Derry City 1-4 Dundalk
Dundalk moved two points clear at the top of the table on Monday night with a superb 4-1 win over Derry City at the Brandywell.
Darren Cole had given the hosts the lead however goals from Brian Gartland and Robbie Benson had Dundalk in front at the break. Michael Duffy and Krisztián Adorján in the second half inflicted a first defeat on Derry City since their return to the venue.
Dundalk started the brighter and Michael Duffy threatened with a left footed drive from the edge of the area but it hit the side netting and the Derry man turned provider as his cross was into the path of Patrick Hoban however he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Despite the early pressure, it was the home side who had the best chance with their first attack and Ronan Hale found himself in behind from Ronan Curtis’ through ball but Gary Rogers did well to deny the striker from close range.
Derry would take the lead though when Aaron McEneff’s corner was only cleared as far as Darren Cole and he took a touch before firing from the edge of the area over the stranded Rogers to make it 1-0.
That appeared to spur the Lilywhites into life and were so close to levelling when Duffy’s corner fell to Sean Hoare and he unleashed a stunning volley from 10 yards however it was matched by the save by Ger Doherty who managed to get his arm to it to tip it around the post.
It would be 1-1 though moments later when Duffy’s corner was met by the head of Brian Gartland and he powered the ball to the net for his first goal of the campaign.
Dundalk would indeed turn it around and go in front when a wonderful team move saw Jamie McGrath play an expert through ball to Robbie Benson, who sprung the offside trap, and he showed immense composure to round Doherty and finish to the net.
The two teams traded chances just before the break from Duffy and McEneff but both were blocked on their way to goal.
Dundalk would indeed get the third goal 5 minutes into the second half. It was the classic counter attack as Derry City tried to pull level from a corner, the Candystripes committed bodies forward however the move broke down and the Lilywhites pushed out at pace.
Benson took the ball forward and his pass looked destined for Dylan Connolly however Duffy took the ball down and he ran at Jack Doyle who was the last man back for Derry however he tripped as he tried to stop the winger and left him one on one with Doherty. There was only one winner as Duffy calmly slotted to the net from just inside the area.
McEneff and Curtis both had free-kicks from just outside the area hit the wall as Derry tried to get back into the game and Curtis looked like he had the chance to make it 3-2 when he got through on goal however Gartland recovered to miraculously make the block.
Duffy almost provided another when he found Hoare in the area however it was saved once more by Doherty.
It would be 4-1 in the dying embers of the game when substitutes Marco Tagbajumi combined with Krisztián Adorján and the latter founf the net with a smart strike from just inside the area to secure an important three points for Stephen Kenny’s men.
DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty; Conor McDermott, Darren Cole, Gavin Peers, Jack Doyle; Aaron McEneff, Eoin Toal, Nicky Low, Ronan Curtis, Rory Patterson, Ronan Hale (Jamie McDonagh 58).
Substitutes not used: Eric Grimes (GK), Nathan Boyle, Cathal Farren, Jamie McIntyre, Ben Doherty, Niall Logue.
Booked: Patterson (75), McDermott (87)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Georgie Poynton, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; Dylan Connolly, Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Substitute not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Krisztián Adorján, Sam Byrne, Stephen Folan, Ronan Murray, Marco Tagbajumi, Dean Jarvis.
Booked: Shields (30)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Neil Doyle.