Airtricity League round-up: Derry City put pressure on Shamrock Rovers with Finn Harps win

Bohemians shocked at the death with late Dayle Rooney goal

Derry City 3 Finn Harps 0

by Arthur Duffy

Derry City recorded their sixth win on the spin when deservedly winning this northwest derby fixture against Finn Harps, the game attracting the biggest attendance of the season.

Having now recorded six wins on the spin, the Foyleside club has yet to concede a goal in what has been an impressive recent run.

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The win sees Ruaidhri Higgins’ troops against the deficit at the top of the table to two points adrift of Rovers who face Shelbourne on Sunday.

In excess of 4,000 fans watched Ollie Horgan deploy defensive tactics, flooding the midfield area in an effort to stop Derry managing the game.

However, having eventually settled into their stride, Derry broke the deadlock in the 18th minute following a superb passing movement.

Will Patching and Brandon Kavanagh exchanged passes and the latter’s incisive delivery into the danger area punished the Harps’ defence.

Kavanagh’s through ball was perfectly placed into the path of the advancing Michael Duffy and the winger gleefully guided the ball into the far corner giving keeper, James McKeown, no chance.

Harps, however, refused to be intimidated and five minutes later Barry McNamee stung the palms of Derry keeper, Brian Maher, with a superb shot from 20 yards.

Derry should have doubled their lead three minutes into the second half.

Duffy sent James Akintunde scampering clear but the striker was denied by Harps centre back, Rob Slevin, who managed to race back forcing the striker to direct his shot narrowly wide of the upright.

And Akintunde squandered another glorious chance in the 59th minute when he directed a shot straight at McKeown from 12 yards when he really should have done better.

Derry then doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Cameron McJannet drilled a low ball into the area from the left flank and when McKeown failed to intercept the ball, Kavanagh lashed it home from eight yards, putting further pressure on the Donegal men.

The home side should have put the game to bed in the 72nd minute when awarded a dubious penalty kick.

Substitute Jamie McGonigle, successfully bundled Conor Tourish off the ball and as he raced forward the Harps defender clearly upended him on the 18 yards line.

Referee, Sean Grant awarded a penalty but justice was served when McGonigle’s spot-kick was blocked by McKeown and cleared to safety.

But the Dungiven man was to have the final say in injury time when he latched on to a header from Cameron Dummigan before launching a superb shot, the ball finding the corner of the net from an acute angle.

DERRY CITY: Maher; Boyce, Connolly, S. McEleney, McJannet; Diallo, Dummigan; Kavanagh (Thomson, 80), Patching (Glass, 90), Duffy; Akintunde (McGonigle, 65).

FINN HARPS: McKeown; Carrillo (Slaj, 60), Tourish, Slevin, Donelon; Rainey, Connolly, McNamee (Timlin, 85), Duncan, Boylan; Mihaljevic (Jones, 60).

REFEREE: S. Grant.

Bohemian FC 0 Drogheda United 1 (D Rooney, 93)

by Nathan Johns

Ninety-two minutes of Bohemians’ clash with Drogheda United on Friday night was short on quality in the final third, but Dayle Rooney found a clinical edge when it mattered, scoring in the 93rd minute to earn the visitors a dramatic win at Dalymount Park.

Before the winner, both sides stressed the other’s defence, albeit not the ‘keeper as both had a relatively quiet evening. Bohs had plenty of first half joy down the flanks with Declan McDaid and Kris Twardek working space well for threatening balls into the area, while Drogheda fashioned chances by winning the ball high up the pitch and flooding numbers forward.

Ethon Varian struggled to get on the end of crosses for Bohs, while first half chances on the break for Drogheda were wasted by a lack of quality with the finish, Adam Foley slashing wide and Darragh Markey hitting an effort straight at Tadhg Ryan.

After the break, McDaid was on the end of yet another cross, this one from Jordan Doherty on the right, with only Colin McCabe in the Drogheda goal to beat at the back post, only to fail to make sufficient contact with his effort.

Drogheda were helped by a 70th minute red for Jordan Flores, the midfielder picking up a second yellow for once again cutting down a counter. They looked to be frustrated despite the man advantage, Dean Williams and Darragh Nugent having shots in the area blocked, but Rooney took his chance well at the death, volleying home a loose ball into the bottom corner with virtually the last kick of the match.

Bohemian FC: T Ryan; J Doherty, R Feely, C Kelly, M Murphy; J Clarke, J Mullins (L Burt, 69), J Flores; K Twardek, E Varian (A Coote 69), D McDaid (J McManus, 73).

Red card: J Flores (70 mins)

Drogheda United: C McCabe; L Heeney (D Noone, 68), A Quinn, K Conan, D Massey (capt); D Grimes, G Deegan, D Nugent; C Lyons (D Williams, 73), D Markey, A Foley (D Rooney, 77).

Referee: Ben Connolly

UCD 0 Sligo Rovers 2

by Paul Buttner

Adam McDonnell led by example in scoring twice as Sligo Rovers beat UCD for the first time this season to get last week’s tame showing against Shamrock Rovers out of their system.

The Sligo captain scored in each half to lift Sligo back up to fifth place in the table as UCD, who had taken five points off the Bit O’ Red this season, couldn’t take advantage of Finn Harps’ defeat at Derry City as they remain bottom.

With three changes from last week, Sligo enjoyed plenty of early possession, bringing a stunning save from Kian Moore in the UCD goal before taking the lead on 19 minutes.

Moore had earlier back-pedalled to tip over a looping header from Aidan Keena from Rob Burton’s chip.

But he was helpless as Sligo soon clinically punished sloppy College play when skipper Jack Keaney gave the ball away cheaply.

Keena skipped forward to play in McDonnell who was coolness personified as he chipped the ball over Moore for a composed finish.

Sligo remained the better side into the second half, with Moore coming to UCD’s rescue again five minutes in.

Again UCD lost possession in midfield with Will Fitzgerald breaking forward to slide a pass through for Keena.

And though the striker nicked the ball past Moore, the keeper recovered well to grasp it at Keena’s feet.

But there was to be no reprieve five minutes later.

Burton found the run of McDonnell who rounded Moore and rolled the ball to the net for another fine finish to treble his goals tally for the season.

UCD’s frustrating night was compounded on 72 minutes when manager Andy Myler was sent from the dugout for dissent.

UCD: Moore; Dunne (Haist, 86), Keaney, Todd, Osam (O’Connor, 68); Brennan (Corish, 68), Caffrey; Nolan (Higgins, 53), Keane, Duffy; Lonergan.

Sligo Rovers: Brush; Horgan (Banks, 36), Pijanker, Blaney (Clancy, 83), Kirk; Burton (Keogh, 88), Morahan (Barlow, 83); Liivak, McDonnell, Fitzgerald; Keena.

Referee: Oliver Moran (Dublin)

Dundalk 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 2

by James Rogers

Adam O’Reilly’s goal in the third minute of stoppage time earned St Patrick’s Athletic a huge three points in the race for Europe against Dundalk at Casey’s Field last night.

The game looked to be heading towards a draw until the on-loan Preston North End midfielder pounced with virtually the last kick of the game to help Tim Clancy’s side close the gap to their opponents in third to a single point with four games remaining.

A first home defeat of his reign was a harsh blow on Stephen O’Donnell’s side, who had started much the brighter with Steven Bradley, O’Kane and John Martin all going close before the visitors took the lead with their first attempt on 20 minutes.

Sam Bone was guilty of needlessly giving the ball away at the back and the visitors punished the error with Anto Breslin teeing up Forrester for a shot that flashed to the top left hand corner.

The Louth men would draw level in the first minute of stoppage time, however, when O’Kane cut in from the left on to his right foot to fire low past Danny Rogers.

There were few chances in the second half with Joe Adams going closest for the hosts with a curling effort that flashed just wide on 52 minutes.

O’Kane looked like he would be in again at the end but a brilliant challenge from Sam Curtis prompted a break which resulted in O’Reilly turning the ball home from about four yards out from Ben McCormack’s cut back.

Dundalk: Shepperd; Mountney, Bone, Boyle, Leahy; Sloggett (Benson 31), Lewis; Bradley, Adams (Ward 68), O’Kane; Martin (McMillan 83).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Rogers; Curtis, Redmond, Grivosti; Cotter, O’Reilly, Forrester (McCormack 86), Timmermans, Breslin; Atakayi (Doyle 64), Doyle (Owolabi 74).

Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist