Derry City 2, Bohemians 3
Paul Hegarty suffered his first defeat at caretaker boss as Derry City and Bohemians served up five first half goals at Brandywell Stadium on Friday night.
The result maintains Bohs’ slim hopes of a European place after St. Pat’s lost 2-0 at the Sligo Showgrounds, though they still have to defeat Cork at Dalymont Park next week and hope Pat’s lose again in their final game.
For Derry it was a disappointing end to what has been a disappointing campaign and not for the first time this season they were left with a sense of what might have been had they taken their chances.
The game was barely 90 seconds old when Bohs hit the front as the home defence was caught square. Centre-half Anto Murphy was given far too much much space only yards outside the Derry box and picked out Ismahil Akinade’s run to perfection, the big striker ignoring Derry’s offside appeals to slide a lovely finish under Gerard Doherty.
The visitors had barley finished celebrating when Mark Timlin scampered down the left and flighted a superb cross to find Ciaran O’Connor at the far pots, the on-loan forward guiding his header perfectly back across Delany and into the far corner for 1-1.
Neither side was giving much thought to defence and both had further chances before Akinade doubled his tally for the evening on 25 minutes with a near post header from Jake Kelly’s 25th minute corner.
Back came Derry, this time taking four minutes to level when Mark Quigley, in for Patrick McEleney, beautifully picked out Barry McNamee’s run, the midfielder showing great composure to commit Delany before rolling home a lovely finish.
Doherty was fortunate to hear the referee’s whistle after Eoin Wearen had robbed him and rolled the ball into the empty net but Keith Long’s team didn’t have long to wait to hit the front for a third time in the half.
Once again, Derry were all over the place defensively as Kelly turned Ben McLaughlin on the edge of the area before holding off O’Connor and sending a low shot into the corner to send the visitors into the interval with a 3-2 lead.
Derry introduced McEleney at half-time but the second half failed to hit the entertaining heights of the opening 45 minutes. Dooley and Quigley had probably the best chances for the home side and twice extended Delany but the visitors held firm for a win which keeps alive their slim European hopes.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Ben McLaughlin (Patrick McEleney, H/T), Dean Jarvis, Ryan McBride - 6, Aaron Barry; Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee, Mark Quigley (Cillian Morrison, 82mins), Stephen Dooley, Ciaran O’Connor (Aaron McEneff, 68mins), Mark Timlin.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Prendergast, Karl Moore, Keith Buckley (Robbie Creevy, 92mins), Jake Kelly (Patrick Kavanagh, 77mins), Dylan Hayes, Anthony Murphy, Eoin Wearen, Jason Caffrey, Ismahil Akinadfe, Dave Mulcahy.
Referee: David McKeon.