Derry City maintained their recent run of good form when they beat Shelbourne 2-0 in Tolka Park on Friday night.
Friday’s win means that the last time the Candy Stripes lost a game was on July 27 to Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell; since then they have beaten Bohemians, drawn with Bray, beaten U.C.D. and the win over Shelbourne means that Declan Devine’s men are enjoying a four match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Good results recently, have helped Derry to cement their mid-table position and given the fact that they are only six points behind fourth placed St. Patrick’s Athletic they have every chance of reducing the gap when both sides meet at the Brandywell tomorrow evening.
Derry’s fortunes couldn’t be further from Shelbourne’s woes as the Dubliners haven’t won a game in six outings and Friday’s display lacked edge, confidence and cohesion.
Derry should have been behind in the second minute when Barry Clancy was well placed just outside the six yard box but his header went over the bar.
However, despite the promising opening it was Shelbourne who found themselves behind six minutes later when Derry winger Stephen McLaughlin found team mate David McDaid with a threaded past and McDaid slotted past Dean Delany with ease.
Derry were in full control and some of their passing was a joy to watch but they really should have translated their majority share of possession into goals.
The Candy Stripes only managed one more strike on goal in the first half when Ryan McBride headed Simon Madden’s corner past the post.
Derry picked up where they left off in the first half when they doubled their lead in the 56th minute.
Stephen McLaughlin swapped roles and instead of providing the pass for the goal he provided the finish.
Simon Madden found McLaughlin with a pass and the Donegal man fired a volley at Delany and somehow the Shelbourne shot-stopper fumbled the ball into the net.
The chances continued to come for Derry and David McDaid should have doubled his tally in the 69th minute but the bustling forward hit his shot straight at Delany.
Second half substitute Ryan Curran almost netted an unbelievable goal in the 83rd minute when he unleashed a 25 yard drive but Delany scrambled to his far post and saw the youngster’s effort wide.
Substitute Patrick McEleney could have added insult to injury in the dying minutes when he connected with yet another fantastic cross from Simon Madden but the 19 year-old’s header went over the crossbar.
Two goals ended up being enough for Derry as they ran out worthy winners.
Next up for the Candy Stripes is St. Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell tomorrow (Monday) evening; kick-off 7.45pm.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Gareth Matthews (Stephen Paisley, 32), Andy Boyle, Brian Shortall, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Paddy Kavanagh (Anto Murphy, 66), David Cassidy, Glen Cronin, Kevin Dawson, Barry Clancy (Conan Byrne, 58); Philip Hughes.
Subs not used: Paul Skinner (GK), Stephen Hurley, Sean Byrne, Paul Byrne.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Shane McEleney, Ryan McBride, Simon Madden, Barry McNamee; Barry Molloy, Stephen McLaughlin (Patrick McEleney, 58) , David McDaid , Ruaidhri Higgins, Marc Brolly (Ryan Curran, 81); Conor Murphy .
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry (GK), Tony McNamee, Caoimhin Bonner, Michael Duffy, Matthew Rooney.
Referee: Pauric Sutton