Feared Coll leg break overshadows Derry derby win
Finn Harps 2 Derry City 3
Derry City emerged victorious in a bad-tempered but entertaining derby clash at Finn Park.
This game in Ballybofey had everything, but the evening was overshadowed by a possible leg break for Derry defender Ciaran Coll, the victim of a tackle from Colm Deasy who received a straight red card.
Harps were unhappy on 21 minutes when they had the ball in the net, only for it to be ruled out by referee Neil Doyle.
Nathan Gartside, in attempting to set Derry on a quick attack after collecting a free-kick, only succeeded in kicking the ball into the path of Niall Logue.
The ball rebounded off the Harps man and into the path of Nathan Boyle, who tapped into an empty net. But much to Harps' disbelief, the goal was ruled out with Logue cautioned.
Harps' chances took a severe blow on 36 minutes when Deasy clattered into the back of Coll and received a straight red card.
It proved to be the end of Coll's involvement. He was replaced by Aidy Delap.
Harps should have gone into the break in the lead as Gartside got nowhere near a corner but Keith Cowan headed over.
The goal that Derry craved arrived within seven minutes of the restart.
A quickly-taken free-kick caught Harps on the back foot and Jamie McDonagh's ball across goal found Junior, who brought it back into the area.
He laid it off for Greg Sloggett, who switched it to Delap to slam home.Derry were fortunate to hold onto their lead on 63 minutes when a Harps corner found Daniel O'Reilly unmarked at the back post.
His header was somehow kept out by Gartside but it sparked a goalmouth scramble before the Derry defence cleared.
But Harps kept going and they claimed their equaliser on 74 minutes when Jacob Borg's cross was flicked on to the back post where former Derry striker Boyle took a touch before firing it in.
That proved a key moment as Derry finally got back on the front foot and they crept back into the lead on 82 minutes, McDonagh's cross finding David Parkhouse who sent a bullet header past Ciaran Gallagher.
Four minutes of added time gave Harps the chance to apply late pressure but it was Derry who pounced, Gallagher coming out of his goal and missing his kick and Parkhouse taking full advantage, rolling in his second goal of the game.
There was still time for further drama and Harps were awarded a penalty when Ally Gilchrist fouled Cowan.
Mikey Place rolled the ball past Gartside but it proved to be the last kick of the game as Derry emerged as winners from an incredible derby.
FINN HARPS: Gallagher, Deasy, O'Reilly, Borg, Cowan, McAleer, Boyle (Place 82), Todd, McNamee, Kavanagh, Logue.
DERRY CITY: Gartside, McDermott (Cole 57), Toal, Gilchrist, Coll (Delap 40), Stokes 84), Harkin, Sloggett, McDonagh, McNamee, Parkhouse, Ogide-Uzokwe.
Referee: Neil Doyle.