Derry City lose to Sligo Rovers at Brandywell
Airtricity League Premier Division: Derry City 0 Sligo Rovers 2
DERRY CITY suffered their first home defeat of the season at the hands of a rejuvenated Sligo Rovers on Friday.
Veteran Raffaele Cretaro inspired Dave Robertson’s men, who with a bit more luck, could have left the Brandywell with a few more goals. It was just one of those nights for the Candystripes, who were second best throughout and failed to score for the first time this season.
For the second match running Kenny Shiels kept faith with the same side which saw off Bohemians last week. Similarly, Sligo boss Robertson stuck with the same men which secured their first victory of the season at Longford Town.
On five minutes, an inch-perfect through ball from Regan Donelon released Liam Martin, but his shot from the left hand side of the box, was saved by Derry goalkeeper Gerard Doherty. Two minutes later, Rovers missed an even better chance, this time Russell’s right wing corner found Mick Leahy at the near post, but he headed wide from close range.
That man Martin was in the thick of things again on 23 minutes after his through ball found Raffaele Cretaro, but his shot from just inside the box was saved by Doherty. A minute later, City went close but Rory Patterson’s 20-yard strike was saved by Micheal Schlingermann.
The visitors deservedly took the lead on 26 minutes after a big mistake by Patrick McClean, who misjudged the flight of Craig Roddan’s left wing free-kick and the alert Cretaro headed home from close range.
Derry were poor in the opening 45 minutes and in truth they should have been further behind, as Rovers missed a few clear cut chances and seemed to be first to every ball. A neat flick from Patterson on 52 minutes found Barry McNamee, but his first-time strike from the edge of the box was well off target, but the effort brought the City fans to life as they tried to get their team going in the second-half.
Moments later, Cretaro went close to doubling Sligo’s lead but his stinging shot was parried away by Doherty. Derry were inches away from equalising on 61 minutes as Conor McDermott’s inch perfect cross from the right picked out Ronan Curtis at the back post, but the substitute failed to the hit the target.
Soon after, Rovers hit the woodwork twice in the matters of seconds when firstly Cretaro’s curling strike hit the post and Martin somehow saw his follow-up effort come back off the bar, before the fortunate Doherty grabbed the loose ball.
The visitors added a second on 70 minutes when they won possession in the middle of the pitch, before Jimmy Keohane sidestepped a few challenges, before firing low into Doherty’s left hand corner. A well hit free-kick by Patterson on 75 minutes, unfortunately for the City striker, was straight at Schlingermann.
FINN HARPS registered just their second draw of the league season as they were held 1-1 by Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park.
The Donegal side took the lead in the 24th minute when Ryan Curran converted from the penalty spot, rolling the ball coolly to the goalkeeper’s left. But the home side, who were promoted along with Harps last season, drew level when Andy Mulligan found the net six minutes after the break.
Neither side was able to find a winner in the remaining 39 minutes, with the point keeping Ollie Horan’s side in seventh position in the table.
Derry City: Doherty, Vemmelund, McBride, McClean, McDermott; McCormack (Daniels 73), McEneff, McNamee; Ward (Jarvis 57), Patterson, Boyle (Curtis H-T).
Sligo Rovers: Schlingermann, Adebayo-Rowling, Donelon, Leahy, Roddan, Cretaro (Sadlier 90), Richards, Boylan, Keohane, Russell (Roberts 90), Martin.
Referee: R Rogers (Dublin).