Wexford Youths 1, Derry City 2
RORY PATTERSON netted a dramatic late winning goal against Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park to stretch Derry City’s winning run to four matches.
The experienced striker got on to the end of the outstanding Barry McNamee’s free-kick three minutes into stoppage time and his looping header nestled into the far corner.
It was the second week in a row the Candy Stripes snatched a late winner as they join leaders Dundalk on 12 points.
City had goalkeeper, Gerard Doherty, arguably the ‘man of the match’, to thank for string of saves which kept the Wexford attack at bay in the first half.
Conor McCormack gave the visitors the lead on 69 minutes with a stunning strike but Danny Furlong cancelled it out with eight minutes to go.
And as Derry pressed for the winner, Patterson came to the fore to register his fourth of the season- his header proving to be the last action of the match.
The ‘Candy Stripes’ were unchanged from the team which recorded a dramatic win over Galway United last weekend despite pre-match fears over the fitness of skipper, Ryan McBride, Conor McCormack and Dean Jarvis. No place, therefore for last week’s match winner, Nathan Boyle who was named among the substitutes.
For Wexford, there were two changes from the team which drew 3-3 at Bohemians with former Sligo Rovers man, Danny Ledwith and Andy Mulligan handed debuts and Eric Molloy and Johhny Bonner missing out.
There was a poignant minute’s silence observed for the Daniels and McGrotty families after the names of those laid to rest following the tragic accident at Buncrana Pier were read out before kick-off.
Wexford made a lively start with the wind at their backs and when Danny Furlong broke down the left side on three minutes, he found Paul Murphy in support breaking into the box and his shot was blocked bravely by Gerard Doherty who came racing off his line.
Almost immediately Ronan Curtis made a break down the left flank and his cross into the box was deflected off Craig McCabe and it looped over the head of goalkeeper, Graham Doyle and only the wind stopped it from sneaking in at the far post as it bounced behind for a corner,
McNamee’s inswinging corner kick on eight minutes was punched onto the back of a defender by the Wexford goalkeeper before the ball was cleared behind for another corner.
Gareth McGlynn slotted the ball into the net after getting in behind the Wexford defence but the referee’s assistant quickly raised his flag for offside on 14 minutes.
Doherty again came to Derry’s rescue on 20 minutes when Chris Kenny’s flick-on played in Furlong who got a touch before the Derry keeper came sharply to the edge of the area to block the danger.
Andy Mulligan was causing problems for Derry right back, Niclas Vemmelund with his pace on the left wing. He got in behind the Dane on 38 minutes and crossed into the penalty area but there was no one there. However there were huge appeals for a foul on Furlong who went to ground on the edge of the area in an off-the-ball incident but the officials took no action.
Furlong was first on to the end of a long punt upfield from Wexford keeper, Graham Doyle but his shot went wide on 39 minutes as the home side finished the half strongly.
And deep into stoppage time Aidan Friel’s cross found Furlong whose shot on the volley bounced off the ground and Doherty had to be alert to tip it over the bar.
Derry penned their hosts into their own half after the restart as they made full advantage of the strong wind but it was Wexford who created the opening chance when Mulligan’s deflected shot sat up nicely for Kenny to dive and head towards goal but Doherty gathered cleanly.
But it was Derry who broke the deadlock on 69 minutes with a stunning strike from McCormack who linked up with Barry McNamee 20 yards from the Wexford goal before driving his shot into the top corner.
With eight minutes to go substitute, Molloy did superbly on the right wing to get away from his marker before delivering an enticing ball into the six yard area where Furlong buried his shot into the net.
Rory Patterson did well to make a yard on his marker before curling his long range effort just wide.
Derry pressed for the winner with a succession of corners and then Patterson peeled off at the back post as McNamee sent his free-kick towards goal before sending his looping header across goal and into the net at the back post.
Wexford Youths: G. Doyle; C. McCabe, G. Delaney (S. Last 82), L. Grace, R. Delaney; A. Friel, C. Kenny, D. Ledwith (C. Wall,79), A. Mulligan (E. Molloy 66); P. Murphy, D. Furlong; Subs Not Used - J. Peare, C. English, C. O’Keefe, M. Conor.
Derry City: G. Doherty: N. Vemmelund, R. McBride, A. Barry, D. Jarvis; H. Monaghan, C. McCormack; G. McGlynn ( K. Ward 58), B. McNamee, R. Curtis (N. Boyle 76); R. Patterson; Subs Not Used - S. Patton, A. McEneff, J. Allan, P. McClean, R. Doherty.
Referee - Graham Kelly.