A superb first half display by Letterkenny Rovers provided the foundation as they advanced to the last eight of the FAI Intermediate Cup at the Aura on Sunday.
Letterkenny Rovers 2
Midleton (Cork) 1
It was a game of two halves with Rovers playing the best attacking football of the season in the first period before showing dertermined defensive resolution in the second half to progress.
Rovers could have been three ahead early on before they took a deserved lead on 10 minutes with a wonderful 25 yard left footed dipping volley from Paul McVeigh.
Eamonn McConigle'ys side dominated possession and had periods of sustained pressure.
They got their second goal in somewhat fortuitous circumstances on 35 minutes. A long Ryan Lonergan cross was fumbled by keeper Gledhill and it fell to the feet of Darren McElwaine who made no mistake from 3 yards out.
Rovers were very comfortable at half time but were rocked on 53 minutes when Jake Hegarty fired home through a forest of legs.
Letterkenny should have got the insurance goal on the hour mark when Okakpo-Emeka failed to capitalise after Gledhill again parried McVeigh's initial effort.
To be fair to the visitors they threw everything at Letterkenny and were incensed when Paul Boyle seemed to handle the ball in the box. However, the appeals for a penalty were waved away by referee Terence Moyne and the he was again in the limelight when he denied Rovers what looked like a penalty at the other end for what appeared to be a a foul on Okakpo-Emeka.
Midleton were a threat and nervous tension emanated around the Aura as Hegarty and John Keane came close to grabbing a draw for the Rebels but it wasnt to be. So it's Rovers who progress and they are potentially just two games away from a game in the Aviva Stadium were this year's FAI Intermediate Cup Final will be played.
Letterkenny Rovers: Rory Kelly, Ryan Lonergan, David Shovlin (Conal McGonigle 65), Paul ‘Yank’ Boyle, Jonathan Minnock, Kevin McGrath (Terence Shiels 56), Mark Forker, Christy Connaghan, Paul McVeigh, Stevie Okakpu, Darren McElwaine.
Midleton: Matthew Gledhill, Kyle McCarthy (Emmet Cotter, half-time), Kevin Murray, Matthew Hickey, Kelvin Kruschel; Damien Daly (John Keane 65), Cormac Ahern, Ian Maher (Ray Barnes 80), Kevin Tatton, Jake Hegarty, Andrew Knowles.
Referee: Terence Moyne.