League Report: Derry City 1 - 3 Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers huddle

Shamrock Rovers huddle Credit: Matthew Lysaght (ETPhotos)

Shamrock Rovers produced an excellent second half display to win 1-3 against Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell on Friday night.

Aaron Greene was the key man again as his double after the break set them on their way before an effort from Richie Towell. It was a rare back to back win from the champions who must feel they are beginning to purr again.    

It was a dismal experience for the home side though. After creating a series of decent chances in the first half, they fell away once they went behind after the break. This underperformance heaps more pressure on the shoulders of manager Ruaidhrí Higgins.  

Higgins made two changes from the side who drew away to Drogheda United last weekend. Shane McEleney and Ben Doherty both came into the side as he opted for three at the back. Ciaran Coll and Daniel Kelly were the men to make way. Stephen Bradley elected to go with the same starting eleven who impressed in their 3-0 win against Sligo Rovers.

It was the home side who begun with an air of determination. Michael Duffy was eager to show his worth to the side with a low shot that was tipped around the post by Leon Pohls. They also had chances via Paul McMullan and Adam O’ Reilly. Gary O’ Neill forced Brian Maher into a smart save at the other end with a drive from around 25 yards.

Derry did have the ball in the net from Danny Mullen after twelve minutes after Ronan Boyce played a ball in from out wide. The striker had gone just a shade too early though. Rovers were then guilty of wasting a glorious double opportunity after beating the offside trap. Aaron Greene saw his effort beaten out by Maher initially. The rebound came back to him, and he elected to pass it rather than take it himself. Richie Towell saw his point blank tap in cleared off the line from Ben Doherty.

It was the home side who continued to create chances though. McMullan put a tame effort straight at Pohls before Mullen was cursing his luck just before the break. Will Patching laid it into his path, and he curled an effort towards the bottom corner. The visitors were relieved to see it strike the post and go out with the keeper beaten.

Derry continued in the same vein after the break as Pohls was forced to produce a smart save from Boyce and Mullen put an effort over the bar.

It was the away side who struck for the lead just before the hour mark though. It was simplicity to a tee as Dylan Watts played the ball down the side for Greene to run onto. The striker kept his cool to slot it into the bottom corner.

Minutes later the same pair combined to double the lead. Watts played the ball over the tap for Greene to clip the ball over the advancing Maher for his second of the game. The three defenders were struggling to keep up with the runs of the Rovers forwards who looked likely to carve them up at will.

Greene turned provider shortly after to set up the third. He intercepted the ball from Daniel Kelly to lay it inside to Graham Burke who squared it to Towell to shoot under the body of Maher.

Bradley had the luxury of replacing his key players ahead of big games ahead. It was two Derry subs who managed to pull one back for the home side though. Kelly got out wide to put in a decent cross that Hoban met at the back post.

It was but a consolation though as boos rang around the ground. Shamrock Rovers are on the road again as they make the short trip to take on leaders Shelbourne on Monday at 7.45pm Derry are again at home as they host St Patrick’s Athletic.  

Derry City: Brian Maher; Ronan Boyce, Mark Connolly, Shane McEleney (Daniel Kelly 64), Cameron McJannet; Ben Doherty, Paul McMullan, Adam O'Reilly, William Patching; Michael Duffy (Patrick Hoban 64), Daniel Mullen.

Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan, Ciarán Coll, Conor Barr, Sam Todd, Tiernan McGinty, Ciaron Harkin, Sean Patton.

Booked: William Patching (8).

Shamrock Rovers: Léon-Maurice Pöhls; Darragh Burns, Daniel Cleary (Cian Barrett 80), Joshua Honohan, Pico; Gary O'Neill (TrevorClarke 59), Markus Poom, Richard Towell, Dylan Watts; Graham Burke (Johnny Kenny 71), Aaron Greene (Rory Gaffney 71).

Subs not used: Toms Leitis, Lee Steacy, Seán Kavanagh, Darragh Nugent, Conan Noonan.

Booked: Joshua Honohan (29), Rory Gaffney (73).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

Attendance: 3159

extratime.com Player of the Match: Aaron Greene