Photo Gallery & Report: Dundalk 1-0 Derry City
An early penalty save from Peter Cherrie and a magnificent team goal which ended with Colin Hawkins, following a quick break, heading in on 43 minutes saw Dundalk secure a precious and deserved 1-0 win over Derry City at Oriel Park on Thursday evening, as they became only the second team to beat The Candystripes this season. The Lilywhites had started well but conceded a penalty on the quarter-hour mark, Cherrie getting down well to deny Gareth McGlynn. Cherrie then denied Eamon Zayed with a superb save after Ruaidhri Higgins had hit the crossbar. Dundalk broke the deadlock shortly before the break when Greg Bolger, Mark Griffin and Dean Bennett combined to setup Hawkins. Mark Quigley hit the post after the break before, at the death, Zayed wasted a golden chance for the visitors from close range.
Photo Gallery, courtesy of Nigel Caldwell: Here!
Dundalk manager Ian Foster made one change to the team that defeated UCD six days earlier as Keith Ward replaced the suspended Ross Gaynor. After Stewart Greacen cleared on the edge of the box with Quigley ready to pounce, the first real chance arrived on four minutes when Zayed found himself in behind but Cherrie did well to block the shot behind. The home side settled well after that, but Derry were awarded a penalty on 16 minutes when Michael Hector took down McGlynn inside the box as he bore down on goal, the on-loan Reading defender shown a yellow card. However, the midfielder saw his low spot-kick saved by Cherrie who gathered at the second attempt. At the other end, the lively Griffin did well to control and get his shot away from 25-yards, but it flew well over the target.
Past the midway point of the half, McGlynn’s corner caused problems with James McClean getting a head to the ball but his tame effort never troubled Cherrie. Griffin then attacked a Daniel Kearns cross at the front post but the Derry defence did well to clear. Zayed and Ward had shots gathered, before, on 33 minutes, Quigley’s low free-kick forced Gerard Doherty to push around his post. The resulting corner was initially cleared but Ward regained possession, the ball eventually coming to Quigley who tried his luck from range, Doherty doing well to hold. At the other end, on 35 minutes, Higgins’ fine dipping volley from 25-yards came back off the crossbar and fell to Zayed but, from 12-yards, he saw his shot superbly saved by Cherrie on the line. On 39 minutes, Quigley again shot from distance, his 40-yard shot again pushed wide by Derry’s No1.
Dundalk broke the deadlock on 43 minutes after they broke swiftly from a Derry corner. It started through Bolger with Griffin involved as he fed Bennett down the right. The chance looked to have gone as he was pushed away from goal, but a magnificent cross back into the box was brilliantly headed to the net by the in-rushing Hawkins. It was the first time that Derry trailed at the half-time break this season. The visitors pressed at the beginning of the second half but it was Dundalk who should have doubled their lead on 51 minutes when Ward slipped in Quigley who got behind Eddie McCallion before setting himself up for a shot which beat Doherty but came back off the upright. On 55 minutes, Nathan Murphy, Bolger and Griffin combined well, the latter shooting from the edge of the box but seeing his shot saved.
On 79 minutes, after constant pressure, Griffin again shot wide after once more showing good control. On 82 minutes, Dundalk eventually had the ball in the net again when Hector challenged Doherty, heading onto the bar with Bennett tapping in the rebound, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on the ‘keeper. The Lilywhites had dominated possession and chances throughout the second half but they almost paid for their wastefulness in front of goal right on the 90 when Zayed somehow miscued from close range. In four minutes of added time, Foster’s side comfortably held out for the win, and with top two Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers losing on the night, Dundalk now move within three points of top spot.
DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie; Simon Madden ©, Colin Hawkins, Michael Hector, Nathan Murphy; Greg Bolger, Dean Bennett; Daniel Kearns, Mark Quigley, Keith Ward; Mark Griffin (Johnny Breen 89).
Goal: C Hawkins (43).
Booked: M Hector (16).
Unused Subs: Paul Murphy (GK), Shane Guthrie, Chris Kerr, Philip Duffy.
DERRY CITY FC: Gerard Doherty; Eddie McCallion (David McDaid 67), Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney, Daniel Lafferty (Ruairí Harkin 82); Gareth McGlynn, Barry Molloy ©, Ruaidhri Higgins, James McClean; Stephen McLaughlin (Patrick McEleney 67), Eamon Zayed.
Booked: R Higgins (31), J McClean (36), E Zayed (69), D Lafferty (74).
Unused Subs: Rory Kelly (GK), Michael McCrudden, Thomas McBride, Ryan McBride.
Referee: Damien Hancock (Dublin).