Derry City began the defence of their EA Sports League Cup with a comfortable win over First Division side Longford at the Brandywell.
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It was always a tall order for the visitors especially after manager Neil Fenn made eleven changes from their weekend win over Shelbourne, but they still held their own throughout, only for Derry’s quality to tell in the end.
Eoghan Stokes and Jamie McDonagh had early shots at goal but City had to wait until the 19th minute before they made the breakthrough. It was a moment worth waiting for as Junior Ogide-Uzokwe got on the end of a cross from Jamie McDonagh and guided a precise header beyond Jack Menton and into the Longford net for 1-0.
Longford’s response to going behind was a good one as the First Division side began to get their foot on the ball, and they showed no reluctance to go forward, with Derry left to feed off scraps on the counter attack. If anything, the goal was the best thing to happen to Longford as they grew into the game, Eoin O’Neill in particular causing aerial problems for McDonagh in the final third.
With half time approaching, Longford boss Neal Fenne would have been happy enough with his team’s efforts, but his mood changed considerably as Derry doubled their lead on 38 minutes. It was a moment of genuine quality from Eoghan Stokes who received the ball on the edge of the area and curled it brilliantly beyond Menton and into the top corner for 2-0.
The game was finally put beyond Longford on 70 minutes and it was a moment to forget for Menton as he spilled a speculative shot from Stokes from distance and he could not gain his feet in time to prevent Gerardo Bruna from sweeping in his first goal for Derry City.
Derry only looked like adding to their lead and McDonagh almost added a spectacular fourth as his drive from distance had to be tipped over the crossbar by a backtracking Menton. From the resulting corner Eoin Toal was denied a goal as his glancing header was cleared off the line by Hofman.
Longford were hanging on as the heavens opened and another corner almost proved their undoing again, McDonagh's delivery finding a combination of Junior and substitute Conor Gormley, but again the ball was stopped on the line.
But it was comfortable in the end for Derry City.
Derry City: Gartside, Coll, Toal, Kerr, McDonagh, Harkin (Tweed 70’), Bruna, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Stokes, Seraf (Gormley 76’), Parkhouse (McNamee 60’).
Longford Town: Menton, Noach-Hoffman, Hollywood, Doyle, Knight, O’Connor, Manley, Fitzsimmons, Brennan, Chambers, O’Neill (O’Sullivan 70’).
Referee: Damien McGraith.
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