St Patrick's Athletic progressed to the quarter-finals of the extra.ie FAI Cup as they defeated a spirited Cork City 4-1 on penalties after a dramatic second-round clash at Turner’s Cross on Friday evening.
A penalty by Chris Forrester in the 89th minute looked to have won it for Pat's but a close-range finish from Barry Coffey in the 95th minute saw the sides remain level until the end of extra time.
And there it was heartbreak for City as misses from Barry Coffey and Darragh Crowley allowed Alfie Lewis to seal a 4-1 triumph on spot-kicks to ensure Pat's march on.
City started the game on the front foot but they failed to create a genuine chance at goal with centre back James Abankwah showing his strength to shrug the lively Cian Murphy and Béineon O'Brien Whitmarsh off the ball.
Colin Healy set up his side in the usual 4-4-2 and looked to turn the opposition defence and use the pace of his young strike force to cause them further problems.
From such an attack they could have taken the lead after a quarter of an hour but Murphy delayed his pass too long and allowed the recovering rearguard to clear before O’Brien Whitmarsh could apply the finish.
From the resulting corner kick, Darragh Crowley was inches away from connecting with midfielder Barry Coffey’s drilled delivery.
The home side’s best goal-scoring opportunity of the first half came just shy of the half an hour mark but the diving defender George Heaven sent his header wide of the near post after being picked out by Coffey.
Pat's eventually showed the quality that has taken them to second in the Premier Division as they almost snatched the lead against the run of play shortly before the half time break.
Jason McLelland found some space inside the penalty area and his low drive looked destined for the far bottom-right corner of the Shed End net until goalkeeper Mark McNulty stretched to turn it wide.
The second period was also largely controlled by the hosts and they almost broke the deadlock with a stunning strike from Dylan McGlade but his curler was somehow turned wide of the far top left corner by Pats’ shot-stopper Viteslav Jaros.
Cian Murphy soon raced onto a Darragh Crowley through ball but could only blast it wide of the near post before Alec Byrne drilled a breaking ball powerful at Jaros from the 20 yards.
The cup tie looked destined for extra time but the Dublin side thought they had snatched the victory when Chris Forrester expertly planted his penalty kick into the bottom right corner in the 89th minute.
But City refused to give in and they grabbed an equaliser with the last kick of the game with 95 minutes on the clock when Barry Coffey fired home Cian Coleman’s knock down from a few yards out.
After an uneventful extra time, a penalty shootout was required, and misses from Coffey and Crowley allowed Alfie Lewis to convert the winner to send Pat's through.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Gordon Walker, Cian Coleman, George Heaven (Cian Bargary 89), Ronan Hurley; Darragh Crowley, Alec Byrne, Barry Coffey, Dylan McGlade; Cian Murphy (Aaron Bolger 103), Beinéon O’Brien Whitmarsh (Sean Kennedy 59).
St Patrick's Athletic: Viteslav Jaros; Jack Hickman, James Abankwah (Shane Griffin 78), Ian Bermingham, Jason McLelland; Jamie Lennon, Alfie Lewis; Darragh Burns (Kryan Nwoko 95), Chris Forrester, Billy King; Ronan Coughlan (Nahum Melvin-Lambert 59).
Referee: Derek Tomney.