Derry City 1, Cork City 1
DERRY CITY must travel to Turners’ Cross on Monday night to keep alive their hopes of progressing in the FAI Cup after being held by Cork City in tonight’s quarter-final tie at Brandywell.
Derry skipper Ryan McBride, who was returning from suspension, gave the Candystripes a dream start to the tie when powering home his header on five minutes.
But that goal was cancelled out four minutes after half-time when Mark O’Sullivan pounced to slot home from close range.
It was a terrific effort from Peter Hutton’s troops who created numerous chances right up until the final whistle.
However, Cork also missed several glorious opportunities to clinch a winning goal in the second half and both managers were surely be happy their FAI Cup hopes remain alive and well.
Hutton made three changes to the team who lost at home to Drogheda United with skipper McBride returning and both Ben McLaughlin and Mark Quigley handed their first starts.
Aaron McEneff started on the bench to make way for Quigley while Connor McCormack and Ciaran O’Connor were both cup tied.
The Rebels came so close to stunning their hosts after just three minutes from a free kick 25 yards from goal.
Billy Dennehy sent his free-kick to the back post where his brother Darren beat the offside but sent his volley with the outside of his left foot over the bar.
It was a let-off for Derry but they responded superbly. McEleney dribbled past two Cork defenders before finding Mark Timlin in space. The City winger’s cross from the right was headed behind by Dennehy.
From the resultant corner kick, McEleney swung in the cross and McBride, wh met it with a towering downward header which nestled into the back of the net.
McEleney’s audacious attempt from a free-kick 45 yards from goal on 19 minutes almost caught out Mark McNulty but the Cork keeper managed to tio the ball over the crossbar.
Cork again were having difficulties defending from set-pieces and Billy Dennehy’s attempted clearance from McEleney’s corner fell kindly for Dooley but his first time shot shaved the outside of the post.
Aaron Barry produced a brave block just inside the Derry penalty area t divert Billy Dennehy’s strike wide of the goal.
On the half hour Mark Quigley linked up with McEleney 20 yards from goal and the latter’s snap-shot was parried behind by McNulty.
Cork penned Derry in for the final five minutes of the half and Billy Dennehy had a chance to equalise from a free-kick but his low strike went wide of the target.
Four minutes after the restart and Cork were back on level terms after a quick break into the Derry half. Gerard Doherty did well to palm away Karl Sheppard’s strike but the rebound fell to O’Sullivan who showed great composure to place the ball into the corner.
Liam Miller did superbly to get away from Barry McNamee before delivering a low cross to front post where Sheppard stooped to head narrowly wide on 59 minutes.
McEleney tested McNulty on 70 minutes when he drove forward before bearing down on goal but the Cork keeper saved at the second attempt.
The Candy Stripes created a glorious chance to retake the lead with 10 minutes remaining as McEleney found Timlin in space on the left wing. The Buncrana man sent his shot agonisingly across the face of goal and Dooley was unable to turn it in at the back post.
Gerard Doherty was scrambling across his line as O’Sullivan rose to head Dennehay’s cross towards goal but the striker somehow missed the target.
Man of the match, McEleney’s ferocious strike from distance was pushed away by McNulty but it almost crept in at the Cork keeper’s left hand post.
Derry City: G. Doherty; B. McLaughlin, R. McBride, A. Barry, D. Jarvis; S. Dooley, R. Cornwall, B. McNamee, M. Timlin; P. McEleney, M. Quigley (C. Morrison 65); Subs Not Used - S. Patton, R. Curtis, R. Curran, P. McClean, J. Daniels, A. McEneff.
Cork City: M. McNulty; R. Gaynor, A. Bennett, D. Dennehy, M. McSweeney; K. Sheppard, D. Murray (J. Dunleavy 76), G.Buckley, L. Miller, B. Dennehy; M. O’Sullivan; Subs Not Used - G. Holohan, J. O’Flynn, K. O’Connor, D. Morrissey, A. Smith, L. Kearney.
Referee - Paul McLaughlin.