Advertisement

Derry lose ground on leaders after defeat by Rovers

Shamrock Rovers' Neil Farrugia contests the ball with Derry defender Ciaran Coll
Shamrock Rovers' Neil Farrugia contests the ball with Derry defender Ciaran Coll [Inpho]

Derry City fell to a 1-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium thanks to Johnny Kenny’s early goal.

The result brings Rovers to within two points of a side Derry now four behind Shelbourne after the leaders snatched a late 2-1 win away to St. Pat's.

The Candystripes went searching for their second win in Dublin in four days as they carried a six-match unbeaten run to Tallaght, with their last defeat also coming against Rovers at the Brandywell last month.

However, they were on the back foot immediately and had Adam O’Reilly to thank after just two minutes for a heroic goal-line block. This was afer Kenny beat four Derry defenders and Brian Maher on a mazy run but the former St Pat’s man denied him.

That was merely a sighter for the former Celtic striker as he would have his goal just four minutes later. He reacted quickest to slam home after Maher parried Graham Burke’s rasping drive. Ruaidhri Higgins will have been pleased with City's response as O’Reilly and Will Patching both came close with long-range strikes.

Shamrock Rovers players celebrate Johnny Kenny's goal against Derry
Shamrock Rovers players celebrate Johnny Kenny's goal against Derry [Inpho]

Kenny was tormenting the Derry defence once more on 18 minutes and a rash sliding challenge from captain Cameron McJannett sent him tumbling in the box with a penalty awarded. However, a poor spot-kick from Burke was well saved low to his right by Maher.

The Candystripes were perhaps relieved to go in at the break just a goal down after another desperate block from O’Reilly was required when Ciaran Coll’s charged down clearance fell to Jack Byrne.

City improved after the restart but, once more, it was the hosts with a good chance on the hour mark. Byrne played in Burke, who streaked away from the defence only to fire his shot into the side netting.

As the half wore on the visitors were struggling to create anything of note despite only being a goal down, with Paul McMullan's powerful shot on 80 minutes that whistled over the closest they came.

The Candystripes have now just picked up one point from their three meetings with Stephen Bradley's men this season as Rovers ended a four-game winless run.

City will be back at the Brandywell on Friday against Sligo Rovers as they look to bounce back in what is the first of three home games out of their next four.