Derry City 3 Drogheda United 0
Derry City continued to hold the Indian sign over Drogheda United having defeated the Boynesiders for the fourth time this season at the Brandywell on Friday night to go above the Louth side into fifth in the SSE Airtricty League Premier Division table.
And following what proved a comfortable victory, Ruaidhrí Higgins also displayed his strength in depth having failed to include skipper Eoin Toal and striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, in his team panel.
As the scoreline suggested, Derry dominated the game but in the first half they struggled to breach the Drogheda defence until the latter stages.
And it was Derry’s new striker Jamie McGonigle who burst to prominence on his first start for the Candystripes.
The Dungiven man controlled Joe Thomson’s delivery in the 39th minute before skilfully turning inside Drogheda centre back Dan O’Reilly and driving the ball home.
It was a deserved lead for the home side who had passed the ball with great confidence and accuracy.
Thomson threatened to double Derry's lead in the 45th minute, but his powerful volley was palmed clear by the alert David Odumosu.
With Dinny Corcoran entering the fray at half-time, Drogheda made a decent start to the second half.
In fact, within four minutes they tested Derry goalkeeper Nathan Gartside when Darragh Markey let fly from the edge of the penalty area.
Derry, however, stood firm and with McGonigle giving the visiting defence plenty to think about, the home crowd continued to drive them on.
Thomson was sent scampering clear by McGonigle’s deft touch in the 53rd minute but the midfielder failed to beat Odumosu in the subsequent one-on-one situation.
At the other end in the 64th minute Drogheda's Mark Doyle weaved his way into the danger area but could only direct his shot into the side netting when he should have done better.
Back came Derry two minutes later and another superb volley from Thomson saw Odumosu produce a superb save, touching the ball over his crossbar.
From the resultant corner Derry doubled their advantage. Drogheda failed to adequately clear their lines and when the ball broke to the unmarked Danny Lafferty, he gleefully picked his spot when guiding the ball to the net from the angle.
In the 75th minute Lafferty doubled his tally to end the match as a contest when he produced a superb turn on the left side of the penalty area to stun the Drogheda defence with what was a superb strike.
With one minute remaining Derry sub Will Fitzgerald was unfortunate to see his low shot crash off the upright with Odumosu stranded.
DERRY CITY: Gartside; Boyce, McJannet, Coll; Malone (Hery, 72), Harkin, Thomson, Lafferty; McLaughlin (Cole, 72); Akintunde (Ferry, 84), McGonigle (Fitzgerald, 76).
DROGHEDA UNITED: Odumosu; Brown, O'Reilly, Massey, Kane; Markey, Deegan (Heeney, 79), Hyland (Clarke, 70), Doyle; Phillips; Murray (Corcoran, h/t) .
Referee: R Hennessy.