Derry City 3 Dundalk 1: Classy Candystripes stun champions to maintain dream start
Derry City stunned league champions Dundalk with a magnificent 3-1 win on a memorable night at Maginn Park.
Kenny Shiels' team came from behind to win, with Nathan Boyle, Barry McNamee and Ryan McBride all scoring to earn the Candystripes their first win over Dundalk in almost four years.
It was the perfect night for Derry, who showed real resolve to chalk up a significant victory, making it three wins from three this season.
Dundalk nearly took the lead on 15 minutes when John Mountney's corner found Dane Massey just three yards from goal, but his point-blank header was somehow kept out by Gerard Doherty.
Derry didn't heed that warning and seconds later Mountney swung in another corner and Massey again got free, this time glancing a header across goal, past Doherty and into the net.
But the hosts went into the half-time break on a high as they equalised out of nowhere thanks to a fantastic individual effort from Boyle.
A bit of luck definitely went Derry's way as the ball found its way to the feet of Boyle, who took on Brian Gartland before curling the ball beyond the defender and the unsighted Gabriel Sava to bring the sides level.
Chances were again few and far between for both teams in the second half but the game exploded into life on 68 minutes thanks to a moment of magic from Aaron McEneff, who drove the ball at goal from 30 yards with the shot bamboozling Sava. He spilled the ball into the path of McNamee, who lashed it high into the roof of the net to give Derry the lead for the first time.
Stephen Kenny emptied his bench with David McMillan joining the attack, but still Derry believed and still they came forward, with Boyle stinging Sava's hands with an angled drive.
The Candystripes were growing in confidence and with just seven minutes remaining, Maginn Park was in ecstasy as, from a second consecutive corner, McBride nipped in front of Sava to glance in his second goal in two games to put Derry 3-1 up.
Derry were soaring at this stage and as if to prove that, McEneff nearly added an incredible goal, almost catching out Sava with a lob from distance which forced the Dundalk goalkeeper to race back and tip over his crossbar.
It was more than enough for Derry, who recorded a huge win.
Derry City: Doherty, Jarvis, Barry, McBride, Low, McNamee, Monaghan (Daniels 90), Curtis, Boyle (Kennedy 90), Whiteside, McEneff.
Dundalk: Sava, Gannon, Gartland, Barrett, Duffy (McMillan 77'), Mountney (Kinsella 80'), McEleney, Massey, Kilduff (Stewart 61'), Benson, Clifford.
Man of the match: Aaron McEneff
Match rating: 7/10
Referee: P McLaughlin