Belfast Telegraph

McEneff returns to haunt his old friends as Derry slip back in the race for Europe

Derry City 0 Shamrock Rovers 2

Goal alert: Aaron McEneff finds the Derry net
Goal alert: Aaron McEneff finds the Derry net

By Eoin Wilson

It was a tale of two penalties at the Brandywell as Shamrock Rovers came away with all three points on a disappointing night for Derry City.

Aaron McEneff's successful spot-kick and David Parkhouse's missed effort ultimately decided this game as Derry dropped back into fourth in the race for a European place.

The game was a slow burner but it almost exploded into life just past the half-hour when Ciaron Harkin won Derry a free-kick. Gerardo Bruna's low delivery was shanked up into the air and over Alan Mannus by McEneff, who was grateful to see the ball go over.

Derry were fortunate to survive on 37 minutes when a goalmouth scramble from a Jack Byrne corner saw the home side unable to clear. The ball fell to Graham Burke, whose snapshot had to be pushed away by Peter Cherrie.

The defining moment came in the second half as Parkhouse, in dispossessing Burke, inadvertently played in Aaron Greene.

Greene raced into the penalty area and pulled the ball back across goal to Byrne, who was challenged by Greg Sloggett - illegally so, according to referee Rob Hennessey who pointed to the spot. Former Derry ace McEneff stepped up and slotted home.

The Candystripes were given an immediate chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty of their own on 72 minutes when Roberto Lopes went into the back of Parkhouse. He stepped up himself but Mannus saved.

Rovers then doubled their lead when Greene fired home.

Derry City: Cherrie, Coll, Gilchrist, Toal, Cole, Sloggett, Harkin (McCrudden 74'), McNamee (Malone 74'), McDonagh, Bruna (McCauley 78'), Parkhouse.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Boyle, Lopes, Grace, Byrne, Bolger (Kavanagh 87'), Finn, McEneff (Watts 78'), Kavanagh, Burke (O'Neill 76'), Greene.

Referee: Rob Hennessey.

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