Round-up: Derry and St Pat’s hit with blows in race for Europe
Finn Harps remain in relegation playoff spot after failing to find a winner against UCD
Dundalk’s Daniel Kelly celebrates scoring the first goal of the game during their Airtricity League clash with Derry City. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Waterford 2
Micheal O’Connor scored twice as Waterford deservedly won for the second time in Inchicore this season to dent St Pat’s hopes of qualifying for Europe.
Having started brightly with winger Walter Figueira and Zack Elbouzedi coming close, Waterford took the lead on five minutes.
St Pat’s didn’t deal with a corner resulting in Dean Clarke clumsily tripping Rob Slevin in the area to concede a penalty which O’Connor confidently dispatched.
Home defender Lee Desmond hooked off the line from Kevin Lynch while Barry Murphy saved well from JJ Lunney in first half stoppage time as the home side struggled to impose themselves on the visitors.
Waterford goalkeeper Matt Connor wasn’t worked until the 77th minute when parrying substitute Ronan Hale’s drive.
A minute later O’Connor shot wide of a gapping goal after a counter down the right by Zack Elbouzedi.
But the striker made amends with a towering header from Sam Bone’s diagonal cross on 81 minutes for a fine second goal.
Hale was deprived of a consolation goal by the save of the game from Connor in stoppage time.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Murphy; Lennon (Hale, 71), Kelly, Desmond; D. Clarke, Coleman (McAuley, h-t), Clifford, Bermingham; Forrester, Drennan (Walker, h-t), Markey.
Waterford: Connor; Bone, Slevin, Kouogun, Lynch; Duggan, Holland, Lunney; Elbouzedi, O’Connor (Walsh, 90+1), Figueira (O’Halloran, 89).
Referee: Edgar Malcevs (Latvia)
Dundalk 1-0 Derry City
Daniel Kelly’s 13th goal of the season proved decisive as champions Dundalk extended their unbeaten domestic run to 31 games with a 1-0 win over Derry City at Oriel Park.
Both sides had chances in a first-half with Kelly flashing a volley just wide of Peter Cherrie’s upright early on. The Scottish goalkeeper then made a brilliant save to keep a Patrick Hoban header out before the interval.
Derry, who have now slipped to fourth in the table after this defeat, should have gone in ahead at the break but Barry McNamee failed to capitalise on a mistake in the Dundalk back four with just Gary Rogers to beat.
The only goal arrived in the 64th minute. Substitute Lido Lotefa played a big part, playing the ball out for Sean Gannon whose cross was swept home at the far post by the incoming Kelly.
Gannon and Kelly almost combined again in the 73rd minute and the Candsytripes almost snatched a point in their next attack but substitute Grant Gillespie saw his drive come back off the post.
Dundalk: Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Dummigan; Shields, Benson; D Kelly (Hanratty 87), Murray (G Kelly 76), Duffy (Lotefa 60); Hoban.
Derry City: Cherrie; McDonagh, Toal, Gilchrist, Coll; Sloggett (Gillespie 31), Harkin; McCauley (Davis 57), McNamee (McCrudden 80), Junior; Parkhouse.
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Finn Harps 0 UCD 0
Finn Harps and UCD played out an exciting scoreless draw at Finn Park as they both remain in the battle to avoid the drop along with Cork City who are still not safe.
Harps had the better of the first half with chances falling to Mark Coyle, Harry Ascroft, Mark Timlin and veteran Raffaele Cretaro who led the attack in the absence of the suspended Nathan Boyle.
UCD worried Harps at the other end with opportunities for Yousef Mahdy and Jason McClelland.
Cretaro went close again for Harps early in the second half and while UCD almost took the lead on 57 minutes but Mark Anthony McGInley pulled off a fine save to deny Jason McClelland.
Harps substitute Stephen Doherty had a good opportunity but Conor Kearns pulled off a decent stop on 65 minutes.
This result leaves the students six behind the Donegal club with three games to play and Harps are now six adrift of Cork City.
Finn Harps: McGinley; Borg, Ascroft, Cowan, Todd, Russell; McNamee, R. Harkin (G. Harkin, 63 mins), Timlin (Doherty, 63 mins); Coyle (Place, 85 mins), Cretaro.
UCD: Kearns; Farrell, McEvoy, Boore, Dignam; Kerrigan (O’Farrell, 80 mins), Keaney, Doyle, Keane, McClelland (Kinsella Bishop, 88 mins); Mahdy.
Referee: J. McLoughlin