Clucas picks the perfect time to end City's long goal drought

Derry City's Seanan Clucas (right) celebrates his equaliser in Friday night's match against Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
Séamus Crudden

DERRY CITY'S Seanan Clucas was delighted to score his first goal for the club in Friday night's 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers.

The Candystripes, who had Mark Timlin sent-off, battled hard to earn a share of the spoils and also ended their recent miserable run in front of goal. Clucas believes the point could kick-start their season.

"From a personal point of view, I was delighted to have scored and we had to dig in to get the point. We would rather have got the three but, sooner rather than later, we are going to have to the three points," he said.

"We just need to keep working and, if we do that, then hopefully that win will come. We have to just keep improving and the ball was on the deck a lot more tonight, we are trying to get a lot more comfortable on the ball.

"Patrick (McEleney) came on and he lifted things up because he's up there with one of our best players, so him coming back was a big boost for us and hopefully the more bodies we get back that will help us in the long term. When we have a fully fit squad, we can only get stronger and pick up more points."

The Brandywell men two changes to the side which lost to Shamrock Rovers in midweek, with Shaun Kelly coming in for the injured Ryan McBride, while, rather surprisingly, Philip Lowry came back into the side, replacing Seán Houston, who dropped to the bench.

Sligo had a good half chance on 15 minutes, but Gavin Peers' low drive at the back post was bravely charged down by ex-Finn Harps man Séamus Sharkey. The woodwork came to Derry's rescue just after the half-hour mark when Dinny Corcoran's low drive from the left hand side of the box, which had Shaun Patton beaten, rattled against the base of the post.

Patton was called into action on 41 minutes when he had to make a super save to turn away Sander Puri's pile driver from the edge of the box.

Derry made a positive change at the break, with Patrick McEleney returning from injury to replace Sharkey.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 50 minutes when Eoin Wearen's through ball found Puri, who got in behind the Derry defence before flicking the ball past the out-rushing Patton and side footing home into the empty net.

Derry levelled matters three minutes later in super fashion when Clucas picked up the loose ball just inside the box and coolly guided the ball over Rovers keeper Richard Brush. Clucas' goal finally ended City's miserable run in front of goal, their first in 495 minutes of football.

The home side were reduced to 10 men on 67 minutes after Timlin was shown a straight red card by referee Arnold Hunter after a challenge on Kevin Devaney.

Hunter was in the thick of the action again on 81 minutes when he harshly awarded the visitors a penalty after Corcoran went down very easily after Shane McEleney had challenged inside the box. Justice seemed to be done as Alan Keane's resulting spot-kick rattled the crossbar.

Derry City: Patton, Kelly, S McEleney, Barry, Jarvis; Sharkey (P McEleney H-T); Clucas, Lowry (Houston 85), Timlin, Morrison (Curran 73), McNamee.

Sligo Rovers: Brush, Keane, Peers, Folan, Ledwith; Devaney (Nielsen 68), McManus, Wearen, Puri; Beattie; Corcoran.

Refere: A Hunter (Maguiresbridge).


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