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Derry edged out as champs get real scare

Dundalk 1-0 Derry City

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Battle: Conor McCormack and Dundalk’s Michael Duffy

Battle: Conor McCormack and Dundalk’s Michael Duffy

�INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Battle: Conor McCormack and Dundalk’s Michael Duffy

Derry City lost out to a late goal as they fell to champions Dundalk on the opening night of the new league season.

It was an all too familiar tale for the Candystripes as they stayed in the game and frustrated the hosts only for one lapse in concentration to cost them dearly, with Dane Massey striking the winning goal just 10 minutes from time.

City had started the game well and signalled their intentions early on by winning a corner in the opening seconds.

Dundalk were caught out as Jamie McDonagh drifted the ball to the edge of the area where Ciaran Coll was arriving unmarked.

The ball fell invitingly for the full back but he sent his volley well over Gary Rogers' crossbar and the chance was gone.

The second half started with more intent from both teams and both came close.

The home fans were almost on their feet when Daniel Kelly fired an effort at goal but his brilliant attempt smacked off the woodwork.

Chances were now coming at both ends and Dundalk needed Gary Rogers to save them as McDonagh broke down the right and his precise cross found Tim Nilsen who headed downwards, but his effort was somehow stopped by Rogers at point blank range.

Peter Cherrie then had to produce the save of the night as Cammy Smith turned and curled the ball over his head towards the top corner, but the City stopper stuck an important hand up to turn it over the crossbar.

Derry's resilience was finally broken on 80 minutes as a corner by Jordan Flores found Massey unmarked and he hooked the ball past Cherrie to give the champions the win.

Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Shields, Duffy, Hoban, Sloggett (Flores 72'), Massey, Cleary, Smith (Patching 75'), Kelly (Hoare 87'), Boyle.

Derry City: Cherrie, Coll, Gilchrist, Toal, Lupano, McCormack, Clifford (Malone 63'), Harkin (Mallon 83'), Figueira (Liddle 78'), McDonagh, Nilsen.

Referee: Neil Doyle

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