Derry City 1, Shamrock Rovers 0
PAUL HEGARTY’s managerial reign at Brandywell got off to a dream start as Dean Jarvis headed home the winning goal in the second half against Shamrock Rovers to ease relegation worries.
It was defender Jarvis’ first goal for Derry City and it was a vital one which ensured Derry climbed into eigth place, three points above the relegation play-off spot.
The City defender rose to head home Mark Timlin’s header on 74 minutes to seal the Candystripes’ first league win at Brandywell since July 31st last.
But they had goalkeeper, Gerard Doherty to thank for twice producing outstanding saves in either half to deny Brandon Miele and ex-Chelsea star, Damien Duff on one-on-one situations.
Hegarty made three changes from the team which crashed out the FAI Cup to Cork on Monday night.
Barry McNamee, Mark Quigley and Rovers’ on loan defender Rob Cornwall making way for Conor McCormack, Ciaran O’Connor and Mark Timlin.
And City skipper, Ryan McBride passed a pre-match fitness test to give the new caretaker boss a much needed boost.
O’Connor looked sharp from the outset and he showed Maxime Blanchard a clean set of heels in the second minute but his low strike from 12 yards was saved comfortably by Barry Murphy.
Drennan sliced through the Derry defence five minutes later with a sublime throughball and Brandon Miele got in behind the last man. However, Doherty was quick off his line and deflected the winger’s strike over the bar.
Rovers were on the attack again on 12 minutes as Brennan found Miele on the left side of the Derry area and his low strike shaved the outside of the near post.
Derry’s teenage striker, O’Connor had a chance to give the home side the lead going into the break when he latched onto McNamee’s lay-off and shot through a forest of legs but Murphy gathered cleanly.
It was a tightly contested opening yo the second half and Pat Fenlon introduced Damien Duff from the bench on 56 minutes to unlock the stubborn Derry defence.
And the ex-Irish international was gifted a glorious chance to break the deadlock 10 minutes later.
He latched onto Miele’s pass and went one-on-one with Doherty, but the Derry keeper saved superbly with his outstretched leg.
And they were made rue that missed chance as Jarvis found the back of the net for the Candystripes on 74 minutes when heading home Mark Timlin’s corner kick at the back post.
Derry City: G. Doherty: B. McLaughlin, R. McBride (P. McClean 81), A. Barry, D. Jarvis; S. Dooley, C. McCormack, P. Lowry, M. Timlin; P. McEleney (B. McNamee 34), C. O;Connor; Subs Not Used - S. Patton, C. Morrison, J. Daniels, M. Quigley, A. McEneff.
Shamrock Rovers: B. Murphy; S. Madden (K. Marty Waters 81), M. Blanchard, D. O’Connor, L. Byrne (C. Kenna h-t); G. Brennan, P. Cregg, G. McCabe, B. Miele; M. Drennan, G. McCaffrey (D. Duff 56); Subs Not Used - C. Hyland, D. Kavanagh, R. Brennan, S. McPhail.
Referee - Robert Harvey.