DERRY CITY: Wasteful ’Candy Stripes’ draw blank with Limerick

Derry City's Rob Cornwall and Dean Clarke of Limerick in action during tonight's match at the Brandywell, Derry.'Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry City's Rob Cornwall and Dean Clarke of Limerick in action during tonight's match at the Brandywell, Derry.'Picture Margaret McLaughlin
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A WASTEFUL Derry City moved out of the relegation play-off spot but their dismal winless run continues after drawing a blank with bottom of the table Limerick.

The ‘Candy Stripes’ have now gone 11 league games without victory and they only have themselves to blame for this one as they wasted several gilt-edged chances in an opening 45 minutes they totally dominated.

City winger, Stephen Dooley was the main culprit having mis-kicked his effort from six yards on the half hour mark before blasting over the bar from close range on the stroke of half-time.

Both teams have struggled to find the back of the net this season, scoring just 28 goals between them so far this season, so it didn’t come as much as a surprise to see them go in at the break scoreless.

However, the home side dominated and created a host of chances, most notably Dooley’s glorious chance wasted from six yards.

It was a bright opening from Derry and the lively Patrick McEleney came close after just five minutes when stealling a yard on the defender before curling his shot narrowly over.

The Derry striker did superbly to wriggle free of Robbie Williams before racing towards goal but he over-ran the ball allowing Fred Hall to come and clear the danger.

Limerick’s only chance of the half arrived on 11 minutes from a free-kick but Shane Tracy’s promising strike was just off target.

Then came that Dooley chance as McEleney played Mark Timlin down the left flank and his low cross across the six yard box needed the deftest of touches but Derry winger, Dooley somehow miskicked his shot and the chance went begging.

Derry continued to push forward and Barry McNamee was played through the middle on 32 minutes and his low strike seemed destined for the corner of the net but Hall did superbly to get his fingertips to the ball and divert it behind.

McEleney did have the ball in the back of the net on 38 minutes when he lofted his shot over the keeper and into the net but the referee’s assistant raised his flag for offside,

Just before the break McEleney once again was tormenting the Limerick defence and he skipped past his marker before dinking the ball towards the back post where Doolet blasted recklessly over the bar.

That effort summed up Derry’s opening 45 minutes but they really should have taken a commanding lead into the break.

It was much more encouraging for Limerick at the start of the second half but neither side managed to test the opposing keeper.

Mark Quigley replaced Patrick McEleney to make his City debut with nine minutes remaining as Derry attempted to secure maximum points but it wasn’t to be.

Derry City: G. Doherty; R. Cornwall, S. McEleney, R. McBride, D. Jarvis; S. Dooley (R. Curtis 77), P. Lowry, B. McNamee, M. Timlin, P. McEleney (M. Quigley 81), R. Curran (C. Morrison 85); Subs Not Used - S. Patton, J. Daniels, S. Sharkey, A. Barry.

Limerick: F. Hall; P. O’Conor, A. Price, R. Williams, S. Tracy; R. Mann (P. Agyemang h-t), S. Duggan, J. Hughes (L. Lynch 71), S. Russell, I Turner; D. Clarke; Subs Not Used - T. Holland, S. Harding, V, Faherty, D. Rainsford, P. O’Connor.

Referee - Paul Tuite (Dublin)