Derry City 2 Drogheda Utd 0: The Brandywell faithful arrived anticipating fireworks - but instead had to make do with a slender victory, albeit one which takes Derry City back to within a point of the Premier Division leaders.
Great things were expected of the Candystripes after Friday’s 7-0 mauling of UCD against a toothless Drogheda side last night.
Kevin Deery’s 24th minute goal got them on their way but they had to wait until seven minutes into injury time for Eamon Zayed to seal the deal with the second as they closed right up behind Shamrock Rovers in the table.
Deery had ceded the captaincy for the evening to Eddie McCallion to mark his 500th competitive match for the club, only the third Derry player — after Peter Hutton and Paul Curran — to reach that mark.
And it proved to be one of the full back’s quieter nights as Derry did most of the pressing.
Derry looked threatening from the start and, after all the practice they had on Friday, will be disappointed not to have won more comfortably.
Deery’s goal was well taken, the midfielder rising at the far post to head Zayed’s cross back across the keeper and into the net.
City’s Daniel Lafferty came within a whisker of the target with his header from a James McClean corner in the 55th minute.
Zayed did manage to bundle the ball home in the 68th minute, but it was ruled offside. Gareth McGlynn then took the ball round keeper Steven Trimble 10 minutes later, but failed to deliver the knock-out punch as his effort was cleared off the line by Philip Hand.
A Drogheda free kick deep into injury time spelled trouble for Derry but it was cleared and Lafferty quickly swept the home side down the pitch, laying off the ball for Zayed to tap in.
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Greacen, S McEleney, Deery, P McEleney, McClean, McGlynn, Higgins, Zayed, Lafferty. Subs: Friars, Harkin, McDaid, McLaughlin, McBride, Ferry, McCrudden.
Drogheda United: Trimble, Nolan, Hand, McNally, Ekanem, Gannon, Flynn, Thompson, Freeman, Hanaphy, McNamara. Subs: Skelly, Quirke, Corcoran, O’Brien, McEntaggart, Gaul, McCrossan.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).