Derry City win Brandywell thriller

Derry City's Ally Roy celebrates with Aaron McEneff after scoring early on.
Derry City's Ally Roy celebrates with Aaron McEneff after scoring early on.

Derry City 2-1 St Patrick's Athletic

DERRY CITY showed the fighting spirit that boss Kenny Shiels wanted from his side, to see off St Patrick's Athletic, in a emphatic finale.

Gerard Doherty's great penalty save to deny Killian Brennan, along with Rory Patterson's 89th minute winner, resulted in a action packed encounter, which also seen three players get dismissed in stoppage time.

Derry City made three changes to the side which lost heavily at Cork City on Monday night, with Conor McDermott, Eoin Toal and Rory Hale replacing Darren Cole, Ben Fisk and Ronan Hale.

Derry started like a house on fire and took the lead in the third minute as Ally Roy showed great pace, to skip away from centre-back Killian Brennan, to latch onto his own flick-on, before making no mistake drilling the ball low into the bottom left hand corner.

St Pat's went close to levelling things as the Brennan brothers linked up, as Killian's right wing free-kick found younger brother Ryan, but his close range header was deflected wide by his own team-mate Lee Desmond.

Soon after Derry went close themselves to adding a second but Rory Hale's curling effort from the left hand side of the box, whistled just past the post, with Saints keeper Brendan Clarke struggling.

The woodwork came to Derry's rescue on 14 minutes as Aaron McEneff loss possession on the edge of the box to Ryan Brennan, he feed Conan Byrne, but his close range strike hit the post.

McEneff was inches away from making amends but his 25 yard stinging free-kick, which had Saints keeper Brendan Clarke beaten, flashed just wide.

Liam Buckley's side did equalise on 33 minutes as Darragh Markey's left wing cross wasn't cleared and Ryan Brennan, despite Gavin Peers' best attempts, managed to turn the ball home from close range.

The Dubliners were inches away from taking the lead on on 58 minutes but Killian Brennan's looping header was tipped over by Doherty.

The City keeper had to make a better save on 64 minutes when Simon Madden's right wing cross found Conan Byrne, his powerful header was kept out by the Creggan man.

Soon after Derry should have regained the lead as St Pat's skipper Ian Bermingham let Ronan Hale get in behind the defence, but the substitute was denied by a smart save by an out-rushing Clarke.

On 72 minutes Ben Fisk did well to get away from a few challenges, but his low drive from the left hand edge of the box, was grabbed at the second attempt by Clarke.

Soon after a Jamie McDonagh right wing cross found Eoin Toal at the back post, but the big centre-back headed over from close range.

The Dubliners were awarded a penalty on 82 minutes when Madden was brought down inside the box by Fisk, but Killian Brennan's resulting spot-kick was superbly kept out by Doherty, the keeper diving low to his left.

The visitors continued to pile forward and went close to taking the lead again a few minutes later as a goalmouth scramble ended with Ryan Brennan's close range strike superbly blocked on the line by McDonagh.

On 89 minute Derry netted what turned out to be the winner as super play by McEneff ended with the midfielder skipping away from Killian Brennan before feeding substitute Patterson, who made no mistake from close range, firing home to spark wild celebrations.

The action wasn't finished there as referee Robert Harvey showed red cards to St Pat's duo Bermingham and Thomas Byrne and also to City's Toal, after an off the ball incident sparked a melee inside the City box.

Derry City: G Doherty, Toal, Peers, Seaborne; McDonagh, Splaine (Ronan Hale 61), Rory Hale, Shiels, McDermott (Fisk HT); McEneff, Roy.

St Patrick's Athletic: B Clarke, Madden, Desmond, K Brennan, Bermingham; C Byrne (Turner 77), R Brennan, Markey, D Clarke, Lennon, Keggan (T Byrne 70).

Referee: Mr Robert Harvey (Dublin).