Derry's dull derby day

 

Derry City's particularly poor season continued at the Brandywell on Saturday night when they were successfully frustrated by a defensively-minded Sligo in what proved a particularly dull north-west derby clash.

It was a terrible game, Derry appearing not capable of winning it, despite enjoying the lion's share of possession, and Sligo basically content to defend in numbers.

A totally dejected Derry boss, Felix Healy, described his side's showing as "not good enough" and the loss of Gavin Dykes through injury has compounded his problems this season.

Dykes passed a late fitness test but then broke down in the 33rd minute with a torn thigh muscle and he's expected to be out of action for at least three weeks.

In addition, striker Liam Coyle and midfielder Paul Hegarty, now start two and three match suspensions, respectively, and Derry will experience great difficulties over the Christmas and New Year periods.

Saturday's game was appalling and that feeling was echoed from the terraces. Clear-cut chances were few and, if the truth be told, Sligo could actually have stolen maximum points had Padraig Moran taken advantage of a glorious opportunity in the 73rd minute.

Liam Coyle brought the best out of Nicky Brujos on three occasions during the first 21 minutes but the best chance of the half fell to Sligo left-winger, Alec Rowlands, five minutes from half-time.

A defensive blunder by Paul Curran set Rowlands free but his attempt to chip Tony O'Dowd proved poor and the Derry goalkeeper gleefully grabbed the ball from close range.

It was even worse after the break with Derry totally frustrated by their opponents and with Sligo finishing the stronger, they created two late chances to score.

Moran blasted a volley recklessly wide of the target from eight yards in the 73rd minute and Lee Thew headed Marcus Hallow's cross high over the crossbar 10 minutes later with the Derry goal at his mercy.