McDaid gives Derry second bite at cherry
Derry City 1 Shelbourne 1
NOT for the first time this season David McDaid was Derry City's goalscoring hero at a sun-drenched Brandywell, where Ireland star James McClean was cheering on his former team-mates.
McDaid struck 13 minutes into the second half to earn Derry a replay at Tolka Park on Wednesday night after David Cassidy had given Shelbourne a fifth-minute lead.
Shels must now be favourties to book a place in the final for the second year running, but manager Alan Mathews has warned his players that this tie is far from over.
"In last year's semi-finals, we drew with St Pat's at Tolka and everybody fancied them to win the replay but we won it 3-1," he recalled.
Derry manager Declan Devine took a massive gamble by starting Stephen McLaughlin and Rory Patterson in place of Barry McNamee and Ruaidhri Higgins. Patterson was starting his first game in a number of months, while McLaughlin was back after a seven-week injury lay-off.
The returning duo were still finding their feet when the visitors took the lead on five minutes thanks to skipper Cassidy, who picked up a loose ball and raced clear of the City defence before calmly lifting his shot over the out-rushing goalkeeper Gerard Doherty.
City were inches away from levelling moments later when Patrick McEleney's long-range shot, which was bound of the top corner, was outstandingly tipped over by Shels 'keeper Chris Bennion.
Shels had a good chance to double their lead on 30 minutes when Paddy Kavanagh's corner found an unmarked Glen Cronin, but the ex-Bohemians man saw his header from 12 yards easily gathered by Doherty.
City thought they had levelled things on 50 minutes when Stewart Greacen bundled the ball over the line, but referee Damien Hancock rightly cut the home side's celebrations short and disallowed the goal and instead gave the visitors a free-kick for a foul on Bennion.
Derry finally drew level eight minutes later courtesy of McDaid's 16th goal of the season.
A teasing left-footed cross by McLaughlin found the striker unmarked, ghosting in at the back post to head the ball home.
Derry went in search of a winner and Bennion came to Shels' rescue on 78 minutes when he did tremendously well to turn Simon Madden's stinging 20-yard drive over the crossbar.
Derry City -- Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, Greacen, McCaffrey; P McEleney, Molloy, Deery, McLaughlin (Farren 84); Patterson (McNamee 70), McDaid (Brolly 90).
Shelbourne -- Bennion, Boyle, Paisley, Cronin, Cassidy (C Byrne 77); Hughes (Gorman 62), Dawson, Kavanagh, S Byrne, P Byrne, Ryan (Shortall 90).
Ref -- D Hancock (Dublin).