Derry City suffer disappointing defeat

Derry City's Jamie McDonagh.
Derry City's Jamie McDonagh.

Derry CIty 1-2 Sligo Rovers

DERRY CITY'S Jekyll and Hyde season continued as they suffered their fourth home league defeat of the season.

Two goals in the space of seven minutes ensured Sligo Rovers for the second time this year deservedly picked up the points at the Brandywell.

Despite taking the lead totally against the run of play, the Candy Stripes were second best and look like a team who are either exhausted or just don't know what they are doing.

Derry gave a debut to defender Kevin McHattie, who signed just this week, the ex-Hearts man slotted straight into left-back. Kenny Shiels also brought back Ben Fisk, who replaced the injury Conor McDermott.

Rovers' Regan Donelon created the first opening for the visitors on seven minutes as his in-swinging corner from the right found David Cawley at the near post, but the midfielder headed wide.

On 27 minutes a super last ditch tackle by McHattie denied Lewis Morrison, as the winger had got in behind the City back-line to latch onto Mickey Drennan's through ball.

Moments later the woodwork came to City's rescue as a miss placed pass by Fisk towards Aaron McEneff, was intercepted by Rhys McCabe, but the Rovers' skipper's long range strike, which had Doherty beaten, came back off the post.

Completely against the run of play, Derry took the lead on 35 minutes as Dean Shiels' clever pass to Jamie McDonagh, found the right back high up the pitch and he made no mistake firing into Mitchell Beeney's left hand corner.

On the hour mark a clever cross by Lewis Morrison found Mikey Drennan, but his looping header, which was goal bound had to be pushed around the post by a full stretched Doherty.

The visitors deservedly levelled things ten minutes later as Cawley ghosted into the City box to latch onto Lee Lynch’s pass, before toe poking the ball past a out-rushing Doherty.

Derry went close themselves minutes later but Gavin Peers’ powerful header from Ronan Hale’s corner was superbly kept out by a diving Beeney.

That save sparked the visitors into life and they took the lead on 79 minutes as both substitutes Chris Twardek and Caolan McAleer combined.

The Canadian native burst down the right before his centre found an unmarked McAleer, who blasted home at the back post with what was his first touch.

In the closing stages City substitute Ronan Hale fired inches wide as they pushed for an equaliser, while at the other end in stoppage time Lee Lynch wasted a glorious chance to seal the points for the visitors, blasting over from close range.

Derry City: G Doherty, McDonagh, Peers, Seaborne, McHattie; Splaine, Rory Hale, McEneff; Fisk (Ronan Hale 73), Roy, Shiels.

Sligo Rovers: Beeney, Donelon, McFadden, McCabe, Drennan (Cretaro 66), Lynch, McClean, Keaney (Twardek 61), Mahon, Cawley, Morrison (McAleer 75).

Referee: Mr Tomas Connolly (Dublin).