Two second half goals, to add to Mark Timlin’s first half opener, saw Derry City across the line in their Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup second round tie against Edenderry Town at Paddy Maloney Park on Sunday afternoon.
In the end it was comfortable enough for Peter Hutton’s men but a good deal of patience was required before the SSE Airtricity Premier Division side overcame their Leinster Senior League opponents.
As expected, Derry dominated the early stages, forcing four corners within the opening eight minutes and forcing Edenderry to concentrate all their energy on keeping the Candystripes (playing in yellow on the day) at bay.
But Derry found the going tough against a team who excelled at canceling out their efforts, albeit at the expense of any forward momentum of their own. Hutton’s side pressed relentlessly but lacked the creative spark they needed to force their way through to Eddie McDonald’s goal.
What flair they did possess was provided largely by Mark Timlin, the only player on the pitch who looked genuinely likely to do make something happen. It was he who played a ball in from the left to lone striker Cillian Morrison on seven minutes but the furious attention of several Edenderry defenders snuffed out the danger. And on 17 minutes the excellent Derek Foran put a decisive stop to Morrison’s attempt to finish off a rapid break down the right.
Moments later Derry should have taken the lead when Josh Daniels was fouled inside the Edenderry box by Niall O’Neill. But Daniels drove his penalty to close to home ‘keeper McDonnell who made himself an instant hero with a dramatic save.
Still Derry surged forward while Edenderry continued to stand tall, peppering their defensive obligations with only the occasional long, hopeful ball forward into the visitor’s half of the pitch.
Timlin came close on 38 minutes when he fizzed a shot inches wide of Edenderry’s goal after a string run into the box, but two minutes later he made his most important contribution when the home side conceded a free kick on the edge of their own area.
From a position favouring the left-footed Timlin, he spun the free kick over the wall, past the despairing dive of McDonnell and inside the near post. It was the breakthrough Derry needed and they went in at half-time knowing that the hardest hurdle had been cleared.
Four minutes after the restart contoversy reigned when Edenderry put the ball in the Derry net and the 1,237 crowd were well into their celebrations before they realised Orrin Farrell’s effort had been ruled out for off-side.
It was a superb move from the home side that created the phantom equaliser. David Hanlon robbed Shane McEleney before feeding Farrell who exchanged passes with Barry Moore before bundling the ball over the line, only for the assistant’s flag to put a cruel end to his ecstatic celebration.
Three minutes after that let off, Derry claimed a second and effectively ended the contest. Pat McEleney found Barry McNamee with a telling pass inside the Edenderry box and he laid a square ball to half-time substitute Ryan Curran who tapped in from close range.
Derry settled after that and controlled the game while Edenderry struggled to get anything going up front. It was not until the final twenty minutes when Bryan Donoghue came on for Moore and Hanlon took up the striker’s role that the home side started to show what they could do.
Hanlon scooped wide on 70 minutes from an excellent pass by left back Stephen Doyle but despite providing an increased threat they failed to test Ger Doherty in the Derry goal.
Indeed, they might have gone three down on 74 minutes when Timlin beat McDonald to a through ball and found himself clean through with an empty goal yawning in front of him. But an extraordinary saving tackle from centre back Alan Doyle denied the winger and offered his team another ten minutes respite before the visitors did finally add a killer third goal.
With six minutes remaining Pat McEleney sent Timlin through on the right and he drew McDonald before cutting the ball back for substitute Sean Houston to finish from close in and ensure Derry’s place in the third round.
Edenderry Town: Eddie McDonald; Sean Doyle, Alan Doyle, Derek Foran (Mikey Clear 87), Stephen Doyle; Stuart Cullen, Aaron McDonnell, Orrin Farrell, Niall O’Neill (Alan Farrell 81); David Hanlon; Barry Moore (Bryan Donoghue 69).
Subs not used: Cain Brereton (gk), Dessie Baker.
Booked: Moore (3), Hanlon (30).
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Shaun Kelly, Shane McEleney, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Seanan Clucas; Josh Daniels (Sean Houston 69), Barry McNamee (Ciaran Harkin 85), Pat McEleney, Mark Timlin; Cillian Morrison (Ryan Curran 46).
Subs not used: Shaun Patton (gk), Seamus Sharkey, Nathan Boyle, Anthony Elding.
Booked: Daniels (33), Timlin (88).
Referee: Andrew Mullally
Extratime Man of the Match: Mark Timlin (Derry City)