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Slick Pat's pile the agony on dismal Derry

Derry City 0 - St Pats Ath 3

By Eoin Wilson

It is now just one win from their last eight league games at the Brandywell for Derry City as they fell to defeat yet again to St. Patrick's Athletic.

It is now five consecutive wins for the Dubliners over Peter Hutton's team, who continue to struggle this season.

And with a trip to Tallaght to face Shamrock Rovers coming on Monday night, it doesn't look like getting any better for the Candystripes - certainly not in the near future.

The final score line does not tell the tale of this game, however, as Derry City matched and - at times - even bettered their opponent, only to fall short yet again in the final third.

There was only 15 seconds on the watch when Patrick McEleney worked his way in behind Jason McGuinness in the Pat's defence and went to ground inside the penalty area.

McEleney was incensed when referee Derek Tomney - who was right in line with the incident - waved away penalty appeals, much to the disbelief of the midfielder, who felt so strongly that he gave chase to the official to plead his case.

Nevertheless, Derry City remained on the front foot, showing great confidence in their passing, with some short, sharp exchanges belying a team that has struggled for form in the league so far this season.

That clever approach carved out a real chance for Derry just 12 minutes in.

A series of one-touch passing ending with Dean Jarvis finding Josh Daniels in space, and the young winger turned and sped towards goal before shooting left-footed and bringing a save from Brendan Clarke, who batted the ball away for a corner.

St Pat's then took the lead against the run of play midway through the half.

Shane McEleney took the ball off the toe of Christy Fagan, and he stretched to keep it from running from Aaron Greene. The ball ricocheted into Greene's path, and he took the ball on and sent a low shot across Gerard Doherty and into the bottom corner of the net from 18 yards to break the deadlock.

Just as Derry were building some momentum after the restart Pat's produced a sucker punch as they struck for a second time.

And it was a pitiful goal to concede from a Derry City point of view.

Shaun Kelly conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal and James Chambers sent a shot bobbling low around the wall, all the way through a crowded penalty area, and with no City player opting to take responsibility, the ball travelled the whole way into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

It could have been 3-0 within seconds as Fagan turned inside Shane McEleney, but with Doherty in his sights, he shot into the side netting. Derry had it all to do yet again at home.

Pat's wrapped it up in added time when Chris Forrester jinked his way through the Derry defence before scooping the ball over Doherty and into the net.

Derry City: Doherty, S Kelly (Harkin 84 mins), Jarvis, S McEleney, McNamee, Lowry, P McEleney (G Kelly 78 mins), Daniels, Morrison (Curtis 69 mins), Curran, Barry.

St Patrick's Athletic: Clarke, O'Brien (Hoare 61 mins), Bermingham, McGuinness, Bolger, Fagan (McGrath 78 mins), Brennan, Desmond, Chambers (McCormack 82 mins), Forrester, Greene.

Man of the match: James Chambers

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).

Belfast Telegraph


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