Derry City's nine match unbeaten run ended by 10 man Shelbourne

Derry City 1 Shelbourne 2

By Simon Collins
Friday, 15th April 2022, 10:23 pm
Updated Friday, 15th April 2022, 10:26 pm
Cameron McJannet had a goal disallowed in the second half. Photograph by Kevin Moore.
Cameron McJannet had a goal disallowed in the second half. Photograph by Kevin Moore.

SHELBOURNE substitute Brian McManus proved the hero as the 10 man Dubliners ended Derry City's nine match unbeaten start to the season.

James Akintunde gave the Candystripes a deserved 31st minute lead despite claims for handball as the dominant Foylesiders looked to be cruising to a seventh straight win.

However, Damien Duff's side turned the game on its head with two goals inside six second half minutes to keep intact their own impressive unbeaten run on the road.

James Akintunde got Derry off to the perfect start with his first half goal. Photo by Kevin Moore.

Shane Farrell equalised for Shels who came out fighting at the start of the second half and Duff's triple substitution changed the course of the game.

Derry were made to pay for missed chances and Cameron McJannet's header was ruled out by the officials moments after McManus fired Shelbourne in front on 74 minutes.

Shels first team coach Alan Quinn saw red for protesting about Derry's opening goal and late on Aodh Dervin was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

It mattered little as Derry were unable to break down the Dubliners who ended their six match winning streak which began with victory at Tolka Park back on March 4th.

With Shamrock Rovers winning 1-0 against St Pat's at Tallaght, Derry's lead at the top was cut to three.

Ruaidhri Higgins made three changes from the team which won at Finn Harps last weekend with Brian Maher an unexpected omission from the squad as Nathan Gartside was handed his first start of the season.

Patrick McEleney and Akintunde were back in the starting line-up at the expense of Danny Lafferty and Matty Smith.

Duff made just the one change from the team which lost to Shamrock Rovers on their last outing with Adam Thomas replacing John Ross Wilson.

Derry bossed the opening stages and were first to threaten when Kavanagh tried his luck from just outside the box on his right foot but his shot was smothered by Brendan Clarke with three minutes gone.

Cameron McJannet did well to find space on the left wing before sending a dangerous cross into the penalty area forcing Conor Kane to fluff his clearance and Shels were fortunate it didn't end up in the back of the net as he screwed it wide for a corner.

Derry were dominating the ball but the visitor's defence were proving difficult to break down and it was clear to see why Damien Duff's team have conceded just once away from home this season.

In fact the Dubliners' first foray into the Derry half arrived on 18 minutes as they broke at pace but the move came to nothing.

Ronan Boyce played a neat one-two with Patrick McEleney to get in behind the Shels defence but his shot from a narrow angle at the near post was saved comfortably by Clarke on 25 minutes.

The Candystripes finally broke Shels' resolve on 31 minutes when Patching clipped a lovely pass into Akintunde inside the area. With his back to goal, the Englishman turned and fired low under the body of Clarke and into the net for his second goal of the season.

There were suspicions of handball in the build-up as Akintunde attempted to bring it under control and Shels boss Damien Duff was less than pleased with the officials.

City striker Jamie McGonigle got pastLuke Byrne and had a clear sight on goal but was fouled by the Shels defender who was fortunate when referee Rob Hennessy flashed a yellow card.

The in-form Patching stepped up to take the free-kick but curled it over the wall and narrowly wide of the target.

McGonigle was put in behind the Shelbourne defence moments later as he latched on Patrick McEleney's through ball but Clarke was equal to his first time shot.

As the teams made their way off the pitch at the haf-time break Shelbourne coach Alan Quinn was shown a red card for protesting furiously about Akintunde's goal.

Shelbourne stepped it up a gear at the start of the second half and when Shane Farrel found Dan Carr's run towards the penalty area, the striker dragged his shot agonisingly wide of the far post with Gartside beaten.

The Shelbourne bench were becoming increasingly frustrated and assistant manager Joey O'Brien was next into the referee's book for dissent.

Duff made a triple substitution and it had the desired effect as Jack Moylan's first contribution from free-kick was the visitor's first shot on target which was saved well by Gartside.

Shelbourne equalised on 68 minutes as Kameron Ledwidge threaded the ball through to Farrell who brushed off the challenge of McJannet and fired into the far corner.

McJannet, who signed a new two year deal midweek, then headed powerfully into the net but the referee's assistant signalled for a foul on the goalkeeper and the goal was scratched off.

At the other end Shelbourne turned the game on its head when substitute, Brian McManus beat Gartside with a terrific strike from outside the penalty area on 74 minutes.

Derry pressed for the equaliser and Dummigan's shot from distance was parried into the path of McGonigle who reacted quickest but the striker's close range effort was charged down by the Shels keeper.

Patching was denied what looked like a certain goal on 88 minutes when he was played in behind the Shelbourne defence but McManus' last ditch tackle turned the ball behind for a corner.

Shelbourne midfielder Dervin received his second yellow card in the space of 13 minutes as the Dubliners were reduced to nine men deep into stoppage time.

Patching stepped up to take the resultant free-kick from 30 yards but curled his effort wide of the post.

It proved to be the final chance of the match as Shels deservedly took three points back to Tolka.

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Derry City: Gartside; Boyce, McEleney (McLaughlin 93), Toal, McJannet; Kavanagh (Thomson 81), Dummigan, Patching; McEleney (Smith 62); Akintunde (Lafferty 62), McGonigle; Subs Not Used - Doherty, Coll, Storey, Malone, McCallion.

Shelbourne: Clarke; Thomas (McManus 60), O'Driscoll (Griffin 60), Byrne, Ledwidge, Kane; Coyle, Dervin, McEneff (Moylan 60); Farrell (Lunney 85), Carr (Boyd 76): Subs Not Used - Webb,Hawkins, Molloy, Hakiki.

Referee - Rob Hennessy.