Derry City return to winning ways as dominance over Bohs continues
Bohemians 1, Derry City 2
DERRY CITY's recent dominance over Bohemians continued as the Candy Stripes finally stopped the rot at Dalymount Park with a first win in four games.
It was a 10th consecutive victory over the Dubliners in all competitions and a crucial one to bring to an end that three game losing run.
Rory Hale netted his first goal for the club with a brilliant goal on 22 minutes before Rory Patterson scored his seventh of the season to double their advantage three minutes later.
The visitors were fully deserving of their first half lead but were made to soak up the pressure for much of the second period.
However, they managed to see out the game despite Bohs' substitute JJ. Lunney's 86th minute strike which ensured a nervous finale for Shiels troops who cemented fourth spot ahead of the visit of Dundalk next week.
Derry came into the game having won just once in their previous eight league games as did Bohs who were struggling for form. And Shiels made just the one change from the team which lost to Cork at Turner's Cross on Monday night with Conor McDermott replacing Gavin Peers at centre half.
It was a scrappy opening to the game but Aaron McEneff came close to the opener from 20 yards when his dipping effort went narrowly over the crossbar on five minutes.
Ronan Hale got in front of his marker and on to the end of Jack Doyle's cross from the left but glanced his header wide of the far post on 20 minutes.
And two minutes later Derry broke the deadlock. Ronan Hale brought a crossfield pass down with a stunning first touch before laying it back into the path of McEneff. The midfielder turned his man with a sublime piece of skill before splitting the Bohs defence with a pin-point pass into the feet of Hale who found the back of the net despite Shane Supple's best efforts.
The visitors doubled their advantage three minutes later when Rory Hale's shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and fell kindly to Patterson who slotted into the corner from six yards for his seventh goal of the campaign.
Conor McDermott was gifted a free header from McEneff's corner but headed safely into the hands of Supple and there was growing frustrations among the home support as Derry threatened to add a third.
Derek Pender came close with a 25 yards drive which sailed over the bar in stoppage time. Ian Morris really should've found the target on 57 minutes when he was gifted a free header from Keith Ward's inswinging free-kick but he glanced his effort wide of the post.
McDonagh found Curtis with a searching 60 yard cross field pass and the striker cut inside his man at the near post before his low strike was gathered at the second attempt by Supple.
McEneff was then played into space by McDonagh but he delayed his shot, shifted it onto his right foot and blasted over the bar.
Bohs had all the possession in the Derry half but rarely troubled City skipper, Gerard Doherty,although the keeper needed to be alert to punch clear Danny Grant's dangerous cross.
And from a quick break out of defence with McDonagh, McEneff got in behind the Bohs defence and cut it back to Ronan Hale but his shot was saved by Supple with 10 minutes to go.
The Gypsies were back in the game on 86 minutes when the ball broke to substitute, Lunney on the edge of the box and he drilled the ball into the corner to set up a nervy finale.
Ronan Curtis, who played his final game for Derry before his move to Portsmouth could've capped it with a goal when clean through on goal but Supple forced him wide and the chance was lost. Substitute, Nicky Low, fresh from signing his new contract, also had a chance late on but his shot went straight into the hands of the Bohs stopper.
Bohemians: S. Supple; D. Pender, R. Cornwall, I. Morris, P. Kirk; P. Kavanagh (K. Devaney h-t), D. Watts, O. Brennan, E. Stokes; K. Ward (JJ. Lunney 67); D. Corcoran (D. Grant 73); Subs Not Used - S. Bohan, D. Casey, D. Byrne, K. Buckley.
Derry City: G. Doherty; J. McDonagh, E. Toal, C. McDermott, J. Doyle; Ronan Hale, R. Hale (N. Low 71), D. Cole, R. Curtis; A. McEneff; R. Patterson; Subs Not Used - E. Grimes, G. Peers, C. Farren. B. Doherty, A. Delap, N. Logue.
Referee - Graham Kelly.