Fintona Swifts 0 Enniskillen Rangers 1

Multiple winners Enniskillen Rangers edged into the last 16 of this year Irish Junior Cup with a narrow one goal victory thanks to a close range Jason Keenan strike in the 72nd minute of this hard fought affair.

That Fintona had just missed a glorious chance to take the lead a few minutes earlier with their best chance of the game made this Keenan goal a double edged sword from which the Swifts were not to recover.

A minute’s silence in memory of the late Cecil Carson, a founding member of Enniskillen Rangers in 1953 and who passed away during the week was observed before kick off and Rangers boss Michael Kerr dedicated the win to his memory.

"As manager of Enniskillen Rangers I want to dedicate the win to Cecil Carson and his family," said Kerr.

Kerr had expected a tough test prior to the game and that is exactly what they got on the day.

"They gave everything they had and in fairness so did we and it was a difficult game.

"But the main thing was to get the win and to do that with another clean sheet was pleasing. We're happy to be through to the next round as it keeps thing going until after Christmas," he said.

Played in windy conditions this was an archetypal cup battle with Fintona more than able and willing to put it up to their Division One opponents.

No quarter asked or given, Rangers created the better opportunities striking the bar on two occasions in a tight opening quarter.

Both chances fell to winger Jason Cluff, the first after a period of sustained Rangers pressure and he sort of scooped the ball from close range but hit the crossbar.

His second effort was a much cleaner strike that crashed off the bar after a good cross from Nathan Khan with Eoin McManus and Stuart Rainey involved in the build up as Rangers pushed for the opening goal.

At the other end, Fintona did have two free kicks in dangerous positions but Barry McCann failed to really trouble Joel Peden in the Rangers nets.

Cathal Moore was a good outlet for Fintona on the left side and he created another chance but McCann fired over while Peden also saved from Luke Northern.

McManus shot over the bar for Rangers while Cluff put in a fine ball that was headed clear as there was little between the teams at the break.

It was similar at the start of the second half, the strong wind and conditions making it difficult and chances were at a premium.

Jason Keenan broke in down the left and pulled the ball back but Jake Brown could not get on the end of it while Moore delivered another good ball into the Rangers box but there was no one on the end of it either.

Fintona did have a gilt edged chance soon after as McCann got in down the right and pulled the ball back for Paul Shiels whose shot from 12 yards hit off the inside of the post before being cleared.

Entering the final quarter, Rangers did up the ante, Stuart Rainey’s direct running causing a few problems.

Mark Cutler’s cross come shot produced a fine tip over from Daire McCarroll as it looked to be heading into the top corner after which Rangers were to take the lead.

Substitute Ciaran Brough’s ball found Matthew Chambers and he crossed it to the back post, Jake Brownethen headed it back across goal to Khan and although his header was saved, Keenan was on hand to tap home from close range with 18 minutes remaining.

From there to the end Fintona battled hard but the Rangers defence held firm while Rainey hit the post as the home side pushed a few more players forward.

In the end, a narrow win for Rangers but this was a game where it was all about the result and that is how it transpired.