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Sligo Rovers defeat deepens Derry City's League of Ireland relegation fears

Sligo Rovers 1-0 Derry City

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City have been dragged back into relegation trouble as they fell to a one-goal defeat at the Sligo Showgrounds.

For the second game in succession, Derry were left to battle with ten men, as Philip Lowry was red carded on the hour mark for an off the ball incident involving Raffaele Cretaro.

Derry struggled to create anything of note after that, and Sligo celebrated a huge win thanks to Tim Clancy's first-half goal.

Peter Hutton sprang a surprise when he included Patrick McEleney in his starting line-up, just nine days after picking up a suspected fractured rib at Galway. There was also the added bonus of a fit Ryan McBride as Derry went for their first league win in Sligo since 2009.

But in a game in which the three points on offer were absolutely vital, it was the hosts who started the game much more convincingly. Heavy rain before kick-off ensured that the Sligo Showgrounds surface was causing severe problems for both sets of players, but it was Sligo who settled quicker, with Jason Hughes sending a warning shot just over Gerard Doherty's bar 15 minutes in.

The warning signs were there for Derry and it was no surprise when they fell a goal behind midway through the half when Regan Donelan's simple corner to the near post saw Tim Clancy hold off Aaron Barry to head Sligo into a deserved lead.

With Derry struggling Mark Timlin decided to take matters into his own hand as he collected a pass from Barry McNamee on the edge of the area, and spun and shot in one movement, with the ball just clearing the crossbar.

City came out determined at the start of the second half and they were very nearly celebrating an equaliser just two minutes in, when Timlin curled a 20-yard effort just over the bar.

But Derry's chances of getting anything from the game suffered a huge blow when Philip Lowry received a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident involving Cretaro just shy of the hour mark. The fourth official signalled to referee Padraig Sutton who immediately flashed the red card, leaving Derry to struggle for ten men for the second game in succession.

Sligo Rovers: Brush, Keane, Boylan, Clancy, Donelon, Puri, Cawley, Russell, Cretaro (Lehane 81), Hughes, Nielson.

Derry City: Doherty, Cornwall, Jarvis, McBride, Barry (Quigley 87), McEleney, O'Connor (Daniels 87), Lowry, McNamee, McEneff (Morrison 30), Timlin.

Man of match: Cillian Morrison

Referee: Padraig Sutton.

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