Derry City make it five wins on the bounce

Sligo Rovers 1, Derry City 2

By Kevin McLaughlin
Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 6:59 am
Derry City's Ronan Boyce races away with team-mates Will Fitzgerald, Eoin Toal and Joe Thomson celebrating his late winner. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City's Ronan Boyce races away with team-mates Will Fitzgerald, Eoin Toal and Joe Thomson celebrating his late winner. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

Derry City secured an impressive away day victory at Sligo Rovers, thanks to Ronan Boyce's late stunning winner.

The Candy Stripes pushed forward, always looking for the winner and they claimed a tremendous three points thanks to two stunning goals from Joe Thomson and Boyce.

The victory, which was the Brandywell men's fifth win on the bounce, moves them to just a point behind third placed Sligo and gives them great confidence going into next Friday night's FAI Cup North West derby at Finn Harps.

Sign up to our daily Derry Journal Today newsletter

Ruaidhri Higgins was forced into a few changes from the side which secured a long awaited home win over Dundalk last week, as James Akintunde and Cameron McJannet both missed out because of a Covid related problem and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Jack Malone came into the starting line-up.

Derry front man Jamie McGonigle created himself a good chance on six minutes when getting away from Garry Buckley, but his low drive was straight at Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty.

City deservedly broke the deadlock on 11 minutes in stunning style, as Danny Lafferty teed up Thomson, rolling the ball to the midfielder and he made no mistake blasting home from 30 yards, giving McGinty no chance.

Former Derry winger Walter Figueira went close to levelling things minutes later when he easily burst clear down the right skipping away from both Lafferty and Ciaran Coll and his low shot had to be turned around the post by a diving Nathan Gartside.

Derry City's Joe Thomson celebrates after scoring at the Sligo Showgrounds. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

Just before the half-hour youngster Johnny Kenny found some space inside the Derry penalty box, but with his weaker left foot, he fired over.

Kenny had an even better chance just before the half-hour when he broke clear in behind the Derry defence, but his touch let him down and although he got his shot away, Gartside did well to tip the effort over the bar.

Rovers continued to pile forward in search of an equaliser and they went close on 38 minutes, Kenny was inches away from connecting to Lewis Banks' right wing cross, when well placed inside the six yards.

Liam Buckley's men got what they deserved on 43 minutes as that man Kenny gleefully fired home from close range after Mark Byrne's right wing centre wasn't dealt with by the visitors and the young front man side footed home at the back post.

Sligo Rovers' John Mahon coolly heads the ball away from Derry City striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

Derry, who were second best for periods of the first half, started on the front foot after the break and a quick throw-in by Lafferty on 52 minutes found McGonigle, who got clear down the left, before his well hit cross found Junior inside the six yard box, but the striker was unable to get his effort on target.

Another teasing Banks centre from the right found Byrne and his powerful header was superbly kept out by a fully stretched Gartside and Kenny was unable to turn home the rebound.

The visitors were certainly much the better of the sides in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, but they failed to take full advantage when well placed on a few occasions, as their final ball would just let them down at the crucial moment.

Derry missed a golden chance to regain the lead on 70 minutes as Junior's fantastic right wing cross found his striking partner McGonigle, but with the goal at his mercy, the ex-Crusaders man headed the ball into the ground and missed the gilt-edged chance.

The Brandywell men scored the winner on 86 minutes as Boyce, pushed forward into the box after passing to substitute Will Fitzgerald, the Limerick man's right wing cross was only cleared straight in the defender's path and he showed great composure chesting the ball down before volleying home past McGinty, to seal the points.

Sligo Rovers: McGinty, Banks, Horgan, Morahan (Parkes 80), Gibson, Figueira, Byrne (Cawley 76), McDonnell, Mahon, Kenny, Buckley.

Derry City: Gartside, Boyce, Toal, Coll; Malone (Cole 89), Harkin, Thomson, McLaughlin (Hery 62), Lafferty; Ogedi-Uzokwe, McGonigle (Fitzgerald 71).

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)..