DERRY CITY registered their first victory over Shamrock Rovers at Brandywell Stadium in 21 months with a hard fought win which took Declan Devine’s charges to within two points of leaders Sligo Rovers.
Devine claimed he wasn’t aware at the interval that the Bit O’ Red – who were featuring in the RTE televised fixture early kick-off – had lost to St Pat’s at Inchicore but that result must have provided huge incentive for the home side to produce a heroic second half display.
Man of the match, Ryan McBride stepped to the fore in the absence of the suspended Shane McEleney and it was fitting that his headed goal 11 minutes from the end proved to be the winning goal.
It was the Candy Stripes’ sixth consecutive league victory and it was in-form midfielder, Barry McNamee who settled the nervous tension with the opening goal seven minutes after half-time.
McBride then capped a magnificent performance with Derry’s second goal from McNamee’s corner but when Rovers’ substitute, Stephen Rice drove his long range effort into the corner of the Derry net, it set up a nail-biting finale for the home support.
However, Derry hung on to record yet another impressive victory and are within touching distance of the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division
Derry City – 4-4-2- G. Doherty; T. Crawley (R. Curran 84), D. McCaffrey, R. McBride, S. Madden; P. Kavanagh (P. McEleney 9), B. Molloy, R. Higgins, B. McNamee; M. Rafter (M. Duffy 74), R. Patterson; Subs Not Used – J. Gallagher, C. Kelly, T. McNamee, M. Griffin.
Shamrock Rovers –4-4-2- B. Murphy; C. Powell, D. Elebert (S. Rice 84), D. Foran, P. Sullivan; B. Dennehy, J. Chambers, R. Finn, S. O’Connor (G. McCabe 59); C. Kilduff (M. Quigley 65), K. Sheppard; Subs Not Used – R. Brush, C. McCormack, S. Robinson, D. Ledwith.
Referee – Derek Tomney (Dublin).
For further coverage and reaction see this weekend’s Sunday Journal.