Derry pay costly penalty
Derry City 2 Monaghan Utd 3
The Airtricity First Division title race is well and truly on, after second placed Monaghan United closed the gap on leaders Derry City to seven points, with victory at the Brandywell last night.
This game had everything, five goals, three penalties and a sending-off, as Mick Cooke's side produced a smash and grab display to claim the victory.
United took the lead after three minutes following a goalkeeping error from Gerard Doherty. Philip Hughes' pass in behind the City back-line drew out Doherty, but he fumbled the ball and the alert Cathal O'Connor was on hand to blast home.
Derry should have equalised on 12 minutes, but Gabriel Sava saved Mark Farren's penalty.
The visitors added a second on 27 minutes when another cross into the box by Barry Clancy caused problems for City and the alert Brian Gartland was on hand to head home past Doherty.
Derry were awarded a second penalty on 53 minutes after Alan Byrne was adjudged to have handled Thomas McBride's shot on the line, referee Phil Caschera pointed to the spot, but only cautioned the centre-back.
Emmett Friars took over penalty taking duties and he slotted the ball past Sava.
A clever touch by substitute Stephen Parkhouse released James McClean on 78 minutes, his cross found Farren, who made up for his penalty miss, by volleying in off the crossbar.
Incredibly United restored their lead eight minutes from time when referee Caschera awarded them a penalty and Hughes' spot-kick was blasted past Doherty.
David McDaid was then shown a straight red card after he stupidly upended Stephen McCrossan.
DERRY CITY: Doherty, McCallion, Scoltock, McChrystal, Friars; P McEleney, Deery, McBride, McCauley, McClean; Farren. Subs: Parkhouse & Lafferty for Scoltock & McCauley (63); McDaid for Deery (73).
MONAGHAN UNITED: Sava, Whelan, Grimes, Byrne, Gartland, Tierney, O'Connor, McCrossan, Brennan, Hughes, Clancy. Subs: Hanaphy for O'Connor (82).
Referee: Phil Caschera (Dublin).