Derry City lose out to Dundalk

Patrick McEleney was on target for Derry City
Patrick McEleney was on target for Derry City

Derry City 1 Dundalk 2

Goalkeeper Gabriel Sava guaranteed Dundalk’s presence in the EA Sports League Cup semi-final with a last gasp wonder save against Derry City at the Brandywell.

Sava superbly fingertipped the ball over his crossbar, denying a magnificent effort from Derry’s talented teenage substitute, Josh Tracey.

Dundalk looked very comfortable on the ball, but it was the lot who created the first clear-cut chance in the 15th minute.

Tony McNamee set up Raymond Foy but the midfielder directed his shot straight at Dundalk keeper, Gabriel Sava, and a glorious chance was lost.

Continuing to force their way forward at every opportunity, Dundalk deservedly broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.

George Poynton set up the lively David McMillan who worked his way across the 18 yards line before producing a superb left foot strike to find the top corner of the net.

Rory Patterson should have equalised in the 59th minute but he failed to make contact with the ball and 10 minutes later the Derry striker was through again but his shot was blocked by Sava.

Those misses proved to be costly when Stephen Kenny’s side doubled their lead in the 74th minute following another Derry defensive error.

And when McMillan gained possession he did well to find substitute, Kurtis Byrne accurate low shot screamed into the bottom corner giving keeper, Gallagher, no chance.

However, with five minutes remaining Derry substitute, Patrick McEleney, netted another of his wonder strikes to guarantee a nervous ending to the game.

Having gained possession 30 yards from goal, the midfielder produced a magnificent strike, the ball crashing into the top corner much to the delight of the home attendance.

In injury time a nasty clash of heads between home keeper, Gallagher and centre-back, Aaron Barry, saw Derry finish the game with just nine men with all three subs having been used.

Derry City - Gallagher; Collins, S. McEleney, Barry, Jarvis; Ventre; R. Curran, Foy (P. McEleney, 58), B. McNamee (Duffy, 77), T. McNamee (Tracey, 58); Patterson.

Dundalk - Sava; Poynton, Kelly, Rossiter, Kaguako; O’Connor (Byrne, 59), McDonald, Higgins, Griffin (Finnigan, 90); McMillan, Ward (Mountney, 43)

Referee - D. McKeon (Dublin).