| 10.1°C Belfast

Friars and Farren fire Derry City into last eight

First-half goals from Emmett Friars and Mark Farren ensured Derry City eased past Finn Harps and booked their place in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final.

The Donegal men though will feel they deserved more from the tie at the Brandywell where they battled right to the death.

As expected the Candystripes shuffled their pack with boss Stephen Kenny giving first starts of the season to Eugene Ferry, Darren Coyle, James Henry, Adam Clarke and Andrew Devlin and it was the home side who started the brighter.

Vinny Sweeney missed a golden chance to break his goalscoring duck on eight minutes when on the half-volley he fired over from 12 yards.

Harps had a half chance themselves but Kevin McHugh’s effort fizzed past Ferry’ s left hand post, while Farren was inches away from breaking the deadlock.

The striker broke clear of the visitors defence but his brave header, which beat the out-rushing Liam Mailey, was cleared off the line by Matt Crossan.

City opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark when Coyle’s inch-perfect cross picked out Emmett Friars and the former Newry City defender gleefully headed home from close range.

The home side increased their advantage on 42 minutes when Sweeney’s pass released Clarke and the left winger’s cross found Farren, who calmly stroked the ball past a flat-footed Mailey.

The visitors started the second half with a bit more hunger and they missed a golden chance to get back into the tie but from four yards McHugh some how failed to get his boot to Johnny Lafferty’s teasing header.

Lafferty was in the thick of the action again on 55 minutes but the midfielder’s shot from 16 yards was straight at Ferry, after James Doherty had created the clear-cut chance.

A superb great last ditch block by Devlin denied Stephen McLaughlin a certain goal on 72 minutes as the visitors continued to dominate things after the break but Kenny’s men held on.

Derry City: Ferry, Devlin, S McEleney, Friars, Cassidy; Coyle, Henry, McBride, Clarke; Farren, Sweeney. Subs: McDaid for Farren (H-T); P McEleney for Coyle (64); Heraghty for Henry (90).

Finn Harps: L Mailey, Doherty, M Crossan, P Mailey, Funston, McLaughlin, McHugh, Whoriskey, Forker, McMenamin, Bonner. Subs: Brolly & Lafferty for McMenamin & Bonner (H-T).

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).

Belfast Telegraph