woodwork a second time.
However, Avondale just had too much for Kildrum, who must now turn their attentions to matters closer to home in the Ulster Senior League.
Kildrum Tigers: Marty McGinty; Jonny McGinty, Dermot Kelly, Ryan McGarvey, Darren Cassidy; Gary Crossan (Darren Doran 58), Darren McCready, Glen Bovaird (Damian Crossan 72), Oisin McMenamin; Gavin Doherty (Ronan Coyle 66), Cormac Carlin.
Avondale United: Daniel O’Leary; David Spratt, Michael Mulcahy, Graham McCarthy, Declan Cahill; Eoghan Lougheed, Hughie Donovan, Brian Murphy, Mark O’Sullivan; Conor Meade, Danny Long.
Referee: Terence Moyne.