Derry City continued their climb up the Airtricity Premier Division table with a battling win against Dublin side Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday evening.
They say that every cloud has a silver lining but Derry’s cloud happened when they lost on penalties to Crusaders in the final of the Setanta Sports Cup at the Oval last Saturday. Be that as it may the Brandywell club have abounded in silver lining this week as the beat Monaghan United 4-1 in Gortakeegan on Tuesday night and Friday’s win over the ‘Gypsies’ means that Declan Devine’s men lie in fifth position.
Devine and his players have made no secret of their disappointment over their recent league form but the anguish of last weekend’s final defeat seems to have had a positive impact.
The Foylesiders have scored six goals on the road inside four days and conceded two - not a bad turn around.
Derry are still 12 points behind league leaders Sligo Rovers who beat Shelbourne 3-0 at the Showgrounds but are only four points behind Shamrock Rovers who are managed by former Derry boss Stephen Kenny.
Goals from Stephen McLaughlin and Patrick McEleney ensured that Devine’s men would return north with all three valuable points intact.
However, Bohemians did score an consolation goal towards the end when Keith Ward converted in second half stoppage time.
Fans of both teams didn’t have much to cheer about in the first half as both goalkeepers Gerard Doherty and Craig Sexton did not have a single shot to save.
The first chance of the game came in the 10th minute when Patrick McEleney’s long range shot slid across the wet grass and went just wide of the post.
Seconds later Bohemians went close to breaking the deadlock when a well placed free-kick went wide of Doherty’s post.
Ruaidhri Higgins was ambitious with a long range shot just before the break but the Limavady born midfielder couldn’t get his effort on target and the ball went well over Sexton’s crossbar.
Declan Devine would have forgiven had he questioned his luck when striker Rory Patterson limped off and had to replaced by youngster Ryan Curran at half-time.
The true extent of Patterson’s injury is not yet known but it’s yet another injury that Derry boss Devine could be doing without.
Patterson netted twice against Crusaders last weekend and he joins an ever increasing injury list that includes such key players as Stewart Greacen, Mark Farren and skipper Kevin Deery.
Aaran Callaghan’s men had a fantastic opportunity to take the lead in the 55th minute when a poor pass by Ruaidhri Higgins was intercepted by Keith Ward.
Ward’s eventual shot was tame to say the least and was easily cleared by Doherty in the Derry goal.
Ward’s failure to take his chance came back to bite the home team and Derry took the lead in the 64th minute through Stephen McLaughlin.
Dermott McCaffrey whipped in a free-kick from the right and McLaughlin rose with a glancing header to send the ball into the back of the net.
Devine’s men added a second in the 78th minute when Patrick McEleney converted from the penalty spot.
Bohs captain Evan McMillan was judged to have hand balled inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot.
McEleney made no mistake from the spot.
Ward weighed in with a consolation goal right at the end when he guided a free-kick past Doherty.
Bohemians: Craig Sexton, Derek Pender Evan McMillan, Kevin Feely, Philip McCabe, Keith Ward, Ryan McEvoy, Keith Buckley, Dave Mulcahy, John O’Connor (David Scully, 75), Karl Moore (Dwayne Wilson, 63)
Derry City: Ger Doherty, Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Dermot McCaffrey, Shane McEleney, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney, Owen Morrison (Michael Barr, 85), Stephen McLaughlin, Rory Patterson (Ryan Curran, HT), David McDaid
Referee: Rob Rogers.