Derry City 2-0 Shamrock Rovers

Derry City will meet St Patrick’s Athletic in the FAI Ford Cup final at the Aviva Stadium after overcoming Shamrock Rovers in dramatic circumstances in the semi-final replay at the Brandywell.

Ten-man Rovers looked to be holding firm following the second-half dismissal of Jason McGuinness, with the tension increasing tenfold when Rory Patterson missed a penalty immediately afterwards.

Derry pushed and pushed and the breakthrough came just four minutes from time when Michael Duffy prodded the ball past Barry Murphy.

Patterson then made sure in added time as he lashed the ball into the roof of the net to secure Derry’s place in their second FAI cup final in three years, and third meeting with St Pat's in eight.

It took a half hour before the first shot on goal came from either side and it was a real let-off for Derry. 

Gerard Doherty came racing out of his goal to clear the ball ahead of Simon Madden, but the Derry goalkeeper missed it completely. 

Madden immediately delivered a cross into the penalty area but when the ball was headed away to the edge of the area it fell to Marty Waters, who volleyed towards the vacant goal but wide.

After a bland, scoreless first-half, the game very nearly exploded into life within seconds of the restart as Patterson and McGuinness battled for possession on the edge of the Rovers area. 

For a moment it seemed as if Patterson had broken through on goal but the Rovers man recovered and did enough to put the Derry striker off, and Murphy was able to save his tame effort.

Patterson’s appeals for a penalty were ignored by referee Paul McLaughlin.

The home side were on top and a McEleney free kick into the area caused chaos, so much so that the referee’s assistant spotted an infringement in the area and awarded Derry a penalty. 

To add insult to Rovers’ injury, centre-half McGuinness was shown a second yellow card, meaning Rovers were down to ten men for the final 25 minutes.

It was left to Patterson to put Derry ahead from the penalty spot, but in a repeat of Sunday at Tallaght, Murphy came to his team’s rescue with a brilliant save low to his right.

Derry eventually got over that miss and, with a one-man advantage, they began to dominate, with Rovers falling further back.

With six minutes remaining, Barry McNamee showed great composure as he broke into the penalty area and he picked out Patterson, but his shot was then deflected wide by a heroic challenge from Conor Kenna.

On 89 minutes, however, the hosts made the breakthrough. The ball broke for Patterson with his back to goal 20 yards out and he rolled the ball through for the run of Duffy, who got ahead of Kenna to prod the ball beyond Murphy.

Rovers poured forward in desperation and Derry then punished them on the counter attack, Dooley racing forward and finding Patterson, who lashed the ball high into the net and sealed Derry’s place in the final on 2 November.

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Dean Jarvis, Aaron Barry, Ryan McBride, Barry Molloy, Michael Duffy, Barry McNamee, Philip Lowry, Stephen Dooley, Patrick McEleney, Rory Patterson.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, David O’Connor, Jason McGuinness, Patrick Cregg, Ryan Brennan,  Kieran Marty Waters (Ciaran Kilduff 78’), Stephen McPhail (Shane Robinon 60’), Dean Kelly, Ronan Finn.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin