FAI Cup: Derry City fight back to secure replay with Dundalk

Second-half goals from Rory Patterson and Ronan Curtis will see sides meet again at Brandywell on Tuesday

Derry City’s  Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring his side’s  second goal in the FAI Cup semi-final at Oriel Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Derry City’s Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring his side’s second goal in the FAI Cup semi-final at Oriel Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Dundalk 2 Derry City 2

Two-nil up at the break, it looked like Dundalk had done enough to book their place in a second successive FAI Cup but goals from Derry City striker Rory Patterson and substitute Ronan Curtis means the sides will go at it again at The Brandywell on Tuesday evening.

Dean Shiels and Alan Keane – a three-time FAI Cup winner with Sligo Rovers – haven’t had too many chances to impress since joining Dundalk midway through the season but they played an integral part in the first goal of a thrilling semi-final.

Shiels, a son of Derry manager, Kenny, started the move, playing it wide to Keane, who exchanged passes with John Mountney before carrying on with his run. Derry skipper Ryan McBride advanced but Keane skipped by him brilliantly before turning a vicious ball across the face of goal for Shiels to bravely head home under pressure from Niclas Vemmelund.

It was a bittersweet moment for the Northern Ireland international, whose bravery resulted in him shipping an arm injury that saw him withdrawn before play restarted.

The goal knocked Derry out of their confident, early stride that saw Patterson force a fabulous save from Gabriel Sava after just three minutes.

And they were left with a mountain to climb when they conceded a second, just 30 seconds before the break. Patrick McEleney, who came on to replace Shiels, lifted a delightful ball over the Candystripes back four and Ciaran Kilduff controlled before prodding home with his right foot.

Kilduff almost put the game to bed in the 50th minute, his header from McEleney’s pinpoint cross coming back off Doherty’s post with the goalkeeper flailing.

Keane showed his class again at the opposite end of the pitch just short of the hour mark, somehow managing to divert Curtis’s vicious ball across goal away before Patterson could apply the finishing touch.

The Derry hitman made no mistake six minutes later, though, hauling his right side back into the game. Aaron McEneff’s drive from the right of the penalty area took a deflection off Shane Grimes and when Sava parried, Patterson was on hand to tap home.

Stephen Kenny’s side never looked comfortable and the equaliser arrived with four minutes to go. Dean Jarvis’s free-kick dropped over the head of Keane and Curtis was able to control the ball and come inside Barrett before lashing a right-footed half volley past Sava to send the large travelling support crazy.

DUNDALK: Sava; Keane, Barrett, Boyle, Grimes; Shields, O’Donnell; Mountney, Shiels (McEleney 23), Horgan (Benson 72); Kilduff (McMillan 82).

DERRY CITY: G Doherty; McDermott, Vemmelund, McBride (B Doherty 59), Jarvis; McCormack, McEneff; Schubert (Daniels 81), McNamee, Boyle (Curtis 52); Patterson.

Referee: Graham Kelly.

Attendance: 3,283.

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