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Candystripes unable to stand firm and halt their worrying slump

St Pat's Athletic 5-2 Derry City


On target: Darren Cole netted a deflected goal for Derry

On target: Darren Cole netted a deflected goal for Derry

©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

On target: Darren Cole netted a deflected goal for Derry

Derry City's slump continued as they fell to their third loss in four games in an action-packed game at Inchicore last night.

It is now just one point from the last four games for Derry, who twice threw away a lead before conceding three goals in the space of 12 minutes either side of half-time.

Derry struck first on six minutes as St Pat's paid the price for some naive defending, Aaron McEneff dispossessing Jamie Lennon before squaring the ball for Rory Patterson to tap in.

But they were pegged back within 60 seconds as Lee Desmond's low cross from the right was snapped up by Jake Keegan, who hooked the ball across Gerard Doherty and into the net.

The game was end to end and Derry had the lead again within 10 minutes. Darren Cole won the ball in his own half and his left-footed effort from 25 yards took a deflection off Lennon and past Barry Murphy.

St Pat's were level thanks to a penalty on 43 minutes after Ryan Brennan went down under pressure from Doherty.

Doherty received a caution as Rory Hale protested, but when the dust settled, Conan Byrne drilled the ball down the middle to level at 2-2.

The Candystripes were still reeling when Pat's scored again, and for the second time in a week they were caught cold from a corner as Byrne's delivery was met by Kevin Toner, who headed down past Doherty.

It didn't take long for Pat's to get on the scoresheet in the second period as Toner brought the ball out from the back and played a defence-splitting pass to Thomas Byrne, who sidestepped Eoin Toal and then curled a shot past Doherty to make it 4-2.

Derry began to throw numbers forward as the game entered its latter stages, and they finally created their first chance of the second period on 75 minutes. McEneff's pass through the Pat's defence invited Doyle to shoot, which he did, only for Murphy to save at his near post.

But it was St Pat's who had the final say as Darragh Markey produced an outrageous Cruyff turn before lashing the ball past a stranded Doherty to ensure that the hosts made it four wins from their last four games.

ST PAT'S: Murphy, Bermingham, Toner, Desmond, C Byrne, Brennan, Markey, Madden, T Byrne (Fagan, 73mins), Keegan, Lennon.

DERRY CITY: G Doherty, Doyle, Peers (McDonagh, 62mins), Cole, Toal, McDermott, Low, Rory Hale, McEneff, Ronan Hale (Curtis, 60mins), Patterson (B Doherty, 70mins).

Referee: Ben Connolly

Belfast Telegraph