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Kenny Shiels' red hot Derry City are summit special


Derry's Ronan Curtis celebrates his opening goal

Derry's Ronan Curtis celebrates his opening goal

Lorcan Doherty

Derry's Ronan Curtis celebrates his opening goal

Derry City have gone top of the Premier Division for the first time in three years after a convincing 3-0 win over Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell.

Josh Daniels and his family were in attendance to see Kenny Shiels' team easily cut through a Rovers defence that had previously conceded just one goal six games.

Josh tragically lost his mother Ruth, his younger sister Jodie-Lee, brother-in-law Sean McGrotty and nephews Mark and Evan in an incident at Buncrana Pier when the car they were in appeared to slide off the slipway into the waters of Lough Swilly.

He watched his City side secure five wins in seven games with a scintillating display against the Dubliners.

The hosts got off to the best possible start with a goal inside the first two minutes, and it came just moments after Barry McNamee had a shot cleared off the line by Gavin Brennan.

A Derry corner by Keith Ward was rolled to the edge of the area, where McNamee shot low through a crowd, and the ball was bobbling all the way into the bottom corner past Barry Murphy until Brennan hooked the ball away.

But Rovers failed to heed that warning and moments later McNamee was given too much space to run towards goal and he found Rory Patterson, who was also allowed too much space.

The striker simply flicked the ball back to McNamee to send him through on goal but just when it seemed that the midfielder had been fouled, the ball spun kindly for Ronan Curtis, who managed to hook the ball into the net from close range.

Things got even better for Derry on 22 minutes when they doubled their lead with a fantastic goal from Harry Monaghan.

A great exchange between Curtis and Dean Jarvis on the left touchline saw the former deceive two Rovers defenders before passing to Jarvis who whipped in a fantastic cross which was met with a bullet header by Monaghan.

It was 3-0 to the home side on 58 minutes when Rovers substitute David Webster pulled back Patterson in the area.

Referee Dave McKeon immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Patterson stepped up to take the kick, confidently lashing the ball past Murphy to make it 3-0 on 58 minutes.

The Rovers' spirit died completely after that and Derry comfortably held the visitors' at arm's length, looking as impressive defensively as they did offensively.

Patterson had the ball in the back off the net again on 79 minutes but it was ruled offside.

Derry City: Doherty, Vemmelund, Jarvis, McEneff, McBride, McNamee (McDermott 88 mins), Monaghan, Ward (Boyle 81'), Patterson, Curtis, Barry (McClean 90').

Shamrock Rovers: Murphy, O'Connor (Webster 45'), Blanchard, McCabe, Drennan, North (McCafferty 66'), Miele, K Brennan, G Brennan, Cregg (Clarke 75'), Madden.

Referee: David McKeon.

Belfast Telegraph