Michael Duffy nets late winner against Bohemians as Derry City close in on leaders

Michael Duffy celebrates the winner against Bohemians.Michael Duffy celebrates the winner against Bohemians.
Michael Duffy celebrates the winner against Bohemians.
Derry City 1 Bohemians 0

MICHAEL Duffy came off the bench to grab a precious late winner for Derry City against Bohemians at Brandywell as the Candystripes closed to within a point of leaders Shelbourne.

It was a drab encounter for much of the opening stages until Ruaidhri Higgins' opted to unleash Duffy from the substitutes' bench on 68 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The winger has been struggling with injury and missed Derry's last two fixtures but he returned to hand his hometown club a huge boost ahead of next week's double header against St Pat's and Shamrock Rovers.

Daniel Kelly in action against Bohs.Daniel Kelly in action against Bohs.
Daniel Kelly in action against Bohs.

Derry had rode their luck in the first half with former City striker James Akintunde crashing a header off the post before missing a gilt-edged chance from close range.

Brian Maher also produced two smart saves inside 60 seconds to deny Declan McDaid early in the second half but it was Duffy who made the telling contribution with four minutes to go.

The ex-Dundalk man fired low past the keeper at the near post to clinch a first win in three attempts for Higgins troops - his third of the season!

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Higgins had named an unchanged side from the team held 1-1 by Shelbourne on Monday night.

Skipper Patrick McEleney and matchwinner Duffy returned from their respective injuries to bolster a strong-looking Derry bench.

Alan Reynolds, returning to Brandywell with his new assistant Stephen O'Donnell, for the first time made five changes to the team which lost to Galway in their last outing.

McDaid, Dayle Rooney, James McManus, Martin Miller and Luke Matheson all came into the starting line-up.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bohemians came so close to opening the scoring on 18 minutes when James McManus swung in a cross towards the back post where Akintunde rose above Ronan Boyce and his glancing header crashed off the post with Maher rooted to the spot.

Derry's first shot on target arrived on 25 minutes as Hoban's acrobatic scissor kick just inside the 18 yard box was gathered comfortably by Kacper Chorazka.

Akintunde, who scored 16 goals in 87 appearances for Derry, should've found the net on 28 minutes when Dayle Rooney found him in the six yard box with a pinpoint cross from the left but the strike somehow fired over the bar.

Patching curled an effort into the hand

Five minutes before the break Kelly crossed toward the back post where Ben Doherty volleyed it back across goal and it narrowly missed the head of McMullan who was unchallenged four yards from goal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The opening 15 minutes of the second half was a non-event, neither side producing anything of note.

Maher was forced into making two decent saves inside 60 seconds on the hour mark from Declan McDaid who tried his luck from 25 yards before his second effort from just inside the box was parried clear by the Derry keeper.

Ciaran Coll produced an important block at close quarters inside the Derry six yard box to deny Aboubacar Keita with 10 minutes to go.

Higgins was throwing caution to the wind as he brought on McEleney for his third appearance of the season to replace right back Ronan Boyce on 81 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Patching could've won it for City four minutes later when Adam O'Reilly drilled the ball across the face of goal but the Englishman fired the wrong side of the post.

Derry sub Duffy finally broke the deadlock with four minutes remaining when he fired the ball into the corner of the net past Chorazka at the near post for his third of the season.

That proved the winner as Derry edged closer to leader Shelbourne who were held by Drogheda at Tolka.

Derry City: Maher; Boyce (P. McEleney 81), Connolly (S. McEleney h-t), McJannet, Coll; O’Reilly (Todd 91), Patching, McMullan; Kelly (Diallo 68), Hoban, Doherty (Duffy 68); Subs Not Used 0 Ryan, Harkin, Mullen, Patton.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bohemians: Chorazka; Keita, Flores, McDaid (Piszczek 76), Rooney (Grant 88), Akintunde, McManus, McDonnell (Clarke h-t), Miller (Connolly 59), Mills, Matheson (Kukulowicz 76); Subs Not Used - Talbot, Ismala, Byrne, Okosun.

Referee: Robert Harvey.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.