Derry City beat Galway to remain in title hunt

Derry City won their second Premier Division game this week with a 2-0 home victory against Galway United at the Brandywell.

Second half goals from Will Patching and Pat Hoban were enough to get the better of a stubborn Galway side.

The result keeps the Candystripes two points behind leaders Shelbourne, who defeated Dundalk 1-0.

Derry got off to a rapid start looking to emulate Monday night when they were three goals to the good after half an hour.

Galway native Hoban attempted an audacious bicycle kick within the first 60 seconds that forced Brendan Clarke into a fine stretching save.

The rebound fell to Patching, whose piledriver was well held by the Galway goalkeeper.

Just two minutes later, the Candystripes perhaps should have been ahead. Michael Duffy produced some trademark wing wizardry on the left and picked out Paul McMullan with a deep cross to the back post.

The Scotsman met it first time but couldn't direct his effort on target.

The Brandywell faithful must have been licking their lips at the thought of another onslaught from their side, but the Tribesman soon settled into the game and found the shape that has made them so difficult to beat on their return to the top flight this season.

The game became scrappy and niggly with chances at a premium. Any first half chance did fall the way of Derry, but it took until the 41st minute for Clarke to be tested again.

It was that duo of Patching and Hoban again with the English midfielder showing great footwork in the box and getting a shot away that was parried. Hoban reacted quickest, but the experienced Galway stopper was alert to tip over the top.

Second half salvo secures Derry win

Ruaidhri Higgins would have been hoping to see his side take the impetus in the second half, but John Caulfield's men have been miserly all season, conceding a league low eleven goals coming into this while only Dundalk have scored less than their 14.

However, as the home support were starting to get a little tetchy, remembering Galway's late winner here earlier this year, the hosts broke down the most stubborn of rearguards on 65 minutes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Duffy dancing down the left who got a cross in and there was Patching finding a space in the middle to side-foot home on his 100th start for City.

The visitors struggled to get anything going in the final third and the final nail in their coffin was hammered home by Hoban with five minutes to go with his 11th of the season.

It was a trademark clinical finish as he got on the end of substitute Daniel Kelly's inviting ball in front of the Galway defence.

Derry's second win in five days caps off a fine week for Higgins' men as they stay hot on the heels of leaders Shelbourne.

They will travel to Dalymount Park to take on Bohemians on Thursday looking to atone for their defeat there in mid-March.