The reigning league champions were without Kieran Djilali (suspension), David McMillan (cup-tied), Ross Gaynor and Evan McMillan (both knee). Manager Ian Baraclough made four changes from last week's win over Bohs at Dalymount Park with Danny North, Joseph Ndo, Raffaele Cretaro and Jeff Henderson all returning to the champions' starting eleven.
Sligo Rovers took their place in Monday night's Ford FAI Cup semi-final draw with a narrow 1-0 win over Derry City at the Showgrounds on Sunday evening. A well take Raffaele Cretaro goal on 14 minutes was enough to see an unconvincing Bit o'Red slip past a Candystripes side who had claims for a last minute penalty turned down by referee Neil Doyle. Sligo had goalkeeper Gary Rogers to thank at the death when he made two stops from as many Michael Duffy efforts to deny cup holders Derry a replay.
Meanwhile, the cup holders made their second trip of the season to Sligo without Stewart Greacan, Kevin Deery, Dean Jarvis (all knee) and Patrick McEleney (foot). Sean Houston (ankle) and Eoghan Osbourne (groin) were both passed fit in the lead up to the game, with Declan Devine making two changes to the side that lost out to Saint Pat's a fortnight ago. Osbourne and Patrick Kavanagh taking their places in the starting side.
The home side were looking to progress to their fifth FAI Cup semi-final in eight years and were the first to threaten with two minutes played.
Alan Keane's deft touch took him by Osbourne at the edge of the Derry area before he sent the ball into the six yard box. Aaron Greene was the closest Sligo player to the ball but the former Shamrock Rovers winger failed to react in time and Ryan McBride cleared the danger.
Both teams struggled to get a good passing game together during the early exchanges in less than ideal conditions as the rain and wind battered the Maugheraboy venue.
The dire weather conditions played a part in the opener which arrived on 14 minutes. Ndo's ball to the Derry front post was miss-controlled by Shane McEleney as he slipped on the wet surface before Cretaro, with his back to goal assumed possession of the ball. The Tubbercurry man showed fantastic awareness to back-heel the ball through Ger Doherty's legs and into the City net.
Sligo goalkeeper Gary Rogers had to be alert on 36 minutes to palm away a Simon Madden cross which almost dipped behind the Meath man.
The Candystripes were then forced to withdraw winger Kavanagh five minutes before the break with what looked like an ankle injury.
David McDaid's 30 yard strike moments later failed to trouble Rogers as his shot sailed high over the Rovers goal.
Iarfhlaith Davoren then forced Doherty into a full stretch save on 44 minutes after Ndo's free-kick was blocked into his path by Barry McNamee. Doherty was called upon once again on the stroke of half-time to push away Danny North's low effort from the edge of the six yard box as the Bit o'Red enjoyed a sustained period of pressure on the cup holders' goal.
North spurned a glorious opportunity with only a minute of the second half elapsed. The 26-year-old was picked out by Cretaro, but the former Pat's man failed to make significant contact with the ball and saw his effort dribble wide of the target.
The Sligo defence was at sixes and sevens at the beginning of the second half as Derry pressed hard for an equaliser. Madden's 50th minute cross was misjudged by Alan Keane before Gavin Peers was forced to block away McNamee's drive. The Rovers rearguard then managed to clear the danger seconds later but only after both Jeff Henderson and Seamus Conneely struggled under significant pressure from the Derry attack.
North turned up another guilt-edged chance on 58 minutes when Keane's pin-point cross found him unmarked at the Candystripes' front post. North, with the goal at his mercy, was unable to move his feet in time to deal with Keane's drilled cross. The ball then fell to Aaron Greene who blazed over from 20 yards.
Peers was unlucky not to claim his second goal in as many games on 63 minutes when he rose highest to get his head to a Greene corner, but the Dubliner could only send his effort behind Doherty's crossbar while under the close attention of his marker.
Derry were largely wasteful with an possession they had in Sligo's final third as both teams continued to struggle to get any decent passing game together. Barry Molloy's weighted through pass to Michael Duffy was easily cut out by Rogers with two minutes remaining.
Rory Patterson had a penalty claim dismissed by referee Doyle on the stroke of full time. Having seen of the initial challenge of Peers, Patterson then fell to the floor as a result of a Keane tackle but City's protestations fell on deaf ears.
The cup holders then looked certain to secure a replay two minutes into injury time but substitute Michael Duffy couldn't lift the ball over the diving Rogers who managed to deflect the ball away for a corner. From the resulting set piece and with each of Derry's eleven player inside the Rovers area, the ball was recycled to Duffy who was again denied by Rogers who did well to reach Duffy's shot which looked destined for the bottom corner.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jeff Henderson, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Raffaele Cretaro (for Pascal Millien 75), Seamus Conneely (Danny Ventre 67), Joseph Ndo, David Cawley, Aaron Greene; Danny North (for Anthony Elding 82).
Subs not used: Matthew Gledhill, Liam Martin, Lee Lynch.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney, Eoghan Osbourne (for Ryan Curran 77); Patrick Kavanagh (Michael Duffy 38), Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry Molloy, Barry McNamee, David McDaid (for Michael Rafter 74); Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Mark Griffin, Sean Houston, Raymond Foy.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)