St Patrick’s Athletic continued their unbeaten start to the season with a thoroughly deserved away win against a lacklustre Derry City at the Brandywell tonight.
Liam Buckley’s men made up the better side in every department and Candystripes boss Declan Devine will be very disappointed with the listless display produced by his side, especially at home.
The first half produced very few clear chances but began with some good football from both sides.
In the 9th minute a swift St Pat’s break saw Chris Forrester force a fine save from Gerard Doherty whilst at the other end in the 15th minute a David McDaid snap shot brought the best out of Brendan Clarke.
In the 24th minute Christy Fagan and Ruadhri Higgins tangled in the Derry box and the St Pat’s striker was furious when not awarded a penalty though, in fairness to the referee, there seemed very little in it.
The first yellow card of the game was shown to Stephen McLaughlin for a high foot but the Derry winger seemed unlucky as it appeared a harsh call
Just as it seemed a quiet first half was about to end, a seemingly harmless ball was floated in from the right. However, the Derry centre halves were nowhere to be seen and Darren Meenan got on the end of it and looped a header over Gerard Doherty and into the net to give the visitors the half time advantage.
Derry City began the second half with a touch more urgency but the first chance fell to Pats striker Christy Fagan. He was sent clean through on goal but a great save from Doherty kept the score at 1-0 when perhaps the striker should have done better.
Straight away the excellent John Russell tested Doherty again, only for Stephen McLaughlin to break and face down Brendan Clarke and put the ball in the back of the net at the other end. Unfortunately for him, play was pulled back for offside – much to Derry’s chagrin.
At that juncture, St Pat’s were controlling the game and were rewarded with a second in the 64th minute when a tame Sean O'Connor shot squirmed through the arms of Gerard Doherty to double the Dubliners’ lead.
For the rest of the game, although Derry did try to press, they never really looked like troubling a very well organised St Pat’s team and, when the referee finally blew for full time, there was no doubt that the better side on the night had triumphed.
Declan Devine will have to go back to the drawing board if he wants to bring his side’s league form back to the level it was at last year. Liam Buckley, on the other hand, will gain great confidence as his side maintain the pace that Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers have set.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Eddie McCallion (Shane McEleney 54), Ryan McBride (Ryan Curran 82), Dermot McCaffrey; Barry McNamee (Brian McGroary 54), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins, Stephen McLaughlin; David McDaid, Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Michael Barr, Caiomhin Bonner, Matthew Crossan.
Bookings: McLaughlin (37), Molloy (70).
St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Kenny Browne, Conor Kenna, Ian Bermingham; Mark Rossiter (Darren Meenan 7), John Russell, Greg Bolger, Sean O'Connor (Jake Kelly 82); Christy Fagan (Ian Daly 71), Chris Forrester.
Subs not used: Barry Murphy, Jake Carroll, Pat Flynn, Dean Kelly.