Chapman hits brace to down Derry

Ellis Chapman struck a wonderful 89th minute winner to beat Derry City at the Showgrounds as Sligo Rovers picked up their second win on the spin. 

Paul McMullan’s 54th minute strike had put City in the lead. But a Chapman penalty along with his sublime late winner, turned this tie on its head to stretch Derry’s run without a win in Sligo to six. A winless run that goes back to 2021.  

Ed McGinty pulled off a superb double stop in injury time at the end of this game to secure the full quota of points for the Bit O’Red. 

Rovers finished this game with ten men after JR Wilson was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident in added time at the end of the tie.  

Sligo were forced into one change from their impressive win over Shamrock Rovers at the same venue six nights previous. New signing and former Derry wide man Stephen Mallon was given his debut against his former club in place of the recently departed Fabrice Hartmann who returned to parent club RB Leipzig this week. While Simon Power, who netted both goals in that win over the Hoops, missed the game due to illness. 

City’s record in Sligo has been relatively poor in recent years having taken just two points from a possible 15 in their last five visits to Church Hill. While Ruaidhri Higgins’ side have also failed to score in the last four at the same venue. 

The Derry boss kept faith with the same eleven who put five past Drogheda last week. A decision which looked justified in the early stages as City threatened early on, targeting their flanks in particular whilst pinning Rovers back.  

Daniel Kelly tested McGinty at his front post when the Sligo net minder blocked Kelly’s shot with his legs after the former Dundalk man was played through by a neat flick from Pat Hoban. 

The hosts were boosted this week by the extension of McGinty’s loan from Oxford until the end of the season. The Motherwell native showed his worth on the half hour when he rushed from his line to meet McMullen and smother the Scot’s effort after he was sent through on goal by Adam O’Reilly.

The Foylesiders remained the more menacing of the two sides as the break approached and Hoban was next to threaten when he met Cameron Dummigan’s cross with a well-timed bicycle kick. The finish didn’t match the acrobatics however the overhead kick bounced past McGinty’s post.  

The second half was nine minutes old when the Brandywell outfit took the lead. 

Hoban allowed Kelly’s cross travel all the way across the face of the penalty area where McMullan was given the space to settle himself, before bending the ball beyond McGinty from 15 yards. 

The advantage lasted just eight minutes. Chapman fired Sligo back into the game from the penalty spot after Sadou Diallo had clumsily tripped Will Fitzgerald just inside the City area. 

Chapman popped up again with one minute to go as he supplied a glorious winner. 

The former Cheltenham attacker making the most of space afforded to him after he had slipped past three Derry defenders, before showing superior composure and deft skill as he neatly squeezed the ball between Maher and his far post.  

Rovers had McGinty to thank in added time when he pulled off a magnificent double save, shutting out both Hoban and Colm Whelan.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; JR Wilson, Nando Pijnaker, Ollie Denham, Reece Hutchinson; Niall Morahan, Connor Malley; Stephen Mallon (Kailin Barlow 66), Ellis Chapman, Will Fitzgerald; Wilson Waweru (Owen Elding 83). 

Derry City: Brian Maher; Cameron Dummigan, Mark Connolly, Shane McEleney, Ben Doherty; Sadou Diallo (Danny Mullen 74), Adam O’Reilly; Paul McMullan (Colm Whelan 84), Daniel Kelly (Michael Duffy 74); Will Patching; Pat Hoban. 

Referee: Damien MacGraith.

Attendance: 2,859.

David Goulden