Derry City 3 Linfield 1(4-2 Agg)
Derry produced a terrific second half performance, scoring three times to advance to the semi-final of the Setanta Sports Cup and leaving Linfield to rue what might have been.
City enteredt the game with the balance of power, thanks to David McDaid’s late equaliser in Windsor and the home side did enjoy slightly the better of the frenetic early exchanges. McDaid and McLaughlin were proving trouble to the Blues’ defence, which saw Murphy restored to the starting line up.
However the visitors settled and as in the first game, they were the first to make the break through. After a series of corner the Blues hit the front when Co Derry native Philip Lowry was able to waltz his way through the Derry defence and slip it past Doherty to make it 1-0 to Linfield.
The pressure seemed to be telling on the home side who saw Ryan McBride booked and Thompson had a chance to make it 2-0.
Declan Devine made a substitution at half time with McEleney replacing McCallion and the youngster was instrumental in the second half fight back. The game turned ten minutes into the second half when Albert Watson was replaced by Stephen Douglas after the centre half was injured with a cut to the head.
City’s equaliser came after Madden was sent clear down the right. He wrapped his foot around the ball and curled a tremendous ball into the box which was powered home by Barry Molloy to set the Brandywell alive. Mark Farren had a chance to make it 2-1 to City but having rounded Blayney he was unable to finish as Murphy cleared his weak effort off the line.
The second was a great move from the home side. McEleney picked the ball up and drove down the right and into the box. He squared to Farren and the striker selflessly swivelled and laid it on to McLaughlin who crashed it home. The home side were now in the driving seat but if Linfield could score then it would see the Blues progress.
The game was ended as a contest in injury time. Linfield lost possession from a throw and Douglas attempted a comical dive to try and convince Connolly that he had been fouled. City poured forward and the ball found it’s way to Madden who crashed it past Blayney to complete the victory and send City through.