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McEleney strikes as Derry keep on winning

Derry City continued their impressive winning run against a battling Monaghan United last night.

Patrick McEleney’s first-half goal was enough for the visitors to make it nine victories in a row.

Stephen Kenny was forced to make one change to his side, which defeated Finn Harps in midweek with ex-Coleraine winger Darren Cassidy coming in for the injury Ruairi Harkin.

After controlling the majority of the first-half the visitors still nearly fell a goal behind as early as the second minute, but Philip Hughes’ tame effort was easily gathered by Gerard Doherty.

United continued to hit Derry on the counter-attack and they missed a super chance themselves on 28 minutes, but winger Barry Clancy’s 20 yard drive fizzed just over Doherty’s bar.

The deadlock was broken 10 minutes later when David McDaid broke clear of the home defence, his initial shot was blocked on the line by substitute Aidan Collins, but McEleney was on hand to turn the loose ball home.

Right at the start of the second-half the visitors had a great opportunity to double their lead when James McLean released McEleney, but his goal-bound shot from just inside the area was kept out by United keeper Gabriel Sava.

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The home side started the second-half on the front foot and had two opportunities to level things in the early stages.

Firstly Shane Brennan saw his 55th minute goal-bound header from 12 yards flash just over Doherty’s crossbar.

A few minutes later a defensive mistake saw Mark McChrystal’s backward header cleared off the line by Barry Molloy.

The Brandywell men should have doubled their advantage just after the hour mark when substitute Vinny Sweeney crossed for Mark Scoltock, but the ex-Institute defender’s close range header was straight at Sava.

Barry Clancy’s late free-kick found Alan Byrne, but his powerful header, which would have earned the home side a point, was tipped over the bar by Doherty.

Monaghan United: Sava, McMahon, Costigan, Flynn, Gartland, Tierney, O’Connor, Byrne, Brennan, Hughes, Clancy. Subs: Collins for Gartland (11 mins); Bermingham for Hughes (60 mins); Donnelly for Costigan (85 mins).

Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Scoltock, McChrystal, Friars; McLean, Deery, Molloy, Cassidy; P McEleney, McDaid. Subs: Sweeney for Cassidy (58 mins); Farren for P McEleney (61 mins).

Referee: John McLaughlin (Athlone).

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