Controversy reigns as Drogheda United edge past nine-man Dundalk
Drogheda United will contest their third cup final of the year after beating nine-man Dundalk 1-0 at Hunky Dory Park to edge a controversial game.
Stephen Kenny labelled referee Anthony Buttimer an "absolute disgrace" after he sent-off Darren Meenan and Chris Shields in four first-half minutes.
Gavin Brennan scored the penalty from Shields red and that was enough for Mick Cooke's men.
After defeats to Shamrock Rovers in both the EA Sports Cup and Setanta Cup finals this year, Drogheda will be hoping to finally land some silverware in 2013.
Both sides started with plenty of endeavour but looked undertandably nervous given teh enormity of the game.
There were few chances in the opening exchanges with Dundalk's Stephen O'Donnell and the Drogs Alan Byrne having the only half-chances of the first 20 minutes.
Stephen Kenny's side were dealt a huge blow on 26 minutes as Darren Meenan lunged into a tackle on Paul O'Connor.
Dundalk were incredibly down to nine men four minutes later when Chris Shields took down Declan O'Brien as the last man and Gavin Brennan slotted the resultant penalty sending Peter Cherrie the wrong way.
The nine-men had a great chance to equalise just before the stroke of half-time when Schlingermann struggled to deal with John Sullivan's glancing header but the Drogs survived until half-time.
Drogheda struggled to make the game safe in the second half with Dundalk bravely staying in the game without threatening.
Drogheda were nearly made to pay five minutes from time but Tiarnan Mulvenna was denied a goal by an acrobatic save from Schlingermann.
Drogheda broke from the resulting corner and Shane Grimes nearly put the game to bed but Cherrie got in the way.
Dundalk showed great resiliance to rally late on but an equaliser never came.