Derry City 3, Drogheda United 0
BARRY McNamee capped his 100th appearance in a Derry City shirt with a magical 35 yard first half strike as the Candy Stripes recorded a comfortable victory over 10 man Drogheda United at Brandywell.
Anthony Elding had opened his City account with a well taken brace but it was McNamee’s wonder goal which lit up the Lone Moor Road venue on the night.
Elding had stooped low to head Mark Timlin’s cross into the net after just nine minutes - Derry’s first shot on target.
And with six minutes before the break, McNamee controlled Joe Gorman’s clearance on his chest before firing his left-footed volley into the net with Michael Schlingermann helpless.
City controlled proceedings in the second half and when Josh Daniels was bundled over inside the box by Jason Marks, referee, Robert Rogers pointed to the spot while Marks was also sent to the stands for his indiscretion.
Elding took responsibility for the penalty and gave Schlingermann no chance as he slotted into the net as Derry cruised to their second league win of the campaign.
Drogheda had pressed their hosts deep into their own half during the opening stages of the first half and Sean Brennan tested Gerard Doherty twice inside seven minutes.
Brennan’s long range strike was saved low by Doherty who was making his 300th appearance for the Candystripes.
And Brennan almost caught Doherty out with a free kick wide on the left five minutes later but the Derry keeper kept it out at full stretch.
It was the home lot who broke the deadlock on nine minutes and it was Elding who opened his Derry City account.
Mark Timlin skipped past Jason Marks and delivered an iviting ball into the six yard area and Elding stooped low to head into the net.
But it was City’s second strike which brought the attendance to their feet as McNamee controlled Joe Gorman’s clearance on his chest before rifling his volley into the net from 35 yards - a stunning strike!
Derry remained in command at the start of the second half and when Josh Daniels spread the play to Timlin who was free just inside the Drogheda area, the winger’s first time shot went high over the bar.
Daryl Kavanagh came so close to reducing the deficit from a free-kick on the edge of the area but it dipped narrowly over the crossbar on the hour mark.
Josh Daniels was bundled over inside the Drogheda penalty area on 75 minutes by Jason Marks and referee, Robert Rogers pointed to the spot.
Elding took responsibility for the spotkick and dispatched his penalty past Michael Schlingermann for his second of the night.
The Englishman was denied his hat-trick on 81 minutes when Mick Daly got in front of him to head Philip Lowry’s dangerous cross behind.
With the extra man advantage Derry threatened to add a fourth but were unable to inflict any further damage on their visitors.
Derry City: G. Doherty; S. Kelly, R. McBride, S. McEleney (S. Clucas 71), A. Barry; M. Timlin, B. McNamee, P. Lowry (S. Houston 83),, J. Daniels; P. McEleney (R. Curran 83), A. Elding: Subs Not Used: S. Patton, N. Boyle, S.Sharkey, C. Morrison.
Drogheda Utd: M. Schlingermann; M. Daly, L. Buckley, J. Gorman, J. Marks; C. Brady (M. Rooney 70), S. Maher, M. Hughes, S. Brennan (L. Duffy h-t), C. Walshe; D. Kavanagh; Subs Not Used: D. Connelly, R. O’Reilly, S. Dunne, M. Scott, T. Mulvenna.
Referee: Robert Rogers (Dublin).