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Airtricity First Division: Derry City now out of sight at summit

After an early set-back Derry City stormed to a convincing 3-1 victory over Wexford Youths.

The victory combined with Waterford United's defeat to Monaghan United, moves City a massive 10 points clear at the top of the Airtricity First Division.

Wexford broke the deadlock after nine minutes after a terrible defensive mistake by Shane McEleney allowed Danny Furlong to break clear and his low drive from just inside the area flew past Gerard Doherty.

To their credit the home side nearly equalised right away when a Ruairi Harkin lay-off to Mark Farren a minute later ended with the striker's goal bound shot being kept out by Packie Holden.

Another flowing move by Derry saw Patrick McEleney play a neat one-two with Harkin, before finding Thomas McBride inside the area, but the midfielder never really had the ball under control and his tame shot was easily gathered by Holden.

Stephen Kenny's side missed a golden chance to equalise on 15 minutes when Harkin's run and cross found Farren, but his goal bound header was kept out by a Holden double save.

The Brandywell men did deservedly equalise three minutes later when James McClean's deep corner found Mark McChrystal and the vice-skipper's header from an astute angle flew over Holden and into the net.

Then a fantastic McClean cross on 40 minutes found McBride at the near post and his powerful header caught out Holden and flew into the keeper's bottom right hand corner.

Derry nearly increased their advantage just before the break, but Holden did well to rush out of his goal to deny Farren.

The Candystripes hit the woodwork in stoppage time of the first half when Emmett Friars' cross found McClean, but his powerful header rattled against the right hand post.

Another teasing run by McClean ended with the left-winger's powerful drive rattling back off the crossbar.

Unbelievably McClean hit the woodwork for a third time on 55 minutes when with his weaker right foot his 25 yard drive smacked off the bar.

City deservedly added a third soon after when Patrick McEleney's long range drive fizzed past Holden.

Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, S McEleney, McChrystal, Friars; P McEleney, Molloy, McBride, McClean; Harkin, Farren. Subs: Cassidy (for McClean 60); McDaid (for Farren 83).

Wexford Youths: Holden, McCurtin, Broarders, Russell, Wolfe, Dempsey, McCann, Keohane, Furlong, Sheahan, Rowe. Subs: Kenny (for Rowe 33); Mullen (for Broarders 67); Keogh (for McCurtin 85).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).

Belfast Telegraph