Patterson sets tone as Derry extend their long winning streak
Limerick 0 Derry City 3
Derry City made it 10 games unbeaten as they secured a comfortable 3-0 win over Limerick at Market's Field last night.
A goal from Rory Patterson and two from Aaron McEneff did the job for the Candystripes.
Limerick very nearly got off to the perfect start with a goal in the first minute when Karl O'Sullivan's cross fell enticingly for Shane Duggan, but the captain could only side-foot his effort over Gerard Doherty's crossbar.
It took Derry almost 20 minutes to get into any sort of groove, and they threatened for the first time when Patterson and Jamie McDonagh linked up well to create a shooting opportunity for Nicky Low, but the midfielder's effort flew just wide.
The breakthrough finally came just before the break and it was a fantastic reverse pass from Rory Hale which unlocked the Limerick defence. The ball came straight to Patterson, who lashed past Brendan Clarke for his fifth goal of the season.
Derry began the second half on top and they should have had a second when McDonagh set up Patterson, but the striker's effort was blocked at the back post.
Derry then almost shot themselves in the foot when Doherty's poor kick out went straight to Eoin Wearen, and the Limerick man was in until a desperate challenge from Hale, which saw the full-back cautioned.
The Derry players almost made the game safe when Patterson turned Tony Whitehead and shot, only to be denied by another fine save from Clarke before the follow-up effort was placed wide of the goal by Low.
Limerick should have levelled on 83 minutes when Duggan's header back across goal found Danny Morrissey, who touched the ball into the path of O'Sullivan, but he somehow skied over.
That proved to be the pivotal moment as Derry put the game beyond Limerick within 60 seconds. They broke forward and McEneff drove the ball brilliantly past Clarke to ensure the visitors had all three points.
Limerick heads were down and when Killian Brouder produced a clumsy challenge on McEneff, Derry were awarded a penalty from which the midfielder lashed in his second.
Limerick: Clarke, Cantwell, Whitehead, Wearen (Maguire 81), Duggan, Morrissey, Clifford, Brouder, Fitzgerald, Murphy (M O'Sullivan 71), K O'Sullivan.
Derry City: Doherty, Cole (McDermott 63), Toal, Peers, Doyle, Curtis (Ronan Hale 73), McEneff, Low, Rory Hale (Doherty 86), McDonagh, Patterson.
Referee: Graham Kelly.