Cork dig deep to force Derry into rematch
Derry City 1-1 Cork City
Derry City and Cork City will have to do it all again on Monday night after an exhilarating FAI Cup quarter-final at the Brandywell.
Both teams had chances to win the game in an open and enjoyable contest, but Mark O'Sullivan's second half goal, which cancelled out Ryan McBride's opener, means a replay at Turner' Cross.
Cork very nearly got off to the perfect start when, just three minutes in, Billy Dennehy's simple free kick into the heart of the penalty area saw Darren Dennehy sneak in behind Dean Jarvis, only to hook the ball over the crossbar with just keeper Gerard Doherty to beat.
In an extraordinary start to the game, Derry City then took the lead on their first attack as Patrick McEleney's corner was met powerfully by City captain Ryan McBride who headed in his first goal of the season.
The visitors were below par and completely out of sorts when it came to defending set-plays and they were fortunate not to go two goals behind from another Derry corner.
An attempted clearance from a Cork defender sliced across the face of goal and Stephen Dooley raced in only to side-foot the ball wide of the target from only ten yards.
It took Cork almost a half hour to come around from that early setback and they very near equalised when Liam Miller's incisive through ball in behind the Derry defence picked out the run of Billy Dennehy.
Aaron Barry got back to make a crucial block tackle but with Doherty off his line to narrow the angle, the ball very nearly deflected over the goalkeeper and into the net, only for the ball to spin just wide of the post.
Cork began to put Derry City under severe pressure as the first half came to a close and Billy Dennehy came close again, this time with a free kick which again just sailed wide of Doherty's post.
The second half began disastrously for Derry City as Cork were gifted an equaliser just four minutes after the restart.
Dean Jarvis' failure to control the ball gifted Karl Sheppard a run on goal from the right wing.
Sheppard's fierce drive at goal was brilliantly parried by Gerard Doherty but only into the path of Mark O'Sullivan, who showed great composure to pick his spot despite the presence of two Derry defenders on the line.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, Derry had the chance to win the game as another terrific break forward from Patrick McEleney created an opening for Mark Timlin on the left.
Timlin drove into the penalty area and his cross come shot went right across the face of goal where Dooley just arrived too late with the ball crying out for a touch to take it into the net.
The closing stages of the game were agonising for the home support with Mark O'Sullivan going close with a header at one end before Patrick McEleney's piledriver from 25 yards looked to have escaped the clutches of Mark McNulty, with the ball cannoning off the goalkeeper and spinning just wide as the crowd got to its feet in anticipation of a goal.
Derry: Doherty, McLaughlin, Jarvis, McBride, McNamee, Quigley (Morrison 65), P McEleney, Dooley (Curran 80), Cornwall, Timlin, Barry.
Cork: McNulty, Bennett, Dennehy, Murray (Dunleavy 76), Gaynor, McSweeney, Sheppard, Dennehy, Miller, O'Sullivan, Buckley.
Man of the Match: Patrick McEleney