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Stunning Curtis volley earns Derry City replay

Dundalk 2 Derry City 2

By Eoin Wilson

Published 03/10/2016

Striking it hot: Derry City’s Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring their second goal of the game with Conor McDermott
Striking it hot: Derry City’s Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring their second goal of the game with Conor McDermott

Derry City came back from two goals down to keep their FAI Cup dreams alive this season.

The Candystripes were dead and buried at half time following goals from Dean Shiels and Ciaran Kilduff, but a strike from Rory Patterson started the comeback with Ronan Curtis levelling four minutes from time.

It means the two teams will meet again tomorrow night after an exceptional semi-final which could have gone either way in the end.

It was a very decent beginning for Derry, but Dundalk opened the scoring with their first real attack on the City goal on 20 minutes.

John Mountney sent Alan Keane away down the right and placed the ball across the face of goal where Dean Shiels, amidst a tangle of Derry City legs, managed to steer the ball past Gerard Doherty from close range.

Dundalk were far from superior, but they were still comfortable, and they picked Derry apart with simplicity in added time at the end of the first half.

McEleney chipped the ball over the top of the Derry defence for Kilduff to pick his spot and send Dundalk in two goals up with one foot in the cup final.

The arrival of Ronan Curtis in the second half changed the game in Derry's favour and they pulled a goal back when Aaron McEneff sent a shot at goal, which was spilled by Sava, and there was Patterson to tuck in his 15th goal of the season to put some interest back into this cup tie on 65 minutes.

Curtis was having a significant impact on this game and he was involved again as City came so close to equalising on 78 minutes.

Curtis came in from the left and found McEneff who back-heeled the ball to McNamee, whose effort from just over 20 yards deflected on its way.

That caused a huge problem for Sava, who had to adjust his feet as he brilliantly parried the ball. It fell into the path of Schubert and it seemed that City must score but the ball was blocked behind for a corner.

In incredible scenes, however, that goal did arrive and it went Derry's way as a hopeful free kick forward from Jarvis, eluded Keane and found Curtis in behind.

There was still a lot for Curtis to do, but he did it superbly, controlling the ball before volleying it past Sava and into the corner of the net for his third goal in two games to make it 2-2 and ensure that both sides must do it all again.

Dundalk: Sava, Boyle, Shields, O'Donnell, Horgan (Benson 72), Mountney, Grimes, Barrett, Kilduff (McMillan 82), Shiels (McEleney 24), Keane.

Derry City: Doherty, Jarvis, Vemmelund, McBride (Doherty 59), McDermott, McNamee, McCormack, McEneff, Schubert (Daniels 80), Boyle (Curtis 51), Patterson.

Referee: Graham Kelly.

Belfast Telegraph

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