By Robert O’Reilly
Derry City and Drogheda United will have to do it all again as they drew 1-1 in the Second Round of the FAI Cup at the Brandywell on Friday evening.
The visitors took a surprise lead on 33 minutes through Sam O’Connor and they held their lead deep into the second half before Derry forced a replay after converting their second penalty of the game.
Drogheda United manager Pete Mahon made two changes from the side that defeated Shelbourne last week as Ken Costello and Jake Hyland started in place of Lloyd Buckley and Sean Thornton.
United made a quick start to the game and they went close to opening the scoring on four minutes as Aaron Ashe robbed Niclas Vemmelund of possession before seeing his strike palmed away from danger by Gerard Doherty.
After that early effort, Derry controlled possession for long periods of the first half and they cut through the Drogheda defence with a quarter of an hour played though Josh Daniels shot straight at Stephen McGuinness.
The majority of Derry’s attacks were coming down the wing and they created a further opportunity when Barry McNamee’s delivery from the right found Conor McCormack on the edge of the box but his shot was once again thwarted by Drogheda’s ‘keeper.
Drogheda took the lead against the run of play when an under-hit back pass from Ryan McBride played O’Connor through on goal and despite seeing his initial effort denied by Doherty, he made no mistake on the rebound for his third goal of the season.
There was almost an instant response from the Candystripes as Keith Ward’s corner was met by the unmarked Aaron Barry only for his header to be cleared off the line by Costello.
Derry were much brighter after the interval and they were awarded a penalty on 55 minutes when Daniels was adjudged to have ben taken down in the area but Rory Patterson’s weak spot kick was well saved by the impressive McGuinness to preserve Drogheda’s advantage.
It took a second contentious penalty for the Candystripes to level as McGuinness and Lukas Schubert collided unintentionally in the area only for referee Paul Tuite to award the spot kick with McEneff firing into the far corner.
City missed further chances to clinch victory as a creditable performance from the Drogs sees them earn a replay at United Park this Tuesday.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Niclas Vemmelund, Dean Jarvis, Aaron McEneff, Aaron Barry; Ryan McBride, Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee; (Conor McDermott 85) Keith Ward (Lukas Schubert 60), Rory Patterson, Joshua Daniels
Subs not used: Shaun Patton; Ronan Curtis; Patrick McClean; Nathan Boyle; Jordan Allan
Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Kenneth Costello, Niall Cooney Luke Gallagher, Stephen Dunne; Jake Hyland, Seán Brennan (Seán Thornton 79), Adam Wixted (Eoin Kirwan 55), Aaron Molloy, Aaron Ashe; Sam O’Connor; (Liam Donnelly 68
Subs not used: Patrick Dunican, Jamie McGlynn, Joe Jackson
Barry McNamee (Conor McDermott 85)
Keith Ward (Lukas Schubert 60)
Seán Brennan (Seán Thornton 79)
Adam Wixted (Eoin Kirwan 55)
Sam O’Connor (Liam Donnelly 68)