Derry City snatch deserved victory at Shelbourne

Shelbourne 0, Derry City 1

Derry City's Ryan Graydon runs away celebrating his late winner, at Shelbourne.
Derry City's Ryan Graydon runs away celebrating his late winner, at Shelbourne.

Derry City once again left it late as they deservedly won the points at Shelbourne, thanks to a dramatic stoppage time winner from Ryan Graydon.

The winger's 20 yard strike took a massive deflection off Luke Byrne and sailed past a hapless Shels goalkeeper Brendan Clarke, who before the winner had made numerous saves throughout the game to deny City.

For the second game at Tolka Park this season against Damien Duff's side, the Brandywell men had to work hard and their pressure eventually paid off on 91 minutes as Graydon's lucky, but deserved winner, sealed the points.

The three points combined with Dundalk's defeat at Sligo Rovers, means City move above the Oriel Park men into second spot.

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The visitors made three changes to the side which defeated Cork City on Friday night, with centre-back Shane McEleney replacing the suspended Mark Connolly; Joe Thomson and Brandon Kavanagh also started for duo Michael Duffy and Will Patching, who had to settle for a place on the bench.

Derry started rather surprisingly with James Akintunde playing high on the left of a front three and young Kavanagh playing up through the middle.

City created a chance straight from the kick-off after a neat passing move ended with Patrick McEleney's curling 20 yard strike, which had Clarke scrambling, flashed just wide.

Another flowing move by the Brandywell men cut right through the Shels defence, but Akintunde's close range strike, which had Clarke beaten, was disallowed, as the Londoner was adjudged to have been in a offside position to turn home Graydon's knock-down.

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Ruaidhrí Higgins side dominated the opening 25 minutes with Sadou Diallo and Patrick McEleney running the show in midfield and only allowed the home side a few half chances, which Gavin Molloy and Brian McManus blasted over.

Derry goalkeeper Brian Maher was called into action moments later, but he comfortably held JJ Lunney's deflected 20 yard effort.

On 41 minutes a neat ball found McManus free on the edge of the box, but the Shels midfielder fired over, much to the frustration of the home support, as the Dubliners finished the first half the better.

Early in the second half a clever pass down the left by Ciaran Coll picked out Thomson, his first time centre found Akintunde, but the frontman's tame side footed shot from 12 yards was straight at Clarke.

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Derry made a double change on the hour mark with Ronan Boyce and Duffy replacing Thomson and Kavanagh, as the visitors looked to up their tempo.

Soon after the Candystripes went close twice in quick succession but Patrick McEleney's curling left footed shot was tipped over by Clarke and McManus did well to block Boyce's close range header, after Duffy's resulting corner had picked him out.

With their tails up a clever pass by Cameron Dummigan released Duffy down the left, his centre fell to Akintunde, but the front man's close range shot was somehow kept out by Clarke.

That man Clarke had to be at his best again on 75 minutes as Graydon latched onto Gavin Molloy's terrible pass, before racing into the Shels penalty box but his powerful shot was deflected over by the ex-St Pat's net-minder.

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Derry had another golden chance on 89 minutes as Patrick McEleney's teasing left footed centre found substitute Cian Kavanagh, but the big striker couldn't keep his header down from six yards.

Right at the death the visitors won it as Graydon's long range pile driver, took a wicket deflection off the unfortunate Byrne, before sailing pass a flat-footed Clarke and into the net.

Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke, Conor Kane, Kameron Ledwidge, Luke Byrne, Shane Griffin; Shane Farrell, JJ Lunney, Brian McManus (Aodh Dervin 67), Gavin Molloy, Sean Boyd, Jack Moylan (Gavin Hodgins 85).

Derry City: Brian Maher, Cameron Dummigan, Shane McEleney, Cameron McJannet, Ciaran Coll; Sadou Diallo, Patrick McEleney, Joe Thomson (Ronan Boyce 60); Ryan Graydon (Daniel Lafferty 92), James Akintunde (Cian Kavanagh 77), Brandon Kavanagh (Michael Duffy 60).

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Referee: Rob Harvey.