SHAMROCK ROVERS 1 DERRY CITY 1
Rory Patterson was again hailed a Derry City hero in Dublin on Sunday, the former Linfield hitman netting an 85th minute equaliser to earn the North-West club an FAI Cup semi-final replay in the Brandywell on Tuesday night. (7.45 p.m.)
It was a deserved result for the visitors who, with 15 minutes remaining, appeared to have settled for a draw before Rovers substitute, Dean Kelly, pounced on Simon Madden’s low centre to open the scoring in 77th minute.
However, immediately making a positional switch deploying three defenders across the back, Peter Hutton side pushed on and five minutes from the end, Patterson’s deft header on Mark Timlin’s inswinging corner, guided the ball past Barry Murphy to level matters.
The 250 travelling Derry supporters made themselves heard and, amazingly, the “Candy Stripes” could have actually won the match during the dying moments.
Patterson did so well to beat Rovers centre-back, Jason McGuinness, in a race for possession and having held off the Dubliner, the Derry striker played the perfect pass into the path of Michael Duffy. However, from eight yards, the winger’s shot was parried by keeper, Murphy, an a glorious opportunity had been lost.
In fact, during the first Duffy brought the best out of Murphy during the early stages, the Rovers keeper doing superbly well to parry the 20-year-old’s stinging shot.
Minutes later he was played through by Patterson but failed to get the necessary power in his the effort as he stretched to prod the ball towards the Rovers goal and Murphy saved without any difficulty.
Manager Hutton said he was delighted to secure a replay at the Brandywell tomorrow night and he felt his players deserved to take something from the game.
“I felt the lads showed great resilience and character to bounce after conceding a goal with 13 minutes or so left,” he said.
“They battled hard, displayed great determination and, if the truth be told, we really could have netted a few goals having created more scoring chances that Shamrock Rovers did during the game,” he added.
“We’ll travel home, assess the situation on Monday and start preparing for the replay. There’s a very short recovery period for both sides, so we’ll do what’s required and go again,” concluded Hutton.