Derry City hammered in finale
St Patrick's Athletic 5-0 Derry City
DERRY CITY’S miserable season ended with another passionless display as they suffered another heavy loss at St Patrick’s Athletic.
Trailing 5-0 before the hour mark was actually kind to Derry, as the Candy Stripes could easily have been further behind.
The loss combined with Sligo Rovers’ home win over Shamrock Rovers, meant that Kenny Shiels’ third year in charge, ended with the Brandywell men finishing in a dreadful eighth place, in the Premier Division.
The Brandywell men made four changes to the side which loss at Bray Wanderers on Monday night and they should have went in front on five minutes as Jamie McDonagh’s superb right wing cross found Eoin Toal, but the big centre-back headed over from close range.
Minutes later Pat’s missed a golden chance themselves as Ian Bermingham’s left-wing centre found an unmarked Jake Keegan, but he headed well off target when went placed inside the six yard box.
Just after the mid-way point of the half a in-swinging left wing corner from McDonagh fell to Toal at the back post, but the skipper’s close range effort was parried away by St Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke.
The deadlock was broken five minutes later after some poor refereeing by Tomas Connolly.
A Simon Madden cross looked to have picked out James Doona, but Darren Cole got back to head clear, however he picked up a head injury in the process but referee Connolly let the game go on and Conor Clifford made no mistake firing high into Grimes’ top right hand corner, despite the Scottish defender laying in the six yard box.
Although Derry rightfully were fuming that the game wasn’t stopped, it just summed up how the Brandywell men’s season had gone.
The Dubliners effectively ended the game as a contest with two quick fire goals in the space of two minutes, the first came on 38 minutes as Conan Byrne’s defence splitting pass found Doona, who broke the offside trap, before rounding Grimes and slotting the ball home.
Then a well worked corner ended with Clifford’s left wing cross to the back post finding Kevin Toner and the big centre-back guided his header back over Grimes and in off the post.
St Pat’s started the second half with the same attacking desire in front of next season’s boss Harry Kenny and they netted another two quick fire goals after some more shambolic defending by the visitors.
On 55 minutes a Byrne high ball into the Derry six yard wasn’t dealt by the visitors and Keegan, couldn’t believe his luck, as he gleefully headed home from close range.
Amazingly the Saints added a fifth on 58 minutes as another quick counter attack ended with more terrible defending by Derry, as Byrne raced clear down the right he looked up and clipped the ball to Doona, who was given all the time in the world inside the box, and he chested the ball down before firing home.
There was a standing ovation on 77 minutes as St Pat’s Conan Byrne was subbed in what was his final ever game, as he announced before the match that he would retire at the end of this season.
At the final whistle the City boss applauded and more significantly waved to small loyal number of travelling supporters.
St Patrick’s Athletic: B Clarke, Madden, Desmond, Toner, Bermingham; C Byrne (Manley 77), Clifford, Lennon, Doona; Brennan (T Byrne 64); Keegan (D Clarke 84).
Derry City: Grimes, Cole (Delap 29), Toal, Peers, McHattie; Seabourne, Shiels, McEneff; McDonagh, Roy (McNamee 87), Fisk (Splaine 62).
Referee: Mr Tomas Connolly (Dublin).