Shamrock Rovers 0, Derry City 1
CAPTAIN fantastic, Ryan McBride's second half strike was enough to clinch an impressive victory for 10 man Derry City at Tallaght Stadium to make it two wins from their opening two trips to Dublin.
It was a deserving win for the dogged Candy Stripes who created the best chances on the night and it was McBride's clinical strike on 67 minutes which made the difference despite Lukas Schubert's sending off four minutes later.
City go into Monday night';s mouthwatering clash with champions, Dundalk at Maginn Park now with confidence having lost just once in the last 18 games - their last defeat coming against the Lilywhites last September!
Kenny Shiels made just one change to his starting line-up against Limerick last week with Harry Monaghan handed his first start of the season, the Scot replacing the injured Conor McDermott.
And it was a promising opening from Shiels' troops. Indeed, Barry McNamee was presented with a glorious chance after just 15 seconds when he latched onto Ronan Curtis' pass through the middle which split the Rovers defence but the Ramelton man's left footed shot from the edge of the box was saved comfortably by Tomer Chencinski.
Rovers began to click into gear but despite their dominance the Hoops were restricted to long range efforts from the lively Ronan Finn and David McAllister but neither could trouble Ger Doherty.
Four minutes before the interval Doherty was finally called into action as he gathered Brandan Miele's curling free-kick from 25 yards safely into his hands after Schubert fouled Ryan Connolly on the edge of the 18 yard box.
Derry really should've taken the lead into the break but when Low swung an inviting cross from the left, Monaghan was gifted a free header eight yards from goal but somehow flicked his effort wide of the far post.
Curtis was in the thick of the action at the start of the second half as his strike from 20 yards was deflected narrowly past the post as Daniel Devine threw himself towards the ball. From the resultant corner, Low cleverly caught the Rovers defence napping as he rolled the ball towards the penalty spot and Curtis ran unopposed to meet it but screwed his shot into the body of Rovers players and the chance was lost.
Neither side could get to grips of the game but from a corner kick City broke the deadlock through skipper, McBride. McEneff's corner kick was headed down and eventually broke to McBride who powered his strike into corner on the half volley. It was a poacher's strike from eight yards to put the Candy Stripes in the driving seat 23 minutes remaining.
But just four minutes after taking the lead and City were reduced to 10 men as Schubert needlessly received his second yellow card for kicking the ball away when it ran out of play behind the Rovers' goal.
Derry were camped inside their own half as Rovers applied the pressure and Simon Madden got in behind McNamee before crossing dangerously into the penalty area and Darren Meenan sent his glancing header harmlessly wide from 10 yards - a real let off for the visitors.
The fourth official signalled four minutes of additional time with Derry players out on their feet and there were desperate shouts for a penalty from the Rovers camp when Madden went down inside the box as McNamee closed in. The referee was unimpressed but City boss Shiels vented his frustration as the match referee failed to book the Rovers right back.
It mattered little in the end as Doyle blew the full-time whistle moments later, On to Dundalk now on Monday night!
Shamrock Rovers: T. Chencinski; S. Madden, D. Devine, D. Webster, T. Clarke (S. Heaney h-t); D. McAllister (J. Doona 76); D. Meenan, R. Finn, R. Connolly, B. Miele; S. Boyd (M. O'Connor 56); Subs Not Used - K. Horgan, G. Shaw, R. Lopes, P. Corry.
Derry City: G. Doherty; L. Schubert, R. McBride, A. Barry, D. Jarvis; H,. Monaghan, N. Low, A. McEneff, B. McNamee, R. Curtis; N. Boyle (M. Timlin 82); Subs Not Used - E. Grimes, J. Daniels, R. Holden, S. Whiteside, A. Netzer, M. Kennedy.
Referee - Graham Kelly (Cork)