Derry City recovered from conceding a first half opener to visitors Linfield to power through to the next stage of the Setanta Cup with three goals in a powerful second half display.
It was a highly competitive encounter from the off. City started well and in the opening minute the impressive Madden had Linfield's defence at sixes and sevens when he fired over a searching cross. City had the initiative and kept the pressure on without creating anything more than half chances, which the likes of McLaughlin and Farren couldn't make count.
Then the face of the game, and the tie, changed. Going into this second leg Derry City were judged to have the advantage, after a creditable 1-1 draw in the first leg in Windsor Park, but suddenly Linfield tipped the balance in their favour. Philip Lowry combined well with Peter Thompson and fired confidently past home 'keeper Gerard Doherty.
Another goal for Linfield would have left City with a mountain to climb, and they had a let off just before half time when Linfield's Jim Ervin sent over a cross which Thompson should have converted.
City needed more in the second half, and manager Declan Devine brought on Patrick McEleney for Eddie McCallion to add to their attacking options. As the tension grew, there was no quarter being asked or given, and it was end to end stuff for the big crowd. Three players had already gone into the referee's book in the first half, William Murphy and Michael Carvill for Linfield, and Ryan McBride for City, and two others now joined them, City's Barry Molloy and Linfield's Philip Lowry.
What followed made it a night to remember for the Candystripes. In the 67th minute McEleney sent a long ball across for Madden to get hold off, and his cross was met by the head of Barry Molloy who delivered a textbook finish. 1-1, and the tie was level. Mark Farren then had a glorious chance to put City ahead when he bested the keeper and somehow failed to finish. But the groans had hardly died down when City did put the ball in the net. Madden was again the provider, and this time Farren touched it on to Stephen McLaughlin, who powered the ball past 'keeper Blayney.
The niggles still continued. Derry City sub Owen Morrison had already added his name to the substantial list of those carded, and in the dying minutes it looked like Michael Gault had put the finishing touch to the disciplinary offences when he seemed to aim a kick at McEleney off the ball. He got a yellow.
Linfield were desperately seeking the goal which would tie the game on the night and send them through on away goals, but instead they got caught on the counter. Again McEleney was involved, putting Madden in on the keeper to score in the final act of a gripping contest. 3-1 on the night to City, and 4-2 on aggregate.
DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty; Eddie McCallion (Patrick McEleney, 46 mins), Stewart Greacen, Ryan McBride, Dermot McCaffrey; Simon Madden, Barry Molloy (capt.), Ruaidhri Higgins, Stephen McLaughlin; David McDaid (Owen Morrison, 66), Mark Farren. Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Matthew Crossan, Brian McGroary, Michael Barr, Ryan Curran.
LINFIELD;: Alan Blayney; Albert Watson (Stephen Douglas, 60), William Murphy, Jamie Mulgrew, Jim Ervin; Michael Gault (capt.), Robert Garrett, Damien Curran (Gary Browne, 80), Michael Carvill; Philip Lowry, Peter Thompson (Mark McAllister, 71). Subs not used: David Armstrong, Billy Jo Burns, Daryl Fordyce, Stuart Addis.