Derry City 3, Longford Town 0
PETER Hutton’s decision to play Mark Timlin in a striking role worked wonders for Derry City tonight as his brace of goals ensured the Candy Stripes ended a 12 match winless league run.
An own goal from Longford Town’s Rhys Gorman’s gifted Derry a ninth minute but it was no more than they deserved after an impressive opening.
And man of the match, Timlin’s superb brace of goals either side of half-time ultimately gave Hutton’s troops a first league win since April 20th.
Derry made a bright and dominant opening to the game and should really have taken the lead after just two minutes.
Stephen Dooley raced down the right wing and cut the ball back into the path of McNamee but the Ramelton man’s first time strike from 12 yards was hit straight at goalkeeper Paul Hunt who stood tall.
The home lot didn’t have to wait long for another opportunity as seven minutes later Gorman’s own goal gave Derry their first goal at Brandywell since May 22nd!
Rob Cornwall’s low cross from the right was flicked on by McEleney and the ball came off the unfortunate Gorman and into the top corner.
There was no let up from the Candystripes and skipper Ryan McBride was gifted a free header at the back post from McEleney’s corner, but he sent his effort over the bar on 19 minutes.
Derry were piling on the pressure and doubled their advantage one minute later when Timlin played a neat one-two with McEleney and his powerful 25 yard strike took a slight deflection off Mark Salmon before nestling into the Longford net.
Longford did have a chance to get back in the game on 34 minutes when Pat Sullivan’s freekick found Kaleem Simon lurking at the far post but his tame header was gathered easily by Ger Doherty.
Four minutes before the break Barry McNamee found Dooley free at the back post but his right footed volley from five yards went agonisingly wide of the target.
The lively Timlin rattled the back post with his powerful free-kick from the right of the penalty area five minutes after the break and the rebound was cleared behind for a corner.
McEleney tried his luck from distance too but his low strike was saved at the second attempt by Hunt.
And Dooley somehow missed a glorious chance to seal the victory on 73 minute when he got onto the end of Timlin’s inviting cross but he somehow struck Martin Deady on the line with the goal at his mercy.
And Timlin was on the mark once again on 77 minutes when he latched onto a sublime McEleney pass and slotted clinically past Hunt.
Substitute Cillian Morrison was then sent clear but his low strike was saved well by Hunt.
Longford did have a great chance to pull a goal back three minutes from time but Doherty saved superbly at close quarters from David O’Sullivan’s strike and Dean Jarvis bravely blocked Dean Powell’s follow-up strike.
Derry City: G. Doherty: R. Cornwall, R. McBride, A. Barry, D. Jarvis; S. Dooley (R. Curtis 89), P. Lowry, C. McCormack, B. McNamee; M. Timlin (M. Quigley 89), P. McEleney (C. Morrison 79); Subs Not Used - S. Patton, J. Daniels, R. Curran, S. Sharkey.
Longford: P. Hunt 7; J. Mulhall 6, C. Powell 7, P. Sullivan 7, M. Deady 6; J. Doherty 6 (D. O’Sullivan 6 h-t), R. Gorman 6 (D. Cowan 6, 62), S. Rice 6, M. Salmon 6, K. Simon (L. Shannon 71), G. Shaw 6; Subs Not Used - K. Byrne, P. Skinner.
Referee - David McKeon (Dublin)