Saturday 7 December 2019

Dundalk maintain treble ambitions

FAI Cup 2nd round
Dundalk 3 Derry City 2 (aet)

Golden boy Daniel Cleary. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Golden boy Daniel Cleary. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Dundalk's treble tilt stayed on course at the home of the only club to have achieved the feat.

Georgie Kelly's 117th minute header downed his old club Derry City after a thrilling tie at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

Declan Devine's Candystripes will get another chance to halt Dundalk's march when the sides meet again here in the EA Sports Cup final on September 14.

But it will take them a while to get over this painful elimination.

After controlling large parts of the first half, Dundalk deserved the half time advantage that came courtesy of Daniel Kelly's looping header - with Derry keeper Peter Cherrie finding himself in no-man's land

However, the visitors were loose from the restart, as Derry concentrated on targeting their left side in a frantic period following the resumption.

There were openings at both ends of the pitch with Cherrie making amends for his earlier error by producing big stops from Sean Gannon and Michael Duffy.

Derry responded assertively with a series of passes creating the opportunity for Greg Sloggett to slot past Gary Rogers with Dundalk dragged out of shape.

They regained their focus swiftly, forcing a corner that caused panic in the area with Daniel Cleary best placed to send a left footer beyond Cherrie.

But from a position of relative comfort, they lost their way again as Devine worked his bench to build pressure and sub Darren McCauley nipped in ahead of Rogers for the leveller.

Ciaron Harkin struck the bar before the end of normal time as Dundalk found themselves on the ropes. But they broke Derry hearts as penalties loomed with sub Kelly's header from a Cleary cross slipping through the hands of Cherrie.



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