Patterson strikes late to earn Derry City full points in five-goal thriller
Drogheda’s valiant comeback proves in vain
Rory Patterson scored twice for Derry City against Drogheda United. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Pressye/Inpho
Drogheda United 2 Derry City 3
A five-goal thriller that could have gone either way saw Derry take full points with a late winner to deny Drogheda who had fought back valiantly from two goals down.
Drogheda dominated the first half as they consistently rattled a shaky looking Derry defence. A David Cassidy strike dipped just over early on and at the other end Rory Patterson peeled away from his marker but pulled his shot wide.
Alan Byrne met the ball perfectly on 24 minutes but sent his bullet-like shot wide before Cathal Brady was culpable of a poor miss shortly afterwards when he steered the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.
With 39 minutes gone United paid the price for their wastefulness when Barry McNamee swung over a corner which came off the boot of Drogheda defender Alan Byrne before ending up in the net.
Undeterred Drogheda pushed forward once more as Byrne saw his header cleared from the line by Barry Molloy and Cassidy’s goal-bound follow-up cannoned off his own man Ryan Brennan and away to safety.
Before the break Patterson’s daisy cutter of a free brought the best from keeper Michael Schlingermann who got down well to make the stop.
With the second half only just underway keeper Gerard Doherty denied Gary O’Neil an equaliser with a wonderful stop from his close-range effort.
Derry had their moments too as McNamee’s shot took a deflection wide and Kevin Deery drove his shot over from a promising position. A terrible error by Philip Hand in his own half handed possession to Derry and they made the most of their good fortune as Rory Patterson fired home on 62 minutes.
With 15 minutes to go the home side went close to pulling a goal back but Eric Foley’s shot was beaten out by Doherty.
Drogheda got one back after 77 minutes when Declan O’Brien’s shot was deemed to have crossed the line by an assistant referee and the ace marksman then dramatically levelled matters with an emphatic finish a minute later.
However, poor defending undid the Boynesiders once more four minutes from the end when Patterson sailed past a hesitant defence to rifle his shot into the top corner.