Michael Rafter’s double lifts the roof for Derry City against Shelbourne

Candy Stripes get back to winning ways as visitors remain in relegation trouble

Derry City’s Michael Rafter struck twice against Shelbourne. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Derry City’s Michael Rafter struck twice against Shelbourne. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho


Derry City 3 Shelbourne 1: Derry City got back to winning ways at the Brandywell as Shelbourne’s relegation worries continued.

However, Johnny McDonnell’s problems were compounded when two of his players were shown red cards, one sent from the dugout following an altercation with the fourth official.

With all the goals having been netted in the opening period, it was Derry who maintained the momentum, Shels struggling to make inroads following the change of ends.

Any hopes the visitors had to taking anything from the game, disappeared within two second-half minutes. Brian Gannon was sent off having received a second yellow card in the 74th minute and two minutes later the referee was called to the sideline by his fourth official, before he gave a straight red to Robert Bayly in the dugout, that player having been substituted in the 70th minute.

Best possible start
Declan Devine’s side got off to the best possible start when awarded a penalty after just two minutes, Rory Patterson bundled over inside the area by Pat Flynn. And having dusted himself down, the league’s top striker netted his 17th league goal of the season.

Stunned by that early setback, Brian Gannon forced Derry ’keeper, Gerard Doherty into a vital save before the home lot doubled their lead in the 12th minute. Patterson’s deft flick sent Michael Rafter scampering clear and having worked his way past Paul Andrews, the Tipperary native crashed the ball past the advancing keeper.

And the home side went close to increasing their lead when Patterson raced clear but his low shot was parried and gathered by Murphy.

Shels worked their way back into the game following a route one approach. A long ball from Murphy in the 36th minute caught out the home defence and Dean Kelly moved clear to lob the ball over the advancing Doherty.

But the Candy Stripes bounced back within a minute when Rafter doubled his tally, Simon Madden’s cross headed back across the face of goal by Barry McNamee with Rafter heading home from close range.

In the second half, Derry maintained the momentum with Patterson, McNamee, Dean Jarvis and substitute, Michael. Duffy, all going close to increasing the home side’s advantage. Compounding Shels woes was injury to ’keeper Murphy, substitute Niall Burdon coming on for the final half hour.

DERRY CITY: Doherty; Madden, S. McEleney (Duffy, 33), McBride, Jarvis; P. McEleney, Molloy, Higgins, McNamee; Rafter (Curran, 85), Patterson (McDaid).
SHELBOURNE: Murphy (Burdon, 60); Cornwell, O’Connor, Andrews, Flynn; Brennan (Connolly, 53), Hurley, Gannon, Hanlon; Kelly, Bayly (Murtagh, 70).
Referee: T Connolly (Dublin).