Belfast Telegraph

Ronan Curtis' teenage kicks give Shiels his first win

Derry City 1-0 Cork City

By Eoin Wilson

A second-half strike from teenager Ronan Curtis gave Kenny Shiels his first win as Derry City manager at the Brandywell last night.

The 19-year-old's effort, which came bang on the hour mark, sealed a deserved 1-0 win for the Candystripes, who responded to last week's defeat to Finn Harps in the best possible fashion.

The hosts worked tirelessly throughout and restricted Cork to just one effort on target, a 90th-minute header from Eoghan O'Connell, as they secured their first victory over John Caulfield's side in 11 games.

The Brandywell fans joined as one in the 18th minute when supporters stood and applauded in tribute to Derry's legendary former striker Mark Farren, who passed away last month after a battle with cancer, and they could even have been celebrating a goal when Cork defender Alan Bennet panicked under pressure and nearly sent the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Mark McNulty had no choice but to dive on the ball, gifting the hosts an indirect free-kick just 10 yards from goal. Rory Patterson's piledriver, however, was charged down by a sea of green shirts and the ball was cleared.

Cork, who featured former Candystripe Stephen Dooley in their starting XI, rarely threatened in a forgettable first-half, although Sean Maguire's teasing ball across the face of goal just before half-time was crying out for a team-mate to tap it into an open goal.

Cork were fortunate to go in level at the break after a penetrating run from Curtis set up a shooting chance for Barry McNamee, but his first-time effort flashed into the side netting.

Conor McCormack signalled Derry's intention two minutes into the second-half when his 30-yard scorcher just sailed over McNulty's crossbar and the hosts finally got their reward on the hour.

A simple but effective passing move cut through Cork as Curtis again drove at the visitors' defence and a quick one-two with McNamee put the teenager in on goal, and he showed tremendous composure by hooking a left-footed shot past McNulty.

If anything, it was Derry who remained on top following the goal, both defensively and offensively, as the players in red and white covered every blade of grass in defence of their lead.

Curtis was enjoying his best ever game for Derry as he continued to terrorise the Cork defence and his direct running proved to be too much for Greg Bolger on 81 minutes, as the Cork man hacked down the teenager, earning a straight red card from referee Derek Tomney.

From that moment there was no way back for Cork as the tireless hosts ran down the clock to secure a huge victory for Shiels and the Brandywell faithful.

Derry City: Doherty, Vemmelund, Jarvis, McBride, McCormack, McNamee, Monaghan, Patterson, McGlynn (Daniels 71 mins), Curtis (Ward 89 mins), Aaron.

Goals: Curtis 60.

Cork City: McNulty, Bennett, Dunleavy, O'Connell, Bolger, Holohan (Beattie 53 mins), Dooley (O'Sullivan 69 mins), Morrissey, Browne, Maguire, Turner (Sheppard 62 mins).

Sent off: Bolger 80.

Man of the match: Curtis (

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Derek Tomney

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