Derry City’s 100% home record ended against Dundalk as the league champions continued their exceptional Brandywell record.
Derry City 0
It is now seven years and 13 games since Dundalk lost at the Brandywell and they were well worth their win again, always a class above Derry on a disappointing night for Declan Devine and his players.
It took Dundalk 24 minutes to test Peter Cherrie and when they did they were denied a goal due to a sensational save from the Derry City goalkeeper. Dane Massey’s cross found Pat Hoban in between Eoin Toal and Darren Cole and last season’s top scorer headed goalwards from six yards, only for Cherrie to deny him with a brilliant, instinctive save.
It was then Gary Rogers’ turn to produce goalkeeping heroics as he denied McNamee a spectacular goal, the City captain almost catching the Dundalk number one out with a curling free kick which was headed towards the top corner until he tipped it over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Rogers found himself in trouble however and the loose ball came to Eoin Toal but his effort was charged down by a number of Dundalk shirts.
The goal the game threatened arrived on 36 minutes and it went Dundalk’s way. Michael Duffy got two chances to cross and his second attempt proved decisive the ball headed down into the area by Pat Hoban, and Sean Murray volleyed it beyond Cherrie and into the net for 1-0.
Dundalk doubled their lead 52 minutes in from the penalty spot to give Derry a real mountain to climb. Sean Gannon’s cross found Hoban in behind the Derry defence and he was taken out by Cherrie with referee Ben Connolly pointing to the penalty spot.
That proved to be Cherrie’s last contribution as he aggravated his hand injury and he had to be replaced by Nathan Gartside, whose first task on his senior debut was to face Pat Hoban from the penalty spot. The experienced Hoban showed great composure however and he swept the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.
It should have been 3-0 on 55 minutes as Michael Duffy led Dundalk on a lightning counter attack from a Derry corner, eventually setting up substitute Dean Jarvis who somehow shot over the bar from very close range.
Derry huffed and puffed thereafter but the closest they came was another McNamee free kick which Rogers was again equal to.
Derry City: Cherrie (Gartside 52’), Coll (Delap 55’), Gilchrist, Toal, McDermott (Stokes 78’), Cole, Sloggett, McNamee, Harkin, Ogide-Uzokwe, Parkhouse.
Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Hoare, Massey, Cleary, Murray (Jarvis 48’), McGrath, Duffy (Flores 90’), Kelly (Dummigan 86’), Hoban.
Referee: Ben Connolly.
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