Dundalk through to FAI Cup quarter-finals
Dundalk FC are through to the quarter-finals of the Extra.ie FAI Cup after a dramatic 3-2 extra time win over Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
Georgie Kelly was the hero in extra time for Dundalk, heading home the winner with just three minutes of time remaining and the game seemingly heading for a penalty shootout.
Dundalk had twice lead in normal time through goals from Daniel Kelly (33) and Daniel Cleary (53), but goals from Greg Sloggett (51) and then substitute Darren McCauley (84) brought them back on terms on both occasions to force a third 2-2 draw of the season and the extra half hour.
A tense period of extra time saw chances at both ends before former Derry City player Kelly rose highest to head home a Daniel Cleary cross to send the Lilywhites into the FAI Cup quarter-final draw, which takes place on Monday morning.
On a fine late summer’s evening at the Brandywell, Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth kept things fresh by making four changes to the side that beat Bohemians in the EA Sports Cup on Monday night, with Gary Rogers, Sean Hoare, Sean Murray and Daniel Kelly all taking their place in the starting line-up.
The Lilywhites started on the front foot and dominated the opening exchanges and a slip by Eoin Toal on 13 minutes allowed a Sean Murray cross to reach Patrick Hoban, but the striker couldn’t get any real power on the shot and Derry keeper Peter Cherrie blocked it at close range.
Derry created their first chance of the night when Junior stepped inside Chris Shields before getting a shot away from 20 yards. A block sent the ball to Michael McCrudden in space on the left 12 yards out but his shot lacked power and was straight at Rogers.
Dundalk’s control on the game grew as the half wore on and on 33 minutes the Lilywhites took the lead when a nice passage of play down the right hand side saw the ball move to Daniel Cleary on the right. His cross to the edge of the box was won by Daniel Kelly and, with Peter Cherrie off his line anticipating the ball, Kelly’s clever header looped over the former Dundalk goalkeeper and into the empty net.
The Lilywhites grew in confidence and they continued to spend much of the game in the Derry half but, despite a series of good positions and a number of forced corners, the nearest they came to extending the lead was when Massey’s cross from the left hit McGrath before going behind.
The final chance of the half fell to Greg Sloggett but his header from Ciaran Coll’s cross was over the bar and Dundalk went into the break with a deserved lead.
The second half opened at break-neck speed, with Peter Cherrie making a double save from Pat Hoban and Sean Gannon within the opening minute, before Gary Rogers punched Jamie McDonagh’s cross onto the unsuspecting McCrudden but, to Dundalk’s relief, the rebound flew wide.
Duffy went close just a minute later, with Cherrie saving well at his feet, but it wasn’t long before Derry levelled the tie. Nice interplay down the right saw McDonagh slide in McCrudden, whose clever touch found Sloggett in space and the midfielder took the ball in his stride and slid low past Rogers.
But the Lilywhites trailed for just two minutes, pushing straight back on the front foot from the kick-off and winning a corner that fell to Daniel Cleary in space eight yards out. The centre back made no mistake, powering the ball home.
A clash between Sean Gannon and Sloggett forced the Derry goalscorer off on 70 minutes, and the break in play and a raft of changes took the sting out the tie for a few minutes.
When it picked up again, Dundalk once again took control, with Duffy shooting straight at Cherrie, before he nearly punished a Derry mistake at the back, but his shot was deflected wide.
Dundalk came close to extending their lead on 78 minutes when Hoban stung the palms of Cherrie from the edge of the box. The rebound fell to Gannon who fizzed a shot to the far post but narrowly wide.
After neat build-up play between Duffy and Hoban, Jamie McGrath shot wide on 83 minutes, before Derry levelled the tie again just moments later.
Jamie McDonagh’s cross from the right was fired in to the near post and Darren McCauley reacted quickest of all, nipping in to poke the ball past Rogers at the near post.
The goal brought Derry to life and the home side came closest to winning the game in injury time, when Ciaron Harkin’s looping header beat Rogers but came back off the top of the crossbar.
Extra time kicked off as normal time had finished with chances at both ends, Mountney heading at Cherrie before McNamee shot straight at Rogers from 20 yards.
Darren McCauley then made space to shoot from the edge of the box but he fired over the bar, before Sean Hoare’s header from a Michael Duffy corner was straight at Cherrie with two minutes to the break.
Pat Hoban then had appeals for a penalty turned down on the stroke of half-time, but referee Rob Harvey showed the striker a yellow card for simulation. Junior then shot wide from the edge of the box before the whistle.
There was plenty of tension after the break, but little in the way of clear-cut chances.
Dane Massey fired over from the edge of the box, but that was as close as either side came until the dying minutes and Georgie Kelly’s decisive contribution.
Daniel Cleary took a lovely touch to work space on the right and delivered a fantastic cross – for what would be second assist of the night, to add to his goal – that Georgie Kelly rose to meet, with his header having too much on it for Cherrie to keep out.
The goal made it 19 wins in 21 undefeated domestic games for the Lilywhites, but none have been as dramatic as this. The Lilywhites are through to the quarter finals of the FAI Cup and the defence of their trophy continues.
DERRY CITY: Peter Cherrie (GK); Darren Cole, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll; Gerardo Bruna (Jack Malone 99′), Grant Gillespie (Ciaron Harkin 82′); Jamie McDonagh, Greg Sloggett (Barry McNamee 69′), Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, Michael McCrudden (Darren McCauley 70′)
Substitutes not used: Nathan Gartside (GK), Mark McChrystal, Aidy Delap
Booked: Cole 110′
Sent off: None
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers (GK); Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Sean Murray (Patrick McEleney 70′); Daniel Kelly (John Mountney 58′), Jamie McGrath (Dean Jarvis 118′), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 109′)
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle
Booked: Shields 46′, Patrick Hoban 104′
Sent off: None
Referee: Robert Harvey