Dundalk Book FAI Cup Final Spot
Dundalk qualified for their second successive Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup final on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over Derry City at the Brandywell!
Goals in either half from Ciaran Kilduff and Ronan Finn turned the match around for the champions after they fell behind to a Ronan Curtis opener in the third minute.
Dundalk made five changes from the side which drew on Sunday afternoon at Oriel Park and they fell behind after just three minutes when Paddy Barrett failed to clear the ball and Barry McNamee slipped in Ronan Curtis who shot first time past the sprawling Gabriel Sava to the net.
John Mountney looked to quickly respond for the visitors but he skied Sean Gannon’s clever pull back over Ger Doherty’s crossbar.
Rory Patterson was lucky to remain on the pitch when his stray boot caught Darren Meenan in the chest area after a coming together but that was the major action of a fairly uneventful opening 25 minutes.
Dundalk got more into the tie when Gartland headed just wide of the post and Meenan’s set pieces were causing difficulties in the Derry defence.
The holders were level in the 38th minute. Robbie Benson found space from a Ronan Finn pass inside the box and he turned Niclas Vemmelund and when about to pull the trigger he was fouled by the defender with referee Dave McKeon pointing to the spot.
Man of the moment Ciaran Kilduff scored his third goal in five days as he netted the kick down to Doherty’s left despite the goalkeeper guessing the right way.
Derry almost went in front immediately however McNamee’s free-kick was just wide of the target on the stroke of half-time.
Derry had a golden opportunity in the first minute of the second half to restore their lead when Curtis turned cleverly inside both Grimes and Barrett before firing a superb shot towards goal but it was excellently blocked by Sava.
McEneff forced a good stop from Sava as the game entered the final quarter but it was Dundalk who took the lead almost immediately.
A break away from Sava’s clear out meant that the game pushed up to Finn, Mountney and Gannon. He interlinked with Meenan on the right and swung a superb ball into the box to the head of Finn and he flashed the header past the arm of Doherty and into the net off the right hand post.
Dundalk were comfortable for the intervening 20 minute period after that with McNamee and Conor McCormack being restricted to long range efforts as the Lilywhites defended resolutely.
Paddy Barrett had a header go just over the bar in the final minute of the 90 from a Mountney cross.
That proved to be the final action of note as the Lilywhites managed to see the game out after 3 minutes of injury-time to reach the final against Cork City at the AVIVA Stadium on November 6th!
DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty (capt); Niclas Vemmelund, Conor McDermott, Ben Doherty (Nathan Boyle 83) Dean Jarvis; Conor McCormack, Aaron McEneff; Harry Monaghan (Lucas Schubert 90), Barry McNamee, Ronan Curtis; Rory Patterson.
Substitutes not used: Keith Ward, Joshua Daniels, Cristian Castells, Rory Holden, Shaun Patton (GK)
Booked: Patterson (17), Jarvis (30), McDermott (90)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Paddy Barrett, Shane Grimes; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Daryl Horgan 46); Darren Meenan (Andy Boyle 76), Ronan Finn, John Mountney; Ciaran Kilduff (David McMillan 66)
Substitutes not used: Georgie Poynton, Ciaran O’Connor, Alan Keane, Gary Rogers (GK)
Sent off: None.
Attendance: 3,000 (estimate)
Referee: Dave McKeon