Ten man Derry City fall to third straight defeat at Richmond Park

St Patrick's Athletic 2 Derry City 0

Friday, 9th April 2021, 7:44 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 7:46 pm
Danny Lupano sends a header wide of the mark early in the first half before his sending off on 33 minutes at Richmond Park. Picture by Kevin Moore.

DERRY CITY remain pointless and rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division table after a hugely frustrating night against St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park.

Reduced to 10 men when Danny Lupano received a second yellow card for pulling on the shirt of Matty Smith it was always going to be an uphill battle for a team down in confidence.

Nathan Gartside had kept City in the game with a string of excellent saves to deny Smith, Ian Bermingham and Chris Forrester as the teams went in at the break deadlocked.

However, once Robbie Benson found the opener with a neat finish at the back post on the hour mark the Saints controlled the game.

Substitute Darragh Burns then fired into the far corner of the Derry net on 72 minutes just five minutes after coming off the bench to clinch the victory.

The result saw the unbeaten Saints move to the summit of the table while Derry will go into Tuesday night's home clash with Shamrock Rovers desperate to turn around a worrying run of defeats.

Declan Devine made just the one change from the team which lost to Waterfordf last weekend with Akintunde replacing Will Fitzgerald who dropped to the bench.

Danny Lafferty and Cameron McJannet react after Darragh Burns puts St Pat's 2-0 ahead. Photography by Kevin Moore.

Derry started brightly and from Patching's short corner on eight minutes Malone crossed towards the back post but Lupano's downward header went wide of the post.

Jack Malone did superbly to dispossess Ian Bermingham inside the Saints penalty box and the City midfielder crossed towards Akintunde who miscued his header wide of the target on 20 minutes.

The home side enjoyed a decent spell on the half hour mark, getting some joy down Derry's right hand side.

Benson sent in a couple of dangerous crosses which were dealt with capably but when Bermingham sent a low cross towards Ronan Coulglan and it took a slight deflection which took it across the face of goal and behind.

It was a lucky escape for the Candy Stripes but the visitors faced an uphill battle on 33 minutes when Lupano was given his marching orders.

The right back was harshly booked for his first challenge of the game on Smith with 10 minutes gone. And when Smith raced down the right flank against Lupano tugged his shirt and Connolly flashed a second yellow card.

From the resultant corner Gartside produced an excellent save to deny Smith as he turned it behind for a corner.

St Pat's were making the extra man count and after lovely skill by Chris Forrester who found Smith, the play was spread wide to Bermingham in space and his low strike at the near post was saved by the feet of Gartside.

Frustration on the Derry bench was building as the referee failed to award a free-kick when Akintunde was clearly fouled from behind by John Mountney on the edge of the box.

Danny Lafferty's effort on the half volley failed to trouble Vitezslav Jaros two minutes before the break.

Gartside again did well to parry clear Forrester's volley just inside the 18 yard box as he connected superbly with Toal's headed clearance and Derry were glad to see the half-time whistle.

Predictably the Saints were bossing the ball at the start of the second half and when Smith crossed invitingly towards the back post Bermingham arrived late and fired over the crossbar.

The Saints finally broke down Derry's resolve on 60 minutes when Coughlan wriggled his way into the penalty area. It broke to Benson who made no mistake when slotting into the net from close range for his first goal of the season.

The Dubliners added a second on 72 minutes after a quick break as substitute Burns, just five minutes after coming on, won a yard of space before firing clinically into the far corner of the net.

The referee bizarrely awarded a corner kick to St Pat's after Lee Desmond's free header went over the crossbar with two minutes to go leaving Devine furious.

Mr Connolly blew the final whistle and it's another one to forget for Derry who continue to look for their first point of the campaign after three games.

St Pat's: V. Jaros; J. Mountney, S. Bone, L. Desmond, I. Bermingham; M. Smith (D. Burns 67), J. Lennon, R. Benson, C. Forrester (J McClelland 80), B. King (A. Lewis 80); R. Coughlan (N. Melvin-Lambert85); Subs Not Used - B. Murphy J. Keeley, B. McCormack, P. Barret, K. Corbally.

Derry City: N Gartside; D. Lupano, E. Toal, C. McJannet, D. Lafferty; J. Malone, C. Harkin (M. Glynn 81), J. Thomson (R. Boyce 73), J. Akintunde (B. Barr 61); W. Patching; D. Parkhouse (W.Fitzgerald 73); Subs Not Used - J. Lemoignan, C. Coll, M. McFadden, P. Ferry, C. McLoughlin.

Referee - Ben Connolly (Dublin).