Ronan Boyce celebrates his goal. Pic by Matt Browne/ Sportsfile
Derry City 1
Ronan Boyce’s second goal of the season earned all three points for Derry City in a tense encounter at bottom-of-the-table Waterford.
The young defender scored after just three minutes at the RSC, heading in a Will Patching free kick from close range, and that proved to be enough for the Candystripes.
City were completely dominant in the first half, but it was a different story in the second half, although Waterford ultimately lacked the quality to take any of the half chances which came their way.
It took just three minutes for Derry City to take the lead, doing so with their first attack. Goalkeeper Brian Murphy needlessly raced from his area and fouled James Akintunde in the corner, gifting the visitors a free kick. Patching delivered the ball into the near post where Boyce rose to head in the opening goal from close range.
The Candystripes dominated the opening stages of the game and it should have been 2-0 on 17 minutes when Patching ran at the Waterford defence before curling an effort at goal which Murphy could only parry straight into the path of Akintunde. The forward opted not to shoot first time however, trying to take it around the goalkeeper, but Murphy did enough to turn Akintunde away from the goal and the chance was gone.
It took Waterford 42 minutes before they tested Nathan Gartside at the other end, and it was a big moment in the first half as the Derry goalkeeper was at his best to keep out Shane Griffin’s free kick from 25 yards. Griffin, who scored from a similar position earlier in the season at the Brandywell, tried his luck again, but this time Gartside was equal, diving to his right to push the ball behind for a corner.
Waterford were much livelier at the start of the second half and they could have gone level when Jamie Mascoll’s cross picked out Adam O’Reilly completely unmarked in the area, but he got his header all wrong and failed to even test Gartside.
City did not enjoy anywhere near the same dominance in the second half, as Waterford played a high pressing game, which made the players in red and white very uncomfortable. They were very early caught out by a Mascell free kick on 69 minutes, as John Martin crept free to the back post, but he was unable to bring the ball under control and the chance was again gone.
That was as good as it got through for the home side as Derry head out to pick up a valuable three points away from home.
Waterford: Brian Murphy, Darragh Power, Cameron Evans, Josh Collins, Shane Griffin, Adam O’Reilly, James Waite, John Martin, Niall O’Keefe, Jamie Mascoll, Eric Molloy (Kian Kavanagh 76’).
Derry City: Nathan Gartside, Ciaran Coll, Eoin Toal, Cameron McJannett, Ronan Boyce, Ciaron Harkin, Joe Thomson (Jack Malone 74’), Will Fitzgerald (Darren Cole 85’), Will Patching, James Akintunde, Patrick Ferry (Caolan McLaughlin 60’).
Referee: John McLoughlin.
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