Jamie McGonigle’s penalty the difference as Derry add to Dundalk’s woes

The defeat has compounded Dundalk’s problems having crashed out of Europe

Ruaidhri Higgins’ Derry City team were 1-0 winners over Dundalk on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Derry City 1 Dundalk 0

It’s been a difficult few days for Dundalk football club, but Derry City will show them very little sympathy as they recorded just their second win in 32 matches against the Lilywhites.

In fact, one must go back to 2017 to record Derry’s last win over the men from Oriel Park and that game was played at Maginn Park in Buncrana, as Brandywell Stadium was being refurbished.

And the defeat has compounded Dundalk’s problems having crashed out of the Europa Conference League on Thursday night last when losing to Dutch side, Vitesse Arnhem.

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In what was a highly competitive fixture, a controversial penalty five minutes into the second half decided this affair.

Derry striker, Jamie McGonigle, attempted a shot from the angle and as Dundalk skipper Andy Boyle made his clearance, the referee ruled that he had handled the ball when doing so.

McGonigle placed the ball and his powerful drive from 12 yards gave goalkeeper Alessio Abibi no chance.

Prior to that, the first half saw limited scoring opportunities, and of the chances that had been created neither team managed to take advantage.

Indeed, the closest any team came to scoring emerged during injury time at the end of the half.

McGonigle broke down the left flank and his low centre into the path of the advancing Joe Thomson saw the midfielder turn Raivis Jurkovskis before smashing his effort against the base of the upright.

Minutes earlier, Dundalk hitman David McMillan brought the best out of Nathan Gartside on two occasions.

In the first effort the Dubliner’s shot on the turn was superbly blocked by the Derry goalkeeper from close range and before the half ended McMillan’s stinging shot from 20 yards was parried by Gartside before the ball was cleared.

However, the thrilling game ended on a sad note as McMillan was stretchered off following an unfortunate challenge by Derry full-back Ciaran Coll. And with Dundalk not in a position to make another stoppage they finished the game with 10 men.

Derry City: Gartside; Boyce, Toal, McJannet, Coll; Harkin, McLaughlin (Hery, 62), Thomson; Lafferty; McAkintunde, McGonigle (Fitzgerald, 72).

Dundalk: Abibi; Clery, Boyle, Jurkovskis; Murray (Hoban, 62), Kelly (Sloggett 39), Dummigan, Stanton, Duffy; McEleney (Patching, 30); McMillan.

Referee: D. McGraith (Mayo).