Derry City gave themselves a great chance of making the last four of the Setanta Sports Cup for the first time following a deserved 2-0 success over Glentoran last night.
Derry City made two change to their starting line-up from Friday’s win over Finn Harps, with Sammy Morrow coming in for the ineligible Thomas Stewart, while Eddie McCallion dropped to the bench with Kevin McHugh replacing him.
Goals — one in each half — from Ruaidhri Higgins and Mark Farren saw the Candystripes cruise to victory.
As for the visitors they gave a debut to recent signing Andrew Waterworth, with both Gary Hamilton and Colin Nixon missing the game.
And it was the Glens who had the first effort at goal when unknown Johnny Black sent in a free-kick that nearly caught out Gerard Doherty, but the Derry goalkeeper did well to push the low drive around his left hand post.
Waterworth then started to show why a host of clubs were trying to sign him from Hamilton Academicals when he showed some good skill to get away from both Clive Delaney and Gareth McGlynn, but his shot from inside the area was blocked.
After those early chances for the Belfast men it was the home side who started to come more and more into the game.
Mark Farren played a clever ball to Kevin Derry, who after getting away from Shane McCabe, saw his low shot from just inside the box easily saved by Elliott Morris.
Farren went close himself in the 24th minute when the always lively Niall McGinn found the Greencastle striker, but his shot on the turn flashed just past Morris’ right hand post.
The visitors missed a golden opportunity to take the lead three minutes later when Waterworth’s right wing cross found Michael Halliday, but the close range effort was saved by Doherty.
Minutes later Farren reacted quickest to the loose ball on the edge of the Glens box, but after riding a few challenges his right foot shot fizzed wide.
The deadlock was finally broken ten minutes before the break in spectacular fashion.
Midfielder Ruaidhri Higgins dusted himself down, after being upended on the left hand edge of the Glens box by Black, before curling the ball high into Morris’ top right hand corner.
Stephen Kenny’s side continued to dominate things after the break and Sammy Morrow went close in the 51st minute, but his volley after Farren’s clever knock-down, sailed over Morris’ bar.
While the game remained 1-0 to the home side, Alan McDonald’s men always felt they had a chance and on the counter attack and Halliday’s drive was smartly gathered by Doherty.
Farren deservedly got himself on the score sheet five minutes from time calmly side footing home from a few yards out, after Morris couldn’t handle McGinn’s close range drive.
Derry City: Doherty, McGlynn, Hutton, Delaney, Gray; McHugh, Deery, Higgins, McGinn, Farren, Morrow. Subs: McChrystal for Hutton (80); McCallion for Morrow (80); Denehey for McGinn (88).
Glentoran: Morris, Simpson, Leeman, Ward, Neill, McGovern, McCabe, Fitzgerald, Black, Waterworth, Halliday. Subs: Fordyce for Neill (56); Hill for Black (64); Berry, Boyce, McMenamin, Gardner, Taylor.