Derry City 2 Shamrock Rovers 1
Jamie McGonigle scored a sensational 95th-minute winner as Derry City defeated Shamrock Rovers 2-1 at the Brandywell to move to the top of the table.
The striker latched onto a poor back pass from Roberto Lopes before firing into the top corner past Alan Mannus to spark scenes of celebration.
It was an incredible end to a tense contest at the Brandywell.
City goalkeeper Brian Maher came to his team’s rescue on 18 minutes as one moment of quality cut the Derry defence apart. Jack Byrne spotted the run of Rory Gaffney and picked him out with a pass which arrowed through City’s defence.
Gaffney bore down on goal just out of the reach of Eoin Toal, but Maher came to the rescue with a very good save.
Rovers came close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time with a spectacular effort from Danny Mandroiu. The Rovers man met the ball in mid-air with a brilliant overhead kick from just inside the 18-yard box and Maher had to be alert, scrambling across his goal to push it wide for a corner.
Derry were awarded a penalty early in the second half when McGonigle went down in the area after a challenge from Byrne. Will Patching stepped up and very casually sent Mannus the wrong way to give City the lead on 54 minutes.
Rovers boss Stephen Bradley switched things up, and he made three changes with Graham Burke, Andy Lyons and Dylan Watts all coming into the game on 65 minutes as Rovers chased the equaliser.
That equaliser duly came as Derry succumbed to the growing pressure from Rovers. Ciaron Harkin fouled Gary O’Neill right on the edge of the area, ending his game in the process due to injury, and Watts curled a beauty of a free-kick past Maher and into the net to make the score 1-1 on 73 minutes.
But the best was still to come as when Lopes slipped deep into added time, McGonigle went through and produced a sensational finish to win it for Derry City.
DERRY CITY: Maher, Lafferty, Toal, McJannett, Dummigan, Harkin (Boyce 72), Thomson, Patching, Kavanagh (S McEleney 90), Akintunde (P McEleney 53), McGonigle.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus, Hoare, Lopes, Grace, Cotter (Lyons 65), Finn (Gannon 88), Mandroiu (Burke 65), O’Neill, Gaffney (Greene 84), Towell (Watts 65), Byrne.
Referee: Rob Hennessey.
Man of the Match: Brandon Kavanagh
Match Rating: 8/10