Odhrán Crumley reports from the Brandywell Stadium
It was an ending fit for the big screen at the Brandywell as Derry City marched into the quarter-final of the FAI Cup at the expense of St. Patrick’s Athletic.
At the Brandywell birthday boy Gerard Doherty saved Ian Turner’s penalty with the last action of the game to seal the win for his side.
It was one of Derry’s own Adrian Delap who had hit the winner just ten minutes from time, a magical moment in a career still in its infancy.
The visitors had the first chance of the game after Jamie McDonagh fouled Dean Clarke to the left of the area.
Conan Byrne took the resulting free firing over the top as he directed his effort towards the top right corner of the net.
Minutes later Ian Bermingham sent a corner right into the melting pot where Ryan Brennan bravely headed over the top amongst a sea of bodies.
Derry improved midway through the half with a prolonged spell of possession pinning their opponents back.
Ben Fisk went on a marauding run, driving at the heart of the Pat’s defence before forcing a save from Brendan Clarke.
Ten minutes before the break, McDonagh slipped Aaron McEneff in behind, but his left footed effort was saved down low by Brendan Clarke.
Ronan Hale followed up with a rasping effort that forced a corner which amounted to little.
The Candystripes continued to attack with a curling Fisk free kick from the right touchline to the back post, where it was met by the head of Dan Seaborne before it went wide of the goal.
It was as you were at the break with neither side able to break the deadlock.
Five minutes into the second half McEneff came close once again for Derry, his effort tantalisingly trailing along in front of goal narrowly avoiding the bottom right corner of the net.
Some positive attacking play from Adrian Delap saw him find Ronan Hale but the latter’s shot is straight down the throat of and easily gathered by Brendan Clarke.
It was the home side that continued to carve out the best opportunities with Ronan Hale beating Lee Desmond up the left before blazing his shot to the right and wide.
With 80 minutes on the clock the home team hit the front with Adrian Delap finding the back of the net.
The home crowd looked for a penalty as Delap appeared to be fouled after a series of neat passes with Aaron Splaine. Not even the goal scorer knew the ball was in the net before the Brandywell erupted.
Liam Buckley’s men had a chance as the clock struck 90 as Kevin Toner clipped an inviting ball to the back post but Simon Madden’s cushioned volley went over the bar.
Four minutes of additional time were added, and you could have cut the tension in the Brandywell with a knife.
In the very last minute of injury time Seaborne fouled Madden in the area and referee Neil Doyle awarded a penalty.
Ian Turner stepped up, but it was Ger Doherty who was the hero saving the effort with his feet in the final action of the game to send the Candystripes into the hat for the last eight.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Jamie McDonagh, Darren Cole, Danny Seaborne, Kevin McHattie; Ben Fisk, Aaron McEneff, Rory Hale, Dean Shiels (Aaron Splaine h/t); Ronan Hale, Ally Roy (Adrian Delap 54).
Subs not Used: Eric Grimes, Gavin Peers, Eoin Toal, Cathal Farren, Shane McNamee.
Booked: Kevin McHattie (79).
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ian Bermingham, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Simon Madden; Conan Byrne (Ian Turner 77), Ryan Brennan, Conor Clifford (Killian Brennan 85), Jamie Lennon; Dean Clarke (Michael Leahy 85), Achille Campion.
Subs not Used: Barry Murphy, Michael Barker, Ian Turner, Darragh Markey, Jake Keegan.
Booked: Ian Bermingham (39)
Referee: Neil Doyle
Attendance: 1,500 (estimate)
Player of the Match: Ben Fisk (Derry City)
Absolute scenes up in The Brandywell tonight as @derrycityfc goalkeeper Gerard Doherty saves a last minute Sr. Pats peno to preserve their 1-0 lead and put them in the next round of the @irishdailymail FAI Cup! pic.twitter.com/HV4cMQqRMZ— Inpho Photography (@Inphosports) August 24, 2018