Report: Derry City 1-0 Rovers

The Bit O’ Red took on Derry City on Tuesday night at The Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium as John Russell looked to make it three wins from three after recent wins over Drogheda United and Shelbourne.

Russell made just one change to the starting team from the Shelbourne game, with Max Mata dropping to the bench for Will Fitzgerald.

Derry were without the injured Ciaran Coll who was stretchered off on Friday night in their victory over Bohemians at the same venue.

The hosts started the game the brighter and created the first chance on nine minutes when Cameron McJannet got down the left wing and crossed for Ryan Graydon who headed into the ground and over from close range.

Just five minutes later and the hosts were in front. Will Patching showed some neat footwork on the edge of the area and he was fouled, with referee Rob Harvey giving a free kick in a dangerous area.

Patching picked himself up and his shot took a slight nick off the Rovers’ wall and the ball flew into the top corner. Luke McNicholas got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.

Rovers got into the game after that and kept possession of the ball and probed forward, most notably when Paddy Kirk was put through down the left by Frank Liivak, The Dubliner’s cross was deflected and needed goalkeeper Brian Maher to divert it away from goal.

Before half-time there was a series of yellow cards, with Rovers pair Robbie Burton and Shane Blaney carded to add to Derry’s Jamie McGonigle in between them.

Michael Duffy tested Luke McNicholas just before half time but the ‘keeper gathered his effort at the second attempt and the score remained 1-0 at half time.

Rovers came out in the second half with a higher intensity and Aidan Keena won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area on 47 minutes. Shane Blaney stepped up but his effort hit the wall and was cleared by the Derry defence.

Derry went close a couple of times soon after when a well worked corner routine found Cameron Dummigan inside the box but McNicholas got down well to save. Ronan Boyce tired his look on the half volley from distance moments later but his strike flew over.

Niall Morahan and Max Mata came on in place of Greg Bolger and Adam McDonnell after an hour as John Russell tried to turn the screw in the attempt to find an equaliser.

Rovers had big claims for a penalty which were waved away by referee Harvey on 79 minutes. Frank Liivak was in on the left, his cross from the byline seemed to have hit Mark Connolly’s arm but the referee said no.

It was all Rovers by now and on 89 minutes Robbie Burton’s free kick from the left landed in the six yard box in a dangerous area but Patrick McEleney cleared before Max Mata got to it.

Four minutes of added time were shown by the fourth official and Rovers best chance of the night came on 93 minutes.

Aidan Keena’s perfect lobbed through pass found Mata in behind. He got a touch on it but the ball wouldn’t come down enough for him to be able to keep his effort on target and it went over and Derry held on for an important home win.

Rovers are not in action until October 1st when we host Shamrock Rovers at The Showgrounds at 7.45pm.