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St. Patrick’s Athletic returned home with three points after running out 3-0 winners away to Derry City at the Brandywell on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division. Strikes from Aaron Greene, James Chambers and Chris Forrester secured the points for the Saints.
The opening stages of the encounter were timid however on 13 minutes an exhibition of ability from Joshua Daniels nearly lit the place alight. The young wing man gained possession on the left side before beginning his run at the St. Pat’s defence beating Ger O’Brien in the process. He set himself and had an effort on goal however the visiting keeper Brendan Clarke was equal to it and palmed it away for a corner that came to nothing.
Just minutes later, Patrick McEleney got the better of Ger O’Brien on the same side before playing the ball across the box to the lurking Barry McNamee although the midfielder could only sky his shot over the crossbar.
On 21 minutes, St. Pat’s nearly opened the scoring. Killian Brennan got in behind the Derry backline before crossing towards the back post. There was no Saints players to convert however the visitors were nearly gifted the goal when Dean Jarvis’ attempted clearance went wayward. The ball flicked off the full back and travelled towards Doherty in the Derry net but fortunately for the Brandywell side Doherty, was able to get his body in the way to prevent a goal.
However the visitors did have the opener after 26 minutes of play. Aaron Greene luckily found himself with the ball 20-yards from Doherty’s net. The striker turned wing man for the evening took a touch to set himself before lashing a low drilled shot into the bottom corner of Ger Doherty’s net.
Following the goal the game entered a subdued spell but St. Pat’s went close to doubling their lead twice in the last five minutes of the first half. On 42 minutes, Ian Bermingham crossed the ball into the box towards Christy Fagan who was able to get a shot on goal although Doherty saved. The ball eventually fell to Chris Forrester, after Doherty parried, who was able to flick the ball into the back of the net, however the linesman disallowed it on account of offside.
Just two minutes later, St. Pat’s looked certain to double their lead. Killian Brennan latched onto a Christy Fagan flicked header. The former Derry player made his way towards Doherty before firing a low shot goal wards however the Derry shot stopper was able to dive low to prevent what looked a destined goal.
Derek Tomney brought the first half to a close with the visitors 1-0 up. The home side however did react well at the beginning of the second period asserting a period of dominance early on but they failed to make it count and were punished on just before the hour mark when St. Pat’s doubled their lead. Shaun Kelly gave away a free-kick, fouling Killian Brennan after the midfielder dispossessed him. James Chambers stepped up to the mark 25-yards from goal, and powered a low shot which found the bottom corner, it was a superb finish from the midfielder.
Derry frantically looked for a way back into the game and on 74 minutes they almost had just that. A great ball between Joshua Daniels and Patrick McEleney allowed the latter to cross the ball into the box in the direction of Philip Lowry. The midfielder cushioned the ball with a header before flicking the ball over the heads of the defence. However he could only thunder his shot over the bar.
Derry continued their search in the final 15 minutes for a goal but it was in vain and deep in stoppage time, it was game over as Chris Forrester made it 3-0 to the Saints. Forrester gained possession in the Derry box with the Derry defence short in numbers. He deceived two defenders and calmly lobbed the ball over Doherty who has already dived to the ground in an attempt to block the shot.
The game was brought to a close with yet more despair for the Derry faithful as St. Pat’s resurrect a small piece of hope that they could still be involved in the title challenge.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Shaun Kelly (Ciaran Harkin 85), Shane McEleney, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Ryan Curran, Philip Lowry, Barry McNamee, Joshua Daniels; Patrick McEleney (George Kelly 77); Cillian Morrison (Ronan Curtis 69).
Subs Not Used: Shaun Patton, Anthony Elding, Nathan Boyle, Seamus Sharkey.
Booked: Patrick McEleney (32), Aaron Barry (63), Philip Lowry (66).
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien (Seán Hoare 61), Jason McGuinness, Les Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Chris Forrester. Greg Bolger, James Chambers (Conor McCormack 82), Aaron Greene; Killian Brennan; Christy Fagan (Jamie McGrath 77).
Subs Not Used: Conor O’Malley, Morgan Langley, Ciarán Killduff, Sam Vefron.
Booked: Aaron Greene (57), Greg Bolger (90+3).
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Attendance: 1,300 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: James Chambers (St. Patrick’s Athletic).