Brandon Miele’s superb equaliser kept Rovers dreams of cup glory alive in their impressive one all draw with Dundalk yesterday.
A great second half performance from The Hoops means it’s all back to Tallaght tomorrow week for the replay to decide who will face Cork City in the FAI Cup final.
The hosts had started the game really well and when Robbie Benson gave them the lead within the opening 10 minutes many among the mass ranks of travelling Rovers fans must have feared the worst.
Having weathered the first half storm though, The Hoops were the better side after the break and Dundalk’s Hoare had to make a good sliding tackle to stop Trevor Clarke from having a clear run on goal.
Gary Shaw had a great chance a couple of minutes later but he blazed his shot over the bar.
With the great vocal support of the travelling Hoops fans growing louder, Rovers set about Dundalk with a renewed energy and it was Man of The Match and skipper Ronan Finn who helped restore parity with just 15 minutes to go.
Battling his way down the right, he beat Hoare and found Miele with a cross. Brando showed wonderful control to bring down the skippers pass before applying a wonderful finish into the far corner of Rodgers goal to spark jubilation among both Rovers players and fans.
The Hoops were brought crashing down to earth just three minutes later when David McAllister received a second yellow to leave his team with only ten men.
Dundalk went for it in the closing 10 minutes but Rovers showed dogged determination to keep the scores level and force a replay in Tallaght next week.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Niclas Vemmelund; Robbie Benson, Stephen O’Donnell; Dylan Connolly (Chris Shields 70) (Jamie McGrath 82), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; David McMillan (Thomas Stewart 90).
Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; David McAllister, Ronan Finn, Aaron Bolger (James Doona 73); Brandon Miele (Ryan Connolly 81), Gary Shaw, Trevor Clarke (Dave Webster 90).
Referee: Neil Doyle.