Patrick McEleney injury sours big win for Derry City as Brandywell men close gap on leaders

Mark Connolly celebrates his goal against Waterford in the first half at Brandywell. Photograph by Kevin Moore.Mark Connolly celebrates his goal against Waterford in the first half at Brandywell. Photograph by Kevin Moore.
Mark Connolly celebrates his goal against Waterford in the first half at Brandywell. Photograph by Kevin Moore.
Derry City 3 Waterford 0

DERRY CITY closed the gap on leaders Shelbourne after a facile victory over Waterford at Brandywell but the night was soured by a suspected broken arm sustained by skipper Patrick McEleney.

The Shantallow man made his first start since February 24th but his night ended in agony midway through the second half after falling heavily on the artificial pitch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Three goals in the space of 19 first half minutes took the wind out of the sails of a Waterford side who won five of their previous six matches.

Michael Duffy celebrates his opening goal against Waterford with his Derry City teammates. Photographs by Kevin Moore.Michael Duffy celebrates his opening goal against Waterford with his Derry City teammates. Photographs by Kevin Moore.
Michael Duffy celebrates his opening goal against Waterford with his Derry City teammates. Photographs by Kevin Moore.

Michael Duffy netted his fifth of the season to get the ball rolling for the Candystripes who ended a three match winless run.

The winger fired emphatically past Sam Sargeant on 11 minutes after Ben Doherty played it neatly into his path just inside the Waterford 18 yard box.

Mark Connolly doubled that advantage 10 minutes later with a glancing header from Will Patching's delivery.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The league's two top scorers Padraig Amond and Pat Hoban were on display but it was the latter who continued his hot streak against the Blues on the half hour mark.

The Galwegian was played through on goal by Paul McMullan and his first time strike from 18 yards nestled into the bottom corner to take his season's tally to 10.

Of those 10 Hoban has netted FIVE past Waterford in the team's three meetings so far.

Waterford had averaged two goals per game in their previous seven games but that fruitful run came to an abrupt end as Derry made it three wins from three against the Munster men.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was a much needed victory for Ruaidhri Higgins' troops but the mood on Foyleside was dampened by a suspected broken arm sustained by skipper Patrick McEleney who was stretchered off after falling heavily after a challenge in the second half.

Three days after a scoreless draw against Dundalk at Oriel Park, Higgins made two changes with McEleney making his first start since February 24th.

Doherty also came back into the starting line-up with Sadou Diallo and Ciaran Coll dropped to the bench.

Waterford also made two changes to the team that won against Bohemians at the RSC on Friday night as Ryan Burke and Niall O'Keefe replaced Robbie McCourt and Dean McMenamy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Derry were quick out of the blocks and Will Patching came close with a glancing header on two minutes after the ex-Man City youth met McMullan's cross but watched it go narrowly over the bar.

Moments later Shane McEleney misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing Amond to intercept and the striker's first time strike from 30 yards was palmed away by Maher.

Derry broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion on 11 minutes when Doherty raced onto a long ball upfield and played it into the path of Duffy who made the run over his shoulder. The winger took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable strike past Sam Sargeant - his fifth goal of the season.

It was the 100th goal scored by Derry City at Brandywell under Higgins' management!

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Derry doubled their advantage on 21 minutes when, from a corner kick, Patching clipped the ball into the box and Connolly edged in front of his marker to head beyond Sargeant for his second goal since arriving from Dundee in July 2022.

Hoban got in on the act on the half hour when McMullan intercepted a loose pass in the Waterford final third, found the run of Hoban through the middle and the striker fired low past Sargeant from 18 yards.

From a corner kick the ball was headed back across goal towards Parsons who headed towards the target but it was saved well by Maher.

Five minutes before the break Derry gave away possession and Parsons was unfortunate to watch his 20 yard curling strike rebound off the far post.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It could#ve been a lot worse going in at the interval for Waterford as Dummigan's inswinging cross was met by the head of Hoban who arrowed a powerful header narrowly wide of the post.

Amond almost made Derry pay for a sloppy misplaced pass just outside the penalty area and the striker's well hit shot was deflected just wide of the far post.

There was real concern amongst the Derry players when Patrick McEleney went down under the challenge of Gbemi Arubi clutching his left arm. After lengthy treatment on the pitch, the skipper was stretchered off.

The long delay understandably took the intensity out of the match and it petered out to a close.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There was 11 minutes additional time signalled by the fourth official and Grant Horton forced a smart save from Brian Maher as Waterford tried to reduce the deficit.

Derry City: Maher: Dummigan, Connolly, S. McEleney, Doherty; McMullan, O'Reilly (Harkin 95), P. McEleney (Diallo 71), Duffy (Coll 91); Patching (Kelly 71); Hoban (Mullen 91); Subs Not Used - Ryan, Boyce, Harkin, McJannet, Patton.

Waterford: Sargeant; Power, Horton, Leahy, Burke; Pattisson (Radkowski h-t), O'Keefe (McCourt 79), McDonald (Skwierczynski 84), McCormack (McMenamy 79), Parsons (Arubi h-t); Amond; Subs Not Used - Connor, Evans, Queally, Forde.

Referee - Paul McLaughlin.

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.