Derry City secure 11th League Cup with win over Cobh Ramblers
First Division side head into half-time level but hosts’ class tells at the Brandywell
Derry City celebrate their League Cup final win over Cobh Ramblers. Photogtaph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Derry City 3 Cobh Ramblers 1
Derry City landed an 11th League Cup title when putting First Division representatives, Cobh Ramblers, to the sword at the Brandywell on Sunday.
But credit to Stephen Henderson’s young side who, it must be said, were well worth the 1-1 scoreline at half-time, Cobh battling back to reduce the deficit within three minutes of Derry’s opening goal.
In the end, it was a solid second half performance by the Candystripes which saw them claim their first silverware since 2012 and the victory will boost confidence levels as Derry now prepare for Wednesday’s high profile FAI Cup quarter-final when Bohemians return to the Brandywell.
Derry’s Aaron McEneff was presented with the first clear-cut scoring opportunity but he failed to take advantage when played into a one-on-one situation by Ronan Hale, the midfielder failing to hit the target.
But the deadlock was then broken in the 23rd minute, Derry taking advantage of a Cobh defensive error.
Centre-back, James McSweeney, appeared to lose his footing when attempting to clear his lines and the alert Hale took full advantage.
Having gained possession the right winger worked his way into the danger area before accurately guiding the ball past the advancing Cobh keeper, Adam Mylod.
That lead, however, lasted just three minutes when Derry conceded a poor goal, the home defence failing to deal adequately with a low delivery across the face of goal.
In fact, in what appeared a comedy of errors, Derry defender Dan Seaborne’s attempted clearance rebounded off the leg of Cobh striker Christopher Hull and the First Division outfit were back in the game.
Following the change of ends both Hale and McEneff went close with good efforts, ’keeper Mylod forced into action.
The home side moved back into the driving seat in the 54th minute following a corner. Ben Fisk floated the ball into the danger area and Darren Cole rose majestically to head the ball firmly home.
The hard working Rory Hale had a shot spilled by Mylod in the 67th minute as Derry constantly pushed to put the game to bed.
And that situation duly arrived three minutes later when the home side were deservedly awarded a penalty.
Jamie McDonagh made a penetrating run on the right and as he worked his way past Ian Mylod, the full-back clearly impeded the winger and a well placed referee, Ben Connolly, immediately pointed to the spot.
McEneff drove the spotkick home and Cobh’s dream of a shock result began to fade.
However, it was not to be Cobh’s day when they squandered an opportunity to reduce the arrears in the 87th minute having been awarded a penalty, Derry’s Darren Cole impeding David Hurley when inside the box.
Up stepped former Ipswich Town player, Shane O’Connor, but he failed to beat Derry keeper, Ger Doherty who did well to dive low to his left to block the effort before the loose ball was directed over the crossbar.
Derry City: Doherty; McDonagh, Cole, Seaborne, McHattie; Fisk (Delap, 75), Rory Hale (McNamee, 90), Splaine (Low 65), Shiels; McEneff; Ronan Hale.
Cobh Ramblers: A. Mylod; I. Mylod, McSweeney, Walker, Taylor; Christopher (Flemming, 60), O’Riordan (Donnellan, 72) O’Connor, Fernandez, (Leonard, 86); Hull, Hurley.
Referee: B. Connolly (Dublin).