Cawley and McAleer strike as Rovers beat Derry

Sligo Rovers deservedly secured their second win of the season at the Brandywell, as they easily saw off a disappointing Derry City side.

David Cawley and Caolan McAleer’s second-half goals were enough to cancel out Jamie McDonagh’s first-half strike.

The Candystripes gave new signing Kevin McHattie a start at left-back, while Ben Fisk replaced the injury Conor McDermott.

Rovers brought in Kyle McFadden, Patrick McClean and Lewis Morrison.

Rovers had a good chance on seven minutes as Regan Donelon’s right-wing corner picked out David Cawley but the midfielder’s header at the near post, whistled just wide.

The woodwork came to Derry’s rescue on 29 minutes as Rhys McCabe nipped in ahead of Aaron McEneff, to cut-out Fisk’s pass, but the Rovers midfielder’s 25-yard-drive, which had City keeper Gerard Doherty beaten, came back off the post.

Soon after, Derry took the lead with their first real effort on target, Jamie McDonagh’s 25-yard-drive nestling into the bottom-left corner of Mitchell Beeney’s net.

Rovers were inches away from equalising on 60 minutes as Lewis Morrison’s cross found Mikey Drennan, but the ex-Shamrock Rovers man saw his header kept out by a full stretched Doherty.

Gerard Lyttle’s side rightfully levelled things on 70 minutes as Morrison’s pass found Cawley, who ghosted into the City penalty box and the midfielder toe-poked home past an out-rushing Doherty.

On 74 minutes, Derry went close but Ally Roy was unable to score against his old club as his shot on the turn from 20 yards flashed just wide.

Minutes later, a Rory Hale corner found Gavin Peers but the big centre-back’s header was straight at Beeney.

Rovers went straight down the other end and took the lead as substitute Caolan McAleer with virtually his first touch, blasted home at the back post, after Chris Twardek’s right wing cross had picked out the ex-Finn Harps man.

That save sparked the visitors into life and they took the lead on 79 minutes as both substitutes Chris Twardek and Caolan McAleer combined.

The Canadian native burst down the right before his centre found an unmarked McAleer, who blasted home at the back post by what was his first touch.

In the closing stages City substitute Rory Hale fired inches wide as they pushed for an equaliser, while at the other end, in stoppage time, Lee Lynch wasted a glorious chance to seal the points for the visitors when he blasted over from close range.

Derry City: G Doherty, McDonagh, Peers, Seaborne, McHattie; Splaine, Rory Hale, McEneff; Fisk (Ronan Hale 73), Roy, Shiels.

Sligo Rovers: Beeney, Donelon, McFadden, McCabe, Drennan (Cretaro 66), Lynch, McClean, Keaney (Twardek 61), Mahon, Cawley, Morrison (McAleer 75).

Referee: Tomas Connolly (Dublin)