Eight-man Drogheda foil Derry
DROGHEDA United amazingly held out for a 2-2 draw in this frantic FAI Ford Cup quarter-final clash with Derry City after having three men sent-off by referee Derek Tomney.
And it proved to be a night when Derry earned a replay the hard way, scoring six minutes from time through Philip Lowry.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Drogheda get a second chance because their goalkeeper, Micheal Schlingermann, had the game of his life, producing a string of magnificent saves.
And yet despite the heroics, despite the incredible levels of resilience the eight men in front of him produced for the last 43 minutes of the game, all Schlingermann and Drogheda have to show for this is pride - and a replay.
Drogheda face into Tuesday's replay at the Brandywell with four players suspended, but last night Damien Richardson's side coped with setback after setback.
They started poorly, going a goal behind on 12 minutes when Ryan McBride crashed home a shot from 12 yards. Ahead, and completely in control, Derry looked like advancing with the minimum of fuss.
Instead they created as much trouble for themselves as possible. First, they proved incapable of coping with Drogheda's set-plays, coughing up one goal from a first half corner to Alan McNally and then a second on 49 minutes from a free kick, headed in by Mick Daly.
The bigger issue, though, surrounded ref Tomney, who sent three Drogheda players off, Peter McGlynn on 31 minutes, Shane Grimes on 47, Gavin Holahan on 90.
Against nine men for the bulk of the second half, Derry panicked, missing chance after chance, Rory Patterson their chief culprit.
Then six minutes from time, Derry finally equalised, when Philip Lowry banged in their equaliser.