Derry City 4, Longford Town 0
DERRY CITY showed no ill effects from their enforced break with a second half demolition of 10 man Longford Town at Brandywell as they returned to winning ways in some style.
It was one-way traffic throughout and Aaron McEneff deservedly gave the Candystripes the lead from the penalty spot four minutes from the interval after Kevin O’Connor handled Nathan Boyle’s cross.
And on the stroke of half-time, O’Connor was shown his second yellow card for a foul on McEneff in the middle of the park to put the game beyond the Midlanders who remain rooted to the bottom.
Derry’s Austrian midfielder, Lukas Schubert added a second three minutes after coming off the bench and he celebrated in front of his good friend, Austrian international, Stefan Ilsanker in the stands.
Barry McNamee then added a third from close range to celebrate the signing of his new contract extension before Rory Patterson made amends for his earlier penalty miss with a fourth City goal.
Kenny Shiels made three changes from the team who suffered that 5-0 loss to Dundalk in their last outing.
With skipper, Ryan McBride suspended, Conor McDermott came in to replace him at the back.
Ronan Curtis and Nathan Boyle were also handed starts at the expense of Lukas Schubert and Harry Monaghan.
Derry started confidently and Curtis won the ball on the left wing on nine minutes and drove inside to find Conor McCormack. And the Co. Louth man’s first time strike needed to be pushed behind by the alert Ryan Coulter.
Curtis was causing problems on the left wing and when his deflected cross sat up nicely for McCormack on 24 minutes, the Derry midfielder’s volleyed shot from 12 yards was blocked superbly by new signing, Mvita Nkelu.
From the resultant short corner McEneff’s deflected shot needed to be headed off the line by Noel Haverty
Derry were pressing and McNamee was presented with a glorious chance on 34 minutes when he got onto the end of Dean Jarvis’ clever chip over the Longford defence but he put his shot narrowly over the bar.
The visitors were defending desperately but when Nathan Boyle’s cross from the edge of the penalty area was handled by Kevin O’Connor the referee had no option but to point to the spot.,
And with four minutes to go before the interval, McEneff confidently slotted the spotkick into the corner of the net,
And it was to get worse for Longford and O’Connor who was shown a second yellow for tripping up McEneff inside the Derry half on the stroke of half-time.
Derry doubled their lead on 63 minutes when substitute, Schubert brought down McCormack’s searching pass with a sublime first touch before prodding the ball past the keeper and into the corner.
Schubert was brought down inside the penalty area by Pat Flynn on 72 minutes but Patterson blasted the spotkick over the bar.
Patterson’s audacious lob needed to be clawed out from underneath the bar by Coulter moments later but McNamee had gambled and hit the back of the net with the rebound.
And Patterson got in on the act with seven minutes to go when he out-muscled Mvita Nkelu and blasted past Coulter.
The Longford keeper then sent Patterson’s long range effort behind with a save at fiull stretch as Derry went for the jugular.
It was a terrific response from the Candystripes after that demoralising defeat to the champions as they keep their hopes of European qualification alive and well.
Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, N. Vemmelund, A. Barry, D. Jarvis; C. McCormack, A. McEneff; N. Boyle (L Schubert 60), B. McNamee (J. Allen 84), R. Curtis (J. Daniels 81); R. Patterson; Subs Not Used - S. Patton, P. McClean, R. Holden, K. Ward.
Longford Town: R. Coulter; K. Dillon (P. Gannon 68), N. Haverty, Y, Mvita Nkelu, P. Flynn; M. Hughes, K. Simon, K. O’Connor, C. Powell; L. Duffy (P. McGlynn h-t), E. Dsane (D. O’Sullivan 76); Subs Not Used - P. Skinner, J. Mulhall, T. Noack-Hofmann, R. Gorman.
Referee - Robert Harvey (Dublin).