Derry City secure deserved win over Dundalk

Derry City 1, Dundalk 0

By Kevin McLaughlin
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 1:03 pm
Derry City's Jamie McGonigle races away celebrating after giving his side the lead against Dundalk. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCi

Derry City secured just their second win over Dundalk in 33 games, thanks to Jamie McGonigle's second half half penalty.

The victory, which was the Candy Stripes first success at the Brandywell over the Oriel Park men since 2012 and they were full value for the win.

Ruaidhri Higgins' side had chances on the counter attack to seal a bigger win, however the three points does move them seven points clear of the FAI Cup holders and puts them right in the mix to securing European football for next season.

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Derry City's Evan McLaughlin races away from Dundalk's Sam Stanton. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

CIty now have made it four victories in a row and moved to just four points behind third placed Sligo Rovers.

As expected Derry made one change with skipper Eoin Toal returning to the starting eleven and midfielder Jack Malone dropped to the bench.

For the visitors they made five changes to the side which suffered Europa Conference League heartache to Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday night, coming in came Raivis Jurkovskis, Daniel Cleary, Sean Murray, Daniel Kelly, David McMillan replacing Sonni Nattestad, Darragh Leahy, Will Patching, Greg Sloggett and Patrick Hoban.

The home side started on the front foot and they went close on four minutes as Ronan Boyce's right wing cross found McGonigle at the back post, but the ex-Crusaders front man headed over from close range.

Dundalk's Patrick McEleney walks off injury in the first half, at the Brandywell. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

City continued to pile forward in the early stages with Daniel Lafferty and McGonigle both causing the visitors all sorts of problems down their right hand side.

On 20 minutes a clever pass by Patrick McEleney found McMillan, but his first time effort from 10 yards, which was on target, was superbly blocked by Toal.

Six minutes later Kelly showed his pace to get away from Ciaron Harkin, but to his credit Nathan Gartside raced off his line to deny the winger.

McEleney, who will be playing for his home town club next season, had to be replaced on 30 minutes after Lafferty's challenge resulted in him having to be replaced by Patching.

Right on the stroke of half-time McMillan went close twice in quick succession, but on both occasions Gartside did well to save both efforts at the second attempt.

Deep into stoppage time of the first half the woodwork came to Dundalk's rescue when a quick fire counter attack ended with McGonigle feeding Joe Thomson, who did well to easily skip away from Jurkovskis, but his low drive from just inside the box, which had Alessio Abibi beaten, came back off the post.

Derry broke the deadlock on 51 minutes from the penalty spot when referee Damien McGraith pointed to the spot after McGonigle's shot was handled inside the box by Andy Boyle, after Dundalk's protests were waved away, the Dungiven man made no mistake with the resulting effort from 12 yards, side footing home into the bottom right hand corner.

Dundalk pushed hard for an equaliser by bringing on Pat Hoban just after the hour mark and the striker set-up Michael Duffy on 73 minutes, but the Derry man's header was comfortably gathered by Gartside.

The visitors were reduced to ten men in unfortunate circumstances when striker McMillan had to be stretchered off on 85 minutes and after already making their three substitutes they were unable to replace the striker.

City were inches away from adding a second soon after when Akintunde's teasing left wing cross would have found substitute Will Fitzgerald, but for Boyle's tremendous glancing touch to head clear.

Derry City: Gartside, Toal, McJannett, Coll; Boyce, Harkin, Thomson, McLaughlin (Hery 62), Lafferty; McGonigle (Fitzgerald 72), Akintunde.

Dundalk: Abibi, Dummigan, Boyle, Cleary, Jurkovskis; Stanton, McEleney (Patching 30), Murray (Hoban 63); Kelly (Sloggett 39), McMillan, Duffy.

Referee: Damien McGraith (Dublin).