Derry City outclassed as unbeaten Brandywell run goes up in smoke
Derry City 1 Dundalk 4
Derry City's unbeaten record at the Brandywell came to an end last night as Dundalk cruised to a 4-1 win on Foyleside.
The Candystripes had gone seven unbeaten at home since returning from Maginn Park, but they were no match for this Dundalk side, who returned to the top of the Premier Division with this victory.
Dundalk dominated the early stages of the game and within three minutes the fans in the Mark Farren Stand thought that Michael Duffy had given the visitors the lead when his superbly hit shot from 20 yards flashed past Gerard Doherty, but to the relief of the Derry fans it crashed into the side-netting.
Derry ace Nicky Low then sent a superb pass in behind George Poynton for Ronan Curtis to run onto but the winger's touch was poor and the hosts won a corner when it could have been so much more.
But from the resulting corner, Dundalk failed to clear and the ball fell for Darren Cole on the edge of the penalty area. He sent an incredible left-footed effort over the head of Gary Rogers and into the net to make it 1-0 to the Candystripes on 13 minutes.
Dundalk remained a threat and they very nearly levelled on 24 minutes when Robbie Benson's corner-kick was met with the sweetest of left-foot volleys, but it was somehow kept out by Doherty, who acrobatically tipped the ball over the crossbar. It was a superb save from the Derry captain.
But there was nothing Doherty could do just minutes later as Duffy's corner found Brian Gartland free in the area, and his downward header deflected on its way towards the net and went in to level the game.
Within five minutes, Dundalk were ahead as, with the Derry defence looking stretched with each attack, Jamie McGrath's simple but clever flick sent Benson in and he expertly rounded Doherty and slotted the ball into the net to turn the game on its head completely.
The game was over as a contest within five minutes of the restart as Benson found Duffy, who raced forward from half way before shifting the ball onto his left foot and hooking it past Doherty and into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
Dundalk cruised to the win from there on out, and may even have added to their tally with Doherty denying both Jamie McGrath and Krisztian Adorjan.
Dundalk finished the game on a high as two substitutes combined.
Marco Tagbajumi found Adorjan, who lashed the ball past Doherty - much to the delight of the travelling fans.
Derry City: Doherty, McDermott, Cole, Toal, Doyle (Doherty), Peers, McEneff, Low, Curtis (Boyle 86), Ronan Hale (McDonagh 60), Patterson.
Dundalk: Rogers, Gartland, Hoare, Shields, Duffy, Hoban (Tagbajumi 88), McGrath, Massey, Connolly (Adorjan 82), Poynton (Jarvis 64), Benson.
Referee: Neil Doyle
Last night's results
Bray Wanderers 2 Waterford 2; Derry City 1 Dundalk 4