Candystripes’ sweet performance secures Euro adventure
Derry City 2 Bohemians 1
Derry City secured European football for next season by coming from behind to beat Bohemians in a dominant performance at the Brandywell on Friday night.
This was the Candy Stripes’ first win at home in seven attempts, and was thoroughly deserved in a one-sided display by Kenny Shiels’ team.
City had to do it the hard however after they went behind early on. Niclas Vemmelund lost the ball inside his own half and Byrne was immediately played through on goal. The Bohs man won the race to the ball ahead of Gerard Doherty, went past the goalkeeper and shot for the open goal. It seemed that Conor McDermott had denied the striker a goal by reaching the ball on the line, but it still managed to get past the defender somehow, spiralling into the net to give Bohemians their first goal against Derry this season.
City should have equalised within 60 seconds however, as Rory Patterson found himself in an identical position to Byrne moments earlier. City’s top scorer raced through and beat the goalkeeper but once he did so he snatched at the shot rather than picking his spot, and Derek Prendergast was able to block his shot on the line.
The goal that Derry City so richly deserved finally arrived five minutes into the second half. There was little that Kenny Shiels could have said to his players at half time, and they emerged on the front foot, and Dean Jarvis outfoxed Derek Pender just inside the area and just in front of referee Derek Tomney, who immediately pointed to the penalty spot. It was the tenth time City had been awarded a penalty this season, and Aaron McEneff maintained his 100% record from the spot, driving the ball low to the goalkeeper’s right for his sixth goal of the season.
It just got better for the Candy Stripes from there and they turned the game on its head completely by taking the lead on 63 minutes. A melee in the penalty area saw Bohs fail to clear the ball, and Dean Jarvis surrounded by Bohs players, trying to get a yard to get a shot on goal. When Jarvis did eventually shoot it was cleared off the line, before the ball was sliced across goal to the back post where Patterson stood alone to force the ball over the line to make it 2-1 Derry.
Derry continued to dominate from there and Ronan Curtis should have made it 3-1 with a close range header which was spectacularly saved by Dean Delaney. But in the end 2-1 was enough, with Shamrock Rovers’ defeat to Dundalk making it a very good night for everyone at Derry City.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Niclas Vemmelund, Dean Jarvis, Aaron McEneff (Conor McCormack 76’), Harry Monaghan, Keith Ward (Rory Holden 76’), Rory Patterson, Joshua Daniels, Christian Castells (Max Karner 90’), Conor McDermott, Ronan Curtis.
Bohemians: Dean Delaney, Derek Pender (Dean O’Halloran 61’), Lorcan Fitzgerald, Derek Prendergast, Eoin Wearen (Mark Quigley 79’), Keith Buckley, Kurtis Byrne, Jake Kelly (Dano Byrne 61’), Paddy Kavanagh, Ian Morris, Dylan Hayes.
Referee: Derek Tomney.