McEneff at the double for classy Candystripes
Derry City 3-1 Shamrock Rovers
Aaron McEneff scored twice as Derry City secured a hugely important win over Shamrock Rovers at Maginn Park last night.
The midfielder opened and closed the scoring for Kenny Shiels' team on a tense night that 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 McEneff. Dean Jarvis' cross from the left picked out Lukas Schubert in space at the back post and the midfielder opted not to go for the header, instead bringing the ball down.
Just when it seemed as if the chance had gone, he prodded towards the edge of the area where McEneff stood, and he curled spectacularly over Tomer Chencinski, with the ball striking the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net.
Rovers were stunned by that and the Candystripes almost took full advantage with Nathan Boyle bringing a save from Chencinski before Schubert volleyed just wide from 20 yards.
There was little that Gerard Doherty could do about the equaliser as Gary Shaw collected a ball into the penalty area before setting up Graham Burke, who volleyed spectacularly over the Derry goalkeeper.
There was nothing between the sides until the last seconds of the first half when Derry struck again.
Schubert collected a flick-on from Boyle and made his way into the area. The midfielder again opted not to shoot, instead unselfishly playing the ball across the face of goal to Barry McNamee.
He picked his spot and placed the ball into the bottom corner past Chencinski for his sixth goal of the season.
Rovers thought they had equalised on 75 minutes when Darren Meenan headed in Brandon Miele's cross, but as the visitors were off celebrating, the goal was ruled out for a foul on Doherty.
The win was secured in added time when substitute Sean Heaney was adjudged to have fouled Ronan Curtis in the area and McEneff drilled in his second of the game to secure three very valuable points for Derry.
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.