Sligo Rovers leapfrog Derry City with win
Goals from Cawley and North put Sligo in charge at the Brandywell
Derry’s Rory Patterson missed a penalty in the first half for his side. Photograph: Inpho
Derry 1 Sligo Rovers 2
Sligo Rovers extended their domination over Derry City at the Brandywell, in the process leapfrogging the Candystripes into third spot in the table.
Indeed, the Sligo hoodoo goes back to August 2009, the last time they lost to their north-west neighbours and this victory strengthens their hopes of retaining their title.
That said, Derry had more than their fair share of chances to remove the “Indian Sign” with Rory Patterson squandered a spot-kick with the scoresheet blank.
Sligo’s David Cawley forced Ger Doherty into a save after just six minutes, the Derry goalkeeper parrying the ball wide of his goal. But the home side began to compete with Patrick McEleney sending a wind-assisted shot over the Sligo crossbar from long range.
Patterson flashed a free-kick agonisingly wide of the target while Davy McDaid also dragged a shot wide as Derry began to work their way forward.
It was Sligo who squandered the best scoring chance of the opening period in the 19th minute.
Joseph Ndo squeezed a low free-kick through the Derry defence into the path of David McMillan but the lone striker guided his shot agonisingly wide of the target as Doherty advanced from his line.
The referee’s assistant awarded Derry a controversial penalty in the 55th minute, Gavin Peers adjudged to have impeded Rory Patterson inside the area.
However, Gary Rogers rose to the challenge when making a superb save, parrying Patterson’s strike wide of his post.
And the keeper then produced a magnificent stop to deny Patterson minutes later following a corner, diverting the shot over his crossbar.
Derry continued to burst forward and on the hour they really should have broken the deadlock. A counter-attack involving Paddy Kavanagh and McDaid saw the latter balloon the ball over the bar from 12 yards when he really should have done better.
Sligo, however, stunned the big Brandywell crowd in the 65th minute when netting the opening goal. Having worked the ball forward with a series of short passes, David Cawley was played in and his thunderous angled shot crashed into the corner of the Derry net.
Sligo ended the match as a contest in the 82nd minute when the home defence failed to deal with a high ball, substitute Danny North ran on to claim possession and he gleefully drove the ball past Doherty in the one-on-one situation.
Derry substitute, Sean Houston, reduced the deficit with a superb shot in the 88th minute but it was a case of too little too late for the Candystripes.
Derry City: Doherty; Madden, McBride (Houston, 79), S McEleney, Osborne; Molloy, Higgins; Kavanagh (Duffy, 85), McDaid, P McEleney (Griffin, 90); Patterson.
Sligo Rovers: Rogers; Keane, Peers, E. McMillan, Davoren (Henderson, 78); Djilali, Conneelly, Ndo, Cawley, Cretaro; D McMillan (North, 67).
Referee: A Buttimer (Limerick).