A goal three minutes from the end of extra time broke Derry City hearts as they exited the FAI Cup in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Derry City 2
A late goal from Darren McCauley took the game to extra time when it looked as if Daniel Cleary had won it for Dundalk after Greg Sloggett had earlier cancelled out Daniel Kelly’s opener.
The game was headed to extra time when former City striker Georgie Kelly put a header past Peter Cherrie to seal an enthralling cup tie.
Dundalk’s patience approach in the game finally paid off on 33 minutes but the opening goal was all of Derry’s own making as Peter Cherrie was caught in no man’s land, coming for Daniel Cleary’s cross but then stopping, leaving the net unguarded for Daniel Kelly to nod the ball over him and in.
The first ten minutes of the second half were incredible compared to the entirety of the first period, with both teams finding the net amidst a gluttony of chances at both ends of the pitch.
The home fans were celebrating on 51 minutes however when City produced a goal which their opponents would have been proud of, cutting Dundalk apart when McDonagh found McCrudden in the area and his back heel put the ball on a plate for Greg Sloggett who side-footed it past Rogers and into the net to send the Brandywell into delirium.
Those celebrations were cut short within seconds however as Dundalk won a corner immediately and Derry could not get the ball cleared as Hoban headed down and Daniel Cleary lashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range to restore the visitor’s advantage.
Derry City hung in there and got back on level terms on 84 minutes when Barry McNamee fed Jamie McDonagh on the right and his cross to the near post was snapped up by Darren McCauley who got in front of Rogers and tucked the ball into the net to send the Brandywell fans into raptures.
There were six minutes of added time at the end of an enthralling cup tie and City came so close to winning it when Ciaran Coll’s cross found Ciaron Harkin unmarked at the back post and his looping header back across goal beat Rogers but came back off the frame of the goal.
There were just three minutes of extra time remaining when Dundalk struck the heart-breaking blow, and again it was another soft goal for Derry to concede, Gannon’s deep cross met by Georgie Kelly whose header somehow escaped the attention of Peter Cherrie as it sneaked into the net to send Dundalk into the next round of the cup.
Derry City: Peter Cherrie, Ciaran Coll, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Darren Cole, Greg Sloggett (Barry McNamee 70’), Grant Gillespie (Ciaron Harkin 81), Gerardo Bruna (Jack Malone 99’), Jamie McDonagh, Michael McCrudden (Darren McCauley 70’, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Sean Murray (Patrick McEleney 70’), Daniel Cleary, Daniel Kelly (John Mountney 58’), Chris Shields, Michael Duffy, Jamie McGrath (Dean Jarvis 118’), Dane Massey, Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 109’).
Referee: Robert Harvey
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