Belfast Telegraph

Derry left to rue toothless attack as they crash out

Derry City 0-1 Shamrock Rovers

By Eoin Wilson

A Magnificent first-half free-kick from Sean O'Connor sent Derry City crashing out of the EA Sports Cup at the Brandywell last night.

The Shamrock Rovers midfielder whipped the ball into the top corner past Shaun Patton to break the deadlock, and with the Candystripes again struggling in front of goal, an equaliser never looked likely.

James McClean and Patrick McEleney watched on from the Glentoran Stand and how Derry could have used players of their quality, as the hosts again proved too predictable and lethargic in attack.

It is now four games without a goal for Derry, and on the night Rovers simply had more quality.

The first of four consecutive chances came Rovers' way when David O'Connor whipped a cross in from the left and Gareth McCaffrey met it with a header which Patton batted away.

From the resulting corner, Derry somehow survived when the ball was met at the near post by Ryan Brennan, whose header was again parried by Patton.

The ball spilled into the path of McCaffrey, who hooked it goalwards, but again the goalkeeper somehow made the stop. Luck was then with Derry when the rebound again fell to a Rovers shirt but Gary McCabe lashed the ball over the crossbar from 10 yards - a wasted chance.

Derry's Mark Timlin asked the first question of Rovers keeper Craig Hyland on 21 minutes but his shot was easily saved.

Regardless, Rovers were the more dangerous of the two teams and O'Connor curled home a delightful free-kick after Barry McNamee had fouled Brennan.

The hour mark came and went without Derry threatening again and Rovers nearly killed the game when Brennan raced through on goal, only to be denied by the impressive Patton.

A mistake from Patton almost let Rovers in for a second with five minutes remaining, but the young goalkeeper saved from Brandon Miele to atone for his error.

Derry City: Shaun Patton, Dean Jarvis, Seanan Clucas, Ryan McBride (Ryan Curran 45'), Shane McEleney, Barry McNamee, Cillian Morrison (George Kelly 81'), Sean Houston (Anthony Elding 73'), Mark Timlin, Seamus Sharkey, Aaron Barry.

Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland, Rob Cornwall, David O'Connor, Gary McCabe, Ryan Brennan, Sean O'Connor (goalscorer, right), Kieran Marty Waters, David Webster, Tim Clancy, Cian Kavanagh (Brandon Milege 65'), Gareth McCaffrey (Dillon Kavanagh 69').

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Ron Harvey

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