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Cork’s Anthony O’Connor opens scoring as lowly Morecambe almost stun Antonio Conte’s Spurs

Anthony O’Connor gives Morecambe an unlikely lead.

Cork’s Anthony O’Connor opened the scoring as League One outfit Morecambe almost stunned Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup third round.

In front of their delirious traveling support, the Shrimps took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, thanks to O’Connor’s close-range effort.

There was further Irish representation in the dugout as Killarney native Diarmuid O’Carroll left aside his usual assistant manager duties in order to take charge, with manager Stephen Robinson absent with Covid-19.

O’Connor was wearing the captain’s armband as the team mired in the League One relegation zone stunned the home crowd into silence, by taking a lead that they would hold onto for 41 minutes.

Conte rings the changes.

As in standard for Premier League managers in FA Cup ties, Antonio Conte rested some of his biggest stars, including Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, who both started the game on the bench.

However, there was plenty of experience in the Italian’s starting XI, including the likes of Ben Davies, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Ireland’s Matt Doherty.

Moura and Kane were both introduced midway through the second half as Conte looked to rescue his side from embarrassment, but it was Winks who got the recovery underway by firing home a 74th minute free kick which seemed to be more of a cross than a shot.

Battling Morecambe’s hearts were broken when Moura gave his side an 85th-minute lead before Kane wrapped up proceedings by scoring in the 88th minute.

Anthony O’Connor’s journey.

O’Connor only signed for Morecambe last June after spending the previous three seasons playing for Bradford City.

He began his career with the Blackburn Rovers academy in 2008 and has since gone on to play for Burton Albion, Plymouth Argyle and Aberdeen.

O’Connor has represented the Republic of Ireland up until under-21 level.

While the Corkman and his teammates will be disappointed that they couldn’t hold onto their lead, they certainly gave their supporters an afternoon to remember in North London.

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