Conor Clifford’s penalties help Derry City to first win in five

Former Waterford winger Walter Figueira causes havoc against his former club

Conor Clifford scored twice from the penalty spot for Derry City, his first goals for the club. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Conor Clifford scored twice from the penalty spot for Derry City, his first goals for the club. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

 

Derry City 2 Waterford 0

Derry City eased their relegation worries following this victory over Waterford, the Candystripes’ first win in five outings.

And it was a former Waterford winger who inflicted the damage when winning the two penalties that put this game to bed.

Walter Figueira enjoyed a superb performance on the left flank and while he was regularly at the centre of the action, the goals which decided the points were netted by central midfielder Conor Clifford, his first goals since joining the Foyleside club.

Clearly unhappy with last Tuesday night’s slender defeat at the Sligo Showgrounds, Declan Devine made no fewer than five changes to his starting line-up and that risk reaped dividends.

With clear-cut scoring chances at a premium in the first half, Derry’s first opening arrived in the 37th minute, Waterford goalkeeper Brian Murphy parrying Clifford’s shot clear of his goal when at full stretch.

The home side then broke the deadlock two minutes before the break when awarded the first of their penalties.

Figueira chased a long punt forward and having gained possession he turned inside the penalty area before Waterford left back Olunatunmise Sobowale brought the winger down to earth with a clumsy challenge.

Referee Rob Hennessy immediately pointed to the spot and Clifford netted his first goal from the spot.

Derry were denied a second goal five minutes into the second half when Murphy pulled off three vital stops within the space of 60 seconds.

The Waterford goalkeeper blocked Ibrahim Meite’s effort from close range before also getting his body in front of the ball to deny Eoin Toal who had latched onto the rebound.

Within seconds Murphy pulled off a top drawer stop when tipping Figueira’s goalbound drive over his crossbar.

However, Derry’s persistence was rewarded three minutes later when they were awarded a second penalty.

On this occasion Figueira had flashed a shot over the crossbar before he was swept off his feet following a late challenge from Robert McCourt. Up stepped Clifford to cheekily dink the ball home from 12 yards and double his side’s advantage.

Derry continued to push for a third goal with Figueira setting up Ciaron Harkin with a great chance in the 81st minute but the midfielder hammered the ball high over the crossbar.

DERRY CITY: Cherrie; Horgan, Toal, McJannet, Coll; McCormack (Malone, 85 mins), Clifford; Mallon, Harkin, Figueira; Meite (Akintunde, 70 mins).

WATERFORD: Murphy; Sobowale (Byrne, 59 mins), Davidson, McCourt, Wilson (Power, 53 mins); Fitzgerald (Griffin, 59 mins), O’Keeffe (Walsh, 84 mins), Weir, Coote; Martin; Smith.

Referee: R Hennessy (Limerick).

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