Derry City secure crucial win over Shamrock Rovers
Derry City 3
Shamrock Rovers 1
Aaron McEneff scored twice as Derry City secured a hugely important win over Shamrock Rovers tonight, Friday, May 19 at Maginn Park.
The midfielder opened and finished the scoring for Kenny Shiels’ team on a tense night which saw some spectacular goals and full-blooded challenges throughout.
Within five minutes, the ball was in the Shamrock Rovers net thanks to a wonder strike from Aaron McEneff. Dean Jarvis’ cross from the left picked out Luks Schubert in space at the back post. The midfielder opted not to go for the header, instead bringing the ball down, but just when it seemed as if the chance had gone, he prodded the ball towards the edge of the area where McEneff stood, and he curled the ball spectacularly over Chencinski, with the ball striking the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net.
Rovers were stunned by that and Derry almost took full advantage, with Nathan Boyle bringing a save from Chencinski before Schubert volleyed just wide from 20 yards.
Ronan Finn was the man running the show for Rovers as the visitors looked for a way back into the game and while City looked lively in attack, Rovers looked just as capable at the other end.
There was little that Gerard Doherty could do about the equalising goal when it came, as Gary Shaw collected a ball into the penalty area before setting up Graham Burke, who volleyed the ball spectacularly over the City goalkeeper and into the net to level the game.
There was nothing between the sides until the last seconds of the first half when Derry struck again. Lukas Schubert collected a flick on from Nathan Boyle and made his way into the area. The midfielder again opted not to shoot but played the ball across the face of goal unselfishly to Barry McNamee, who picked his spot, placing the ball into the bottom corner past Chencinski for his sixth goal of the season.
Rovers were dangerous again as they looked for a second equaliser but they were very nearly caught out with a Derry counter attack, McEneff’s cross cleared as far as Ronan Curtis who attempted to curl into the top corner from 25 yards only for Chencinski to brilliantly parry the ball behind for a corner.
Rovers thought they had equalised on 75 minutes when Meenan headed in Miele’s cross but as the visitors were off celebrating, the goal was ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Gerard Doherty.
The win was secured in added time when substitute Sean Heaney was adjudged to have fouled Ronan Curtis in the area and Aaron McEneff drilled in his second of the game to secure three very valuable points for Derry City.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Conor McDermott, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis (Ben Doherty 87’), Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low, Ronan Curtis (Mark Timlin 90’), Lukas Schubert (Josh Daniels 81’), Barry McNamee, Nathan Boyle, Harry Monaghan.
Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski, Luke Byrne, David Webster, Roberto Lopes (Sean Heaney 68’), Ronan Finn, Brandon Miele, Gary Shaw, David McAlistair, Simon Madden, Trevor Clarke (Darren Meenan 62’), Graham Burke (Michael O’Connor 81’).
Referee: Ben Connolly.