David Parkhouse spares Derry City's blushes as Candy Stripes progress in FAI Cup

David Parkhouse netted his eighth goal in four games as Derry City edged past First Division strugglers, Wexford.
David Parkhouse netted his eighth goal in four games as Derry City edged past First Division strugglers, Wexford.
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Derry City 1 Wexford 0

DAVID Parkhouse spared Derry City's blushes as his 84th minutes strike saw the Brandywell side dispatch of a plucky Wexford side and progress to the second round of the FAI Cup.

It was the striker's 17th goal of the season and his eighth in his last four games and it proved the difference as the five times winners booked their place in Monday's draw for the last 16.

The predicted goalfest failed to materialise, despite the First Division's bottom club coming into the game having conceded 51 goals in their 23 league matches, including 10 in their previous two.

Wexford had gone 13 games without winning a match but they produced a brave effort against City and looked like they could force extra-time until that clinical finish from Parkhouse.

It was Derry City's 1,500th game since entering the League of Ireland in 1985 and it was their 700th win in all competitions.

Declan Devine promised to play a strong, attacking line-up and he stayed true to his word with the in-form Parkhouse maintaining his place while Michael McCrudden came back into the starting XI alongside Conor Davis who was cup tied for Monday's EA Sports Cup semi-final win over Waterford.

The City boss made five changes to that team in total with goalkeeper and Player of the Month for July nominee, Peter Cherrie returning while Greg Sloggett also got the nod to start in midfield.

Mark McChrystal was handed his first start since returning to the club but it was his 123rd appearance in total for his hometown club at the centre of the City defence.

Wexford meanwhile were without their experience top goalscorer, Danny Furlong through injury.

Derry came close to opening the scoring on six minutes when Parkhouse played McCrudden into space and the forward drove towards the penalty area before curling his right footed effort narrowly wide of the far post.

Moments later Jamie McDonagh floated a free-kick into the Wexford penalty area and Eoin Toal rose highest but his header went straight into the hands of Wexford keeper, Corey Chambers.

From another McDonagh delivery, this time from a corner from the left side, Sloggett was gifted a free header but sent his effort over the crossbar without troubling the keeper.

Wexford earned a free-kick from a promising positionon 15 minutes when Thomas Croke was fouled by McChrystal but Shane Griffin's well struck effort from 25 yards was gathered comfortably by Cherrie.

There was a bizarre stoppage in play midway through the tie after referee, Damien McGraith sustained a calf injury. He was treated by Derry physio, Michael Hegarty but had to be replaced by fourth official, Carrigans native, Garvin Taggart.

Derry were being frustrated by the visitors who set up with two banks of four. Devine switched things up with McCrudden and Davis swapping wings and the former tested the keeper with a left-footed strike from just outside the box four minutes before the break.

Parkhouse got in front of his marker to get onto the end of Ciaran Coll's inviting cross from the left but he couldn't catch it clean and it went over the crossbar from six yards on the stroke of half-time.

And in the final minute of the four minutes of stoppage time McChrystal headed wide from McNamee's corner kick at the back post as the First Division outfit went in at the break on level terms.

There were claims for a penalty from the home support eight minutes into the second half when McDonagh crossed dangerously into the box and Parkhouse went down under pressure from Paddy Cahill but the referee correctly waved 'play on'.

After a swift counter Wexford winger, Emmet Nugent found Conor English in space on the left side of the Derry 18 yard box but he dragged his shot wide.

Derry boss, Devine made a double substitution on the hour mark as his side struggled to break down Wexford with Darren McCauley and Darren Cole replacing McCrudden and Davis.

Derry upped the tempo with 15 minutes to go and when McDonagh was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, McNamee's curling strike needed to be turned behind by Chambers.

From the resultant corner, McNamee's cross was flicked on by McCauley and Toal was unable to set himself and headed over the bar from point blank range.

Parkhouse crossed into a crowded penalty area and Toal's downward header was saved by Chambers and the pressure mounted on the Wexford defence with nine minutes to go.

Derry finally got the breakthrough with six minutes to go as McNamee played Parkhouse through on goal and the striker got beyond his marker and blasted into the net.

McDonagh was denied a blistering strike in stoppage time by a terrific save from Chambers and Derry pushed for second.

Parkhouse's goal proved the difference in the end and while it wasn't pretty, it was a case of job done for Devine's troops who march on.

Derry City: P. Cherrie: J. McDonagh, E. Toal, M. McChrystal, C. Coll; C. Davis (D. Cole 61), G. Sloggett, G. Gillespie (J. Malone 72), M. McCrudden (D. McCauley 61); B. McNamee; D. Parkhouse; Subs Not Used - N. Gartside, C. Harkin, A. Delap, P. Ferry.

Wexford: C. Chambers; P. Cahill, L. Costello, D. Corish, D. Walsh; E. Nugent, S. Griffin, A. O'Connor, C. English; T. Croke (S. Lawless 72), S. Roche; Subs Not Used - J. McGuire, A. Farrell. C. Paige.

Referee: Damien McGraith.