Derry City's title hopes dented by Sligo defeat

Derry City dropped points in the race for the Premier Division title as they were beaten 2-1 by Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

Paul McMullan opened the scoring for the Candystripes with a fine finish on 54 minutes.

But Sligo fought back with Ellis Chapman levelling with a penalty, before he scored a late winner with a superb individual goal.

With Shelbourne drawing 1-1 with Drogheda, Derry City are now three points behind the league leaders.

Derry City came into the game full of confidence on the back of a six-game unbeaten run, but Sligo had proven to be their bogey team this season with the sides drawing on the two previous meetings this season.

It was a low-key first half at the Showgrounds, with clear cut chances at a premium for both sides.

Daniel Kelly had an early effort from a narrow angle saved by Ed McGinty before the goalkeeper then thwarted McMullan, saving a shot with his legs from the forward, who had raced through on goal.

Captain Patrick Hoban went close on the stroke of half-time for the visitors as his audacious overhead kick whistled wide.

The game exploded into life nine minutes into the second half, as Derry opened the scoring.

The goal was well crafted by Kelly, who beat his man on the right-hand side before standing up a cross to the back post.

The ball fell to McMullan, who rifled a shot into the far corner for his third goal of the season.

Classy Chapman sinks Candystripes

The momentum of the game shifted on the hour mark however, as Sadou Diallo tripped Will Fitzgerald in the box and the referee awarded a spot kick.

Chapman stepped up and coolly rolled the ball home, sending Brian Maher, who had saved the three previous penalties he faced this season, the wrong way to equalise.

The Candystripes were under pressure for a period of the game, before McMullan had a similar effort to his goal pushed away by McGinty.

Chapman then won it for the hosts, embarking on a mazy run, unchallenged, before flicking past Maher with the outside of the boot to send the home fans into raptures.

McGinty produced a superb double save to deny Hoban from close range in injury time as John Russell's side held on for the win.

Derry City are now winless in their last six visits to the Showgrounds and are not in league action for a month due to European and FAI Cup commitments.

Upon their return to Premier Division action, they will face Shelbourne in a huge game at the top of the table.