Eddie Dsane struck a glorious extra time winner in keeping with a breathless Ballybofey night as Finn Harps moved into the next round of the FAI Cup.
Finn Harps 4 Bohemians 3 (after extra time)
Dsane’s free kick, in the third minute of the extra period, gave Harps the win in a seven-goal thriller.
Mark Timlin’s shot came off the arm of Bohs defender Oscar Brennan and Dsane (pictured above by North West News Pix) curled a cracking free-kick in off the underside of the Town End crossbar.
Dsane spent last weekend in Letterkenny University Hospital after falling ill, but the Londoner stepped up to fire Harps through in a Cup classic with his fifth goal in six games.
Sean Houston’s two penalties, the second of them in the fourth minute of added time, earned Harps extra-time before Dsane emerged as the hero.
So late was Houston’s equaliser that Harps, technically, went ahead in the 93rd minute after equalising in the 94th!
Bohs captain Pender struck in the 76th minute to edge Keith Long’s men ahead, but Harps forced extra time as Sean Houston converted from the spot for the second time. Houston hammered high past Shane Supple after Dan Byrne took down sub Caolan McAleer.
It came when it seemed as if it was too late.
Pender, after a give-and-go with Dinny Corcoran, picked his spot in the far corner of the Harps net and found it with a clinical finish – and it looked to have been the clincher.
Harps had led 2-1 at half-time as Kilian Cantwell and Sean Houston overturned Corcoran’s opener but Bohs roared out in the second half and Paddy Kavanagh snatched an equaliser just four minutes in.
Pender provided the ammo from a left-wing cross and Kavanagh got in ahead of Ciaran Coll to head home.
Two minutes later, Bohs were almost in front, but July Player of the Month Faud Sule saw a curling effort clip the outside of the post on its way behind.
The late arrival of the Bohemians bus, having broken down on route to Ballybofey, meant the kick-off was pushed back by ten minutes.
But it was the Gypsies who hit the front in the 23rd minute. When the ball landed at the feet of Corcoran, around 25 yards from goal, the static Harps defence must have smelled danger.
Last month, Corcoran scored a smashing opener to put Bohs ahead in a game won 2-1 by Harps.
Here, Corcoran’s strike was equally as impressive. The Gypsies hitman took one touch before sailing a sweet effort beyond the reaching Harps ‘keeper Ciaran Gallagher.
Harps had probed well, with Pascal Milien and Eddie Dsane linking well, and they were level within seven minutes of falling behind as Cantwell stretched ahead of Supple to steer in from Millien’s free.
Harps took the lead on 36 minutes when Houston slammed home a penalty after Ibrahim Keita robbed possession from and then drew a foul off Byrne.
Gallagher’s agility kept Harps in front by the interval, the Raphoe man flicking over the top after a Harps clearance came off Corcoran and careered dangerously towards the top corner.
Corcoran’s opener was a goal that came against the run of play. Just two minutes in, Harps defender Kilian Cantwell forced Supple into a fine save, the ex-Ipswich stopper doing well to scoop away from Cantwell’s attempt after he connected with Pascal Millien’s corner.
Harps were in for a third, but Supple denied Houston after he sped onto Jonny Bonner’s through ball, but Supple raced out to save.
Harps handed a first start to Haiti international Millien, while Tommy McBride came in for his first appearance since his return to the club.
The restoration of Bonner and Keita to the starting XI took to four the number of changes made by Ollie Horgan from the side that lost 3-1 to Galway last Friday, with no place for Paddy McCourt, Gareth Harkin, Packie Mailey or McAleer.
Harps were getting joy down the right flank and Dsane forced Supple into a smart save at his near post after cutting in, while Brennan was inches away from putting through his own from Keita’s dangerous cross.
The drama hadn’t yet begun and Finn Park came alive in an electric finale.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Tommy McBride (BJ Banda 87), Ethan Boyle, Kilian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll; Pascal Millien (Caolan McAleer 64), Jonny Bonner, Sean Houston, Mark Timlin; Ibrahim Keita (Danny Morrissey 90), Eddie Dsane.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Dylan Hayes, Rob Cornwall, Dan Byrne, Derek Pender; Paddy Kavanagh (Ciaran O’Connor 96), Oscar Brennan, Fuad Sule, Keith Ward (Lorcan Fitzgerald 90); Dinny Corcoran (Ian Morris 86), Ismahil Akinade.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.