Aaron McEneff came back to haunt his old club as he scored to inflict a first defeat of the season on Derry City at Tallaght.
Shamrock Rovers 2
Derry City 0
In truth, it was a deserved victory for Rovers against Derry who huffed and puffed throughout without ever having the quality in the final third.
Derry City needed no reminding of the quality possessed by McEneff but they were caught out nonetheless just eight minutes in on Friday night as a sharp turn and pass by the midfielder split the visitor’ defence to send Aaron Greene through on goal. Greene struck a fierce effort with his left foot but he was denied by a brilliant effort by Peter Cherrie who gathered the ball at the second attempt.
The opening goal of the game came on 30 minutes and it was a nightmare moment for Ciaron Harkin as his miscue gifted a shooting opportunity to Dylan Watts who took his chance superbly. Ronan Finn’s cross was not fully cleared by the Derry defence but the ball fell for Harkin who swung at it only to slice it into the path of Watts who drilled it first time beyond Cherrie.
The Derry players had clearly been instructed to use the wind at their backs and after Parkhouse nodded the ball down, Eoghan Stokes send a scorching effort at goal from 35 yards, which bobbed and dipped just over Alan Mannus’s goal.
But the game was finally put beyond Derry 12 minute from time as Eoin Toal was adjudged to have stopped Orhan Vojic’s cross with his hand and referee Robert Hennessey pointed to the penalty spot. Aaron McEneff stepped up against his old club and dinked the ball down the middle of the goal past Cherrie to seal the win.
It only got worse for Derry from there as second half substitute Jamie McDonagh received a straight red card for a late lunge on Ronan Finn on a night to be forgotten for Declan Devine and his players.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus, Boyle, Lopes, Grace, Watts (Bolger 63’), Finn, Carr (Clarke 61’), McEneff, Kavanagh, Greene (Vojic 73’), Byrne.
DERRY CITY: Cherrie, Kerr (McDonagh 45’), Harkin, Toal, McClean, Gilchrist, Ogedi-Uzokwe (McCruen 63’), McNamee, Parkhouse, Stokes, Sloggett (Bruna 73’).
REFEREE: Rob Hennessey.
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