Derry City 1 Shelbourne 1
A hard fought battle at the Brandywell saw the game finish 1-1, with both sides heading to Tolka to do it all again on Wednesday night. Shelbourne hit the front after five minutes, but a much improved second half performance from City saw David McDaid grab an equaliser and send the game to a replay
The visitors enjoyed the better start and David Cassidy capitalised on a sloppy defence to fire past Gerard Doherty to make it 1-0. A perfect start for Shelbourne, and the away side were much the better for the opening 45 minutes. City who had taken a number of gambles with their starting eleven, struggled to cope with the pace and movement of the Drumcondra side.
The Shelbourne midfield were particularly dangerous with runners off the ball and City struggled to cope with this. However as the game progressed, City were able to gain a foothold in the game, but too often moves broke down or places were misplaced. In front of a disappointing crowd for a Cup semi-final, the Candystripes appeared overawed. McEleney had one of the best chances of the first half when his third yard volley had Bennion at full stretch.
City were first back out onto the pitch after the break, and started the second half with much more intent. The home side had an equaliser disallowed when Hancock ruled that Bennion was fouled as Greacen bundled the ball over the line. However City were much improved in the second half, and began to pose an attacking threat for the first time. City were back on level terms just before the hour mark when McDaid peeled off his defender and glanced it past Bennion to make it 1-1.
Whilst it felt that the momentum was with the home side, credit most go to the visitors who steadied the ship and continued to prove a threat on the break. Cassidy and Paul Byrne were always seeking to open up the home defence. Simon Madden had Bennion at his brilliant best again, denying Madden from 25 yards.
In the end neither side could make the breakthrough, so it is back to Tolka on Wednesday, whilst Pats away in the final.