Having drawn 1-1 at the Brandywell on Sunday, Derry City have beaten Shelbourne 3-0 in their FAI Cup semi-final replay at Tolka Park.
Derry took the lead in the last minute of the first half with both sides hitting the woodwork. Stephen McLaughlin finished superbly from the edge of the Shels box after a cross had been swung in from the right flank.
Just past the half hour mark, Philly Hughes broke clear of the Derry defence with his shot beating Doherty in the visitor’s goal but the Shels striker’s shot hit the inside of the post, then the goalkeeper before bobbling away from goal.
Then, four minutes before the visitors took the lead, Patrick McEleney hit the crossbar with a curling shot from distance.
Having retired a goal to the good at the break, the Candystripes effectively wrapped up the game just past the hour mark when McLaughlin was fed the ball outside the Shels box. He took a few steps with the ball before smashing it into the corner of the net giving Bennion no chance in the home goal, to double his goal tally for the night as well as Derry’s lead.
The goal seemed to dishearten Shels as Derry removed any lingering doubt as to who would progress to the final with the third goal of the night midway through the second half. It was a controversial clincher as the Shels rearguard thought a ball played over the top was offside. David McDaid was left clean through on Bennion and with the linesman’s flag remaining by his side, McDaid proceeded to round the goalkeeper and walk the ball to the net.
The remainder of the game was a stroll for the visitors with the atmosphere among the home fans going flat. Whilst Shels had more of the clear cut chances (particularly in the first half), it was the visitors who were the more clinical and they face St. Patrick’s Athletic in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium on 4th November. It will be a first appearance for both sides at the new Lansdowne Road having played the last FAI Cup final at the old stadium back in 2006 when Derry emerged victorious with a 4-3 triumph after extra time.