Boyce’s early goal earns Derry full points in Waterford

Struggling Waterford slump to a fifth successive defeat

Waterford 0 Derry City 1

Rising Derry City star Ronan Boyce grabbed his second goal of the season to inflict a fifth straight defeat on basement side Waterford at the RSC on Friday night.

New Blues manager Marc Bircham had identified naivety at set-pieces as an area for improvement and his young side were unhinged from a free-kick inside three minutes.

A rash challenge on James Akintunde by Brian Murphy, reinstated as goalkeeper and captain by the new manager, gave Will Patching the latest chance to demonstrate his speciality from dead-ball situations.


The Dundalk loanee's delivery was pinpoint for Boyce to lose his marker Eric Molloy at the front post and nod past Murphy from six yards.

Patching profited from the space and time gifted by a Waterford squad only released from quarantine in midweek following a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp.

Twice during the first half the 22-year-old forced Murphy to parry stinging long-range shots and the playmaker also teed up Joe Thomson from a free-kick to unleash an effort that the veteran stopper batted away.

Shane Griffin, who scored with a free in the away win over Derry, attempted a similar execution from Waterford's first chance on 40 minutes, only to be denied by Nathan Gartside's save at full stretch.

City failed to sustain their dominance after the break and were lucky Waterford didn’t display a more clinical edge.

Adam O'Reilly snuck in between Eoin Toal and Ciaran Coll to head wide on 57 minutes before John Martin also failed to punish slack marking with 20 minutes remaining.

Waterford: B Murphy; D Power, J Collins, C Evans, J Mascoll; N O'Keefe, S Griffin; E Molloy (C Kavanagh 76), A O'Reilly, J Waite; J Martin.

Derry City: N Gartside; R Boyce, C McJannet, E Toal, C Coll; C Harkin, J Thomson (J Malone 75); W Fitzgerald (D Cole 85), W Patching, P Ferry (C McLaughlin 60); J Akintunde.

Referee: John McLoughlin (Westmeath)