Date: 7:45 p.m. May 8, 2009
Venue: The Brandywell
The game turned on a sensational four minute spell just after the break when first Stewart and then Farren propelled the Foylesiders into an unlikely lead. Kevin Deery found Eddie McCallion on the right and the 30-year old defender showed great persistence to elude Jason McGuinness and cross for Stewart to finish high into the net. Three minutes later, in the 53rd minute, Farren stole a yard of pace on McGuinness, and bursting through the Bohemians defence from a Deery ball, slotted the ball home from a diagonal position just inside the area to make it four goals in a week for the Greencastle native after his hat trick in Drogheda in the previous round.
Bohemians had bossed the first half and their solid, professional performance would have done nothing to rebut views that the Phibsboro side would run away with the league this year. Killian Brennan and Jason Byrne, who scored four last week against Dundalk, went close with free kicks while Glen Crowe was a constant thorn in the side of Peter Hutton, who passed a late fitness test to play. It didn't take long for it the pressure to pay, Paul Keegan's low drive appearing to catch Ger Doherty in the Derry goal unsighted as it passed between his legs. Bohemians fans celebrated in the knowledge that their team would open an eight point lead over their title rivals if they could avoid conceding.
As the teams ran off to their respective dressing rooms it was difficult to see where a goal would come from for Derry, with their opponents boasting the best defensive record in the league and just three defeats in the league since the start of last season but that was before the heroics of Stewart and Farren.
It looked like midfielder Molloy had made certain of the points for Stephen Kenny's team after 74 minutes when he was the beneficiary of a good passing move which culminated in the ball being played into his feet by Ciaran Martyn and the ex-Drogheda United man had all the time in the world to make sure of a rare inclusion on the scoresheet. The goal was only the fifth the North Dublin side have conceded in this campaign, and Derry have been responsible for four of those.
For a few minutes it looked like Derry had succeeded in rattling that defence, with Farren in particular guilty of rushing his shot when with a little more composure he might have made it 4-1 to the Brandywell outfit. In true champions style however, Bohemians responded; Byrne the architect, his splendidly teasing cross finished excellently by Anto Murphy, the midfielder scoring with his first touch after coming on to replace Graham Carey with 12 minutes to go.
The charged atmosphere seemed to get to some of the Bohemians players with Keegan lucky to escape unpunished after appearing to scythe down substitute Derry substitute Ruairdhi Higgins. Crowe's penalty area challenge on Doherty on the hour mark sparked off a minor fracas and earned him a yellow card in the process. In the end though, the League and Cup holders just could not do enough to score an equaliser and Derry were left celebrating a spirited performance that breathes new life into their campaign.
Derry City: 1. G. Doherty, 2. E. McCallion, 4. P. Hutton (C), 5. M. McCrystal, 6. S. Grey, 8. C. Martyn, 9. S. Morrow (McManus), 10. T. Stewart, 15. K. Deery (Higgins), 17. B. Molloy, 18. M. Farren (McClean). Subs: 16. P. Jennings, 7. R. Higgins, 19. J. McClean, 20. D. Scullion, 23. T. McManus
Bohemians F. C: 1. B. Murphy, 2. O. Heary (C), 3. C. Powell, 4. G. Cronin, 5. J. McGuinness, 6. B. Shelley, 7. G. Carey (Murphy), 8. P. Keegan, 9. G. Crowe, 10. J. Byrne (Rossiter), 11. K. Brennan Subs: 12. A. Murphy, 14. M. Rossiter, 15. K. Oman, 16 N. Fenn (Fenn), 25. M. Gregg
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ciaran Martyn