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Candystripes strike back to stride into Cup semi-final

FAI Cup quarter-final: Wexford Youths 1 Derry City 3

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City eased into the FAI Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 3-1 win over Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park last night.

After an uncertain start, in which Eric Molloy gave Wexford the lead, City regrouped, and after Rory Patterson's equaliser, Lukas Schubert and Barry McNamee got the goals in a one-sided second half.

Kenny Shiels' men got off to the worst possible start as they conceded to Wexford's first meaningful attack. The visitors lost possession on halfway and Paul Murphy picked out the run of Molloy in behind Ben Doherty. The Wexford winger raced through on goal with only Gerard Doherty to beat and he produced an expert finish just six minutes in.

Niclas Vemmelund came close to getting an equaliser for Derry on 35 minutes, but the centre-half headed wide.

With the half-time break imminent, the breakthrough finally came for the visitors. A superb burst forward by Conor McDermott took him past two Wexford men, and he played the ball into the feet of Patterson, who managed to turn and get a shot in.

His efforts were rewarded as the ball took a huge deflection off a Wexford defender, wrong-footed Graham Doyle and sailed into the net to level the game - his 14th of the season.

It was all Derry in the second half, and it just seemed a matter of time before the visitors took the lead. The goal duly arrived on 66 minutes, when Schubert reacted to sweep Derry into the lead after Aaron McEneff's free-kick had crashed off the post.

The attacking threat very much remained with Derry, and Doyle again produced a sterling save as he parried a goal-bound shot from Schubert, whose effort from the edge of the penalty area almost deflected in.

City's semi-final place was assured five minutes from time when Lee Grace dallied on the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and McNamee nipped in to dispossess him, before drilling the ball low into the corer past an overworked Doyle for 3-1.

Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney. Lee Grace, Aidan Keenan, Eric Molloy, Chris Kenny (Peter Higgins 83), Aidan Friel, John Bonner, Paul Murphy, Shane Dunne (Andy Mulligan 74).

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Ben Doherty, Niclas Vemmelund, Dean Jarvis, Conor McDermott, Ronan Curtis (Josh Daniels 63), Barry McNamee, Aaron McEneff (Keith Ward 89), Conor McCormack, Lukas Schubert (Nathan Boyle 89), Rory Patterson.

Referee: Anthony Buttimer.

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