Derry City lost at the Brandywell on Friday when Dundalk F.C. 88th minute substitute Tiernan Mulvenna put the ball past Gerard Doherty in second half injury time to give Stephen Kenny’s travelling Lilywhites all three points.
The last 20 minutes of Friday’s clash were edgy to say the least and despite the fact both sides seemed to cancel one another out it was to be a happy night for the Oriel Park team.
Derry had a chance to take the lead in the third minute when Patrick McEleney stroked the ball to his right to find team mate Simon Madden who fired a powerful drive straight at Peter Cherrie.
It was clear from the first kick of the ball; Dundalk F.C. came to the Brandywell to claim all three points.
The Lilywhites started the game with pace and aggression and were so nearly rewarded in the ninth minute when a corner taken by John Dillon was headed over the crossbar by Chris Shields.
Patrick Hoban managed to get away from Shane McEleney on the right side to cross into the Derry danger area. Hoban’s pass was too pacey for team mate Darren Meenan and a good chance had passed Stephen Kenny’s men by.
Hoban broke free again on the right in the 12th minute to cross but Kurtis Byrne fired his shot wide of the Derry goal.
Dundalk F.C. midfielder, Richie Towell, forced Gerard Doherty into making a save in the 18th minute. After a decent spell of Dundalk F.C. pressure, the ball rolled out to Towell who let loose with a powerful drive from outside the area; Doherty was in the right place at the right time and the ball came off the Creggan shot stopper’s legs.
Derry’s Rory Patterson couldn’t believe his luck in the 20th minute when Dundalk goalie Peter Cherrie attempted to play a long pass up the field but instead, the ball came off Patterson. Strabane man Patterson reacted brilliantly, surged into the penalty area and fired low to the ‘keepers’ right but Cherrie redeemed himself with a good save.
City had to make two changes before the break with Patrick McEleney and Kevin Deery both going off injury and being replaced by Patrick Kavanagh and Michael Rafter.
Michael Rafter, who replaced Derry captain Kevin Deery in the 39th minute, collected a neat pass from Barry Molloy in the 41st minute but the former Dundalk F.C. player fired his shot into the side netting.
Patrick Kavanagh crossed into the Dundalk penalty area in the 46th minute but team mate Michael Duffy’s header prevented from crossing the line by Dundalk F.C. captain Andy Boyle.
Duffy went close again seconds later when he hit the crossbar from a tight angle inside the Dundalk F.C. penalty area.
Dundalk F.C. player Darren Meenan should have scored in the 72nd minute. Richie Towell crossed from the left to find Meenan inside the area but despite the fact he was only yards away from goal, Meenan’s shot was blocked.
Derry City claimed striker Rory Patterson was fouled inside the penalty area in the 77th minute but despite their animated protests, referee Rob Rogers refused to acquiesce.
A great dummy from Patrick Kavanagh made sure the ball went to Simon Madden on the right in 85th minute. Former Dundalk F.C. fullback, Madden, found Patterson with the cross but his effort failed to hit the target.
Dundalk F.C. snatched all three points in the 91st minute when Eoghan Osborne broke free of the Derry defence to slot the ball to team mate Mulvenna who in turn blasted past Doherty; the Dundalk F.C. travelling supporters, the players and the coaching staff jumped with joy.
Next up for Derry City is Shamrock Rovers at the Tallaght Stadium next Friday evening; kick-off 8.00pm.
DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney; Barry Molloy, Kevin Deery (Michael Rafter 39 mins), Barry McNamee, Michael Duffy, Patrick McEleney (Patrick Kavanagh 31 mins); Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: James Gallagher, Mark Griffin, Ryan Curran, Tony McNamee, Joshua Tracey.
DUNDALK F.C.: Peter Cherrie; John Sullivan, Eoghan Osborne, Andy Boyle, Chris Shields (Stephen McDonnell 45 mins); John Dillon, Patrick Hoban (Vinny Faherty 80 mins), Kurtis Byrne, Dane Massey; Richie Towell, Darren Mennan (Tiernan Mulvenna 88 mins).
Subs not used: Aaron Shanahan, Ciaran O’Connor, Francis McCaffrey, Jordan Keegan
REFEREE: Mr. Rob Rogers (Dublin).