Derry City’s terrible end of the season form continued as they slumped to a fifth defeat in a row, this time at the hands of Sligo Rovers.
Once again the home side failed to show any passion or fight and in truth the FAI Cup semi-finalists deservedly claimed the points at the Brandywell.
Derry’s shaky defence was caught out after just seven minutes as Sligo hit-man Rafael Cretaro raced clear and calmly fired home his 15th league goal of the season.
With Tam McManus, Tommy Stewart, Sammy Morrow and Mark Farren all out through injury, Derry had teenagers Aaron Nash and David McDaid leading the line and the duo were in the thick of the action after that early set-back.
And it didn’t take Derry long to equalise as they were on level terms within a minute when Gareth McGlynn’s pass found McDaid whose right-footed effort looped over Ciaran Kelly in the Rovers goal.
Stephen Kenny’s side suffered more injury problems just before the break when centre-back Stephen Gray had to be replaced by Peter Hutton after injuring his back.
Rovers missed a golden chance to take the lead again in the 58th minute, but Eoin Doyle’s shot was cleared off the line by Eddie McCallion.
Paul Cook’s men did regain the lead five minutes later in tremendous fashion when Romauld Boco’s 25 yard free-kick, after Ciaran Martyn had up-ended Cretaro, flew into Doherty’s top right hand corner.
Incredibly the visitors looked the more likely to increase their lead and Boco had an outstanding drive ten minutes from time, which Doherty did very well to push around his left-hand post.
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, O’Brien, Gray, McClean; McGlynn, Molloy, Martyn, Kearney; McDaid, Nash. Subs: Hutton for Gray (44); Harkin for Kearney (74); Higgins for Martyn (80).
Sligo Rovers: Kelly, Ventre, Keane, Peers, Kendrick; Cash, Boco, O’Grady, Doyle; Cretaro, Blinkhorn.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).