Derry City 2 Shamrock Rovers 4
Derry City lost a two-goal lead as they fell to a 4-2 defeat to Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell last night.
Ruaidhri Higgins’ side had the champions on the ropes in the first half, but they were overwhelmed in the second.
City stunned Rovers by taking the lead on 20 minutes. Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe did brilliantly to charge down Roberto Lopes’ attempted clearance, before he played Will Fitzgerald into the penalty area. Fitzgerald showed great composure as he crossed the ball across goal and Ronan Boyce was there to fire in.
It got even better for City 10 minutes later. A fantastic move saw Danny Lafferty and Fitzgerald combine to put Junior in on goal and his first-time volley was pushed behind by Alan Mannus. From the resulting corner, however, referee Rob Hennessey pointed to the spot and cautioned Lopes for holding the City striker. Junior stepped up and lashed past Mannus to make it 2-0.
Rovers pulled one back five minutes before the break. Graham Burke’s flick put Ronan Finn through on the right and although his cross was headed out by Jack Malone, it came back to Burke, who took a touch before lashing past Nathan Gartside.
Rovers got their equaliser 10 minutes into the second period. Aaron Greene played Liam Scales in behind Boyce and his low cross was perfect for Finn who side-footed past Gartside.
Rovers completed their comeback just past the hour mark as Rory Gaffney produced a fantastic finish to make it 3-2.
The game was over as a contest on 74 minutes when Richie Towel ran clear of the Derry defence and slotted the ball past an exposed Gartside.
DERRY CITY: Gartside, Coll (Ferry 73’), Lafferty, Toal, McJannett, Boyce, Harkin, Malone (Cole 60’), Fitzgerald (McGonigle 61’), Ogedi-Uzokwe, Akintunde.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus, Scales, Lopes, Grace (Gaffney 45’), Finn (Murphy 86’), Watts, Kavanagh, Burke (Duffy 90’), Mandroiu (Towell 45’), O’Neill, Greene (McMenamy 86’).
Referee: Rob Hennessey.