Derry City headed back into third place in the Premier Division as they cruised to a comfortable win against UCD at the Belfield Bowl.
Derry City 2
The Candy Stripes have now won four games in a row in all competitions and they never looked like dropping points, especially after former UCD midfielder Greg Sloggett gave the visitors the lead. Defender Darren Cole added to the lead in the second half and from there it was just a matter of seeing the game out.
Derry came so close to scoring on 22 minutes when a corner found Sloggett, whose header looked to be past Kearns only for the UCD goalkeeper to somehow get back and claw it off the line. Parkhouse latched onto the rebound and directed it towards goal, but it was deflected behind for a corner with the City striker appealing for handball against a UCD defender.
But from the resulting corner, City’s goal finally came when Barry McNamee’s delivery into the heart of the UCD area found Sloggett, who bundled the ball over the line from close range, scoring his first goal for the Candy Stripes against his former team.
The goal kicked UCD into life at last and they had huge appeals for a penalty when the ball bounced up in the City penalty area and clearlhy struck the hand of Parkhouse but referee Graham Kelly said no penalty.
City could have ended the first half two goals clear when a swift counter attack saw Eoghan Stokes break down the right. His cross found Junior who skipped past Josh Collins and pulled the ball back towards the near post where Barry McNamee was arriving, but the captain’s effort was deflected just wide for a corner.
The second half was scrappy in the extreme but Derry finally got their decisive goal on 71 minutes when another corner proved UCD’s undoing, McNamee’s corner finding Sloggett who set up Cole, who showed great footwork before lashing the ball past Kearns to seal the win for the Candy Stripes.
It was as comfortable as Declan Devine may have hoped in what was his 100th game in charge of Derry City but bigger tests await Derry, particularly this Monday as they return to Dublin to face St. Patrick’s Athletic before hosting runaway league leaders Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell next week.
UCD: Kearns, Tobin, Dignam, Scales, Collins, O’Farrell (Doyle 77’), Farrugia, O’Neill, Mahdy (McDonald 87’), Molloy, McClelland (Coffey 77’).
Derry City: Cherrie, Coll, Toal, Gilchrist, Cole, Sloggett, Harkin (Tweed 90’), McNamee, Stokes (Bruna 72’), Ogide-Uzokwe, Parkhouse (McClean 87’).
Referee: Graham Kelly.
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