Derry City gave Declan Devine the perfect start to his reign as they opened their league account with a hard fought 1-0 victory against a spirited Bohemians outfit at the Brandywell.
The game was however marred by a tackle from Adam Martin which at best could be described as a whole hearted lunge. The Bohs midfielder was shown a straight red card by Neil Doyle and it was always going to be hard for the Gypsies from thereon in.
The game began at a hectic pace with neither side taking charge in the first 10 minutes, with the only notable event being Owen Heary receiving a yellow card for obstructing Gerard Doherty.
In the 13th minute, a lovely bit of vision saw Patrick McEleney release Simon Madden but he just couldn't get the shot away. A scrappy midfield battle ensued and Stephen McLaughlin went into the book for pulling back a marauding Derek Pender in the 24th minute.
Bohemians were starting to take control of the midfield and in the 43rd minute, Barry Molloy saw yellow for a late tackle on Keith Ward. Just as half time seemed due, a two footed tackle from Bohs Adam Martin sent Stephen McLaughlin about three feet in the air. Mr Doyle had no choice but to give the midfielder his marching orders.
As the second half got underway, there was more urgency from Derry City, taking advantage of the extra man. And it wasn't long before the home side took the lead when the excellent Simon Madden put in a perfect cross which Stephen McLaughlin powerfully headed into the net.
Aaron Callaghan introduced John O'Connor for Luke Byrne as he bravely played a 3-4-2 formation in search of the equaliser. But the numerical advantage proved just too much for the Dublin men and the game was seen out to give Derry a great start to the campaign.
Although the game was fairly scrappy there will be a lot of positives for both managers to take from. Bohemians probably just shaded the first half with 11 men, no mean feat at the Brandywell and Declan Devine will have been happy with three points and a man of the match performance from new boy Simon Madden.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney, Dermott McCaffrey; Patrick McEleney, Rhuadhri Higgins, Barry Molloy (c), Stephen McLaughlin; David McDaid (Mark Farren '71), Rory Patterson. Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Owen Morrison, Eddie McCallion, Ryan Curran, Ryan McBride, Matthew Crossan. Bookings: McLaughlin (24), Molloy (43), S McEleney (58).
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Derek Pender, Owen Heary (c), Evan McMillan, Luke Byrne (John O'Connor '53); Karl Moore, Adam Martin, Danny Joyce (Dwaine Wilson '69), Pete McMahon; Keith Ward (Roberto Lopes '45), Dinny Corcoran. Subs not used: Andy McNulty, Stephen Traynor, Kevin Feely, Ryan McEvoy. Bookings: Heary (7), E McMillan (45+1). Sendings Off: Martin (45).