Football/Soccer

Derry City edged out by Shamrock Rovers in top-of-the-table clash

Danny Mandroiu (left) scored the only goal of the game as Shamrock Rovers increased their lead over Derry City at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division 
Seamus Crudden

Airtricity League Premier Division: Shamrock Rovers 1 Derry City 0

Champions Shamrock Rovers moved four points clear of Derry City, as they were victorious in the top-of-the-table clash.

Substitute Danny Mandroiu netted the all-important winning goal on 79 minutes, but they know they were second best for long periods at a packed out Tallaght Stadium.

For the Brandywell men they will again feel they missed out on claiming some valuable points, as they had enough clear cut chances to win the game.

Played in glorious conditions, it was the visitors who had the first real chance on 20 minutes but after Jamie McGonigle fed Matty Smith, the striker's touch let him down inside the box and Alan Mannus gratefully gathered the loose ball.

Mannus was called into action again minutes later as City continued to dominate things this time the former Northern Ireland international did well to keep out McGonigle's close range effort after Brandon Kavanagh's teasing left wing cross after found the striker unmarked at the back post.

Derry continued to play on the front foot after the break and Mannus had to make another smart save on 53 minutes when left-back Danny Lafferty broke clear down the left to latch onto Thomson's pass, but his low shot was kept out by the Rovers net-minder.

On 64 minutes, a clever pass over the top by City goalkeeper Brian Maher released Will Patching, who broke the Rovers offside trap. His low cross into the box found Thomson, but his sliding effort was deflected over the bar by Sean Hoare.

Hoare had a super chance on 74 minutes but he blazed over from 10 yards, after Graham Burke's cut-back had found the former Dundalk centre-back.

That Hoare chance and Stephen Bradley's substitutes sparked the Hoops into life and they broke the deadlock on five minutes later as Andy Lyons's low shot could only be parried away by a diving Maher and Danny Mandroiu, who had just come on minutes earlier, gleefully fired home the rebound from close range.

Derry went close to equalising on 90 minutes but Cameron Dummigan's header, which had Mannus beaten, clipped the crossbar.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Gannon (Kavanagh 55), Hoare, Lopes, Lyons; Finn (Cooter 80), McCann (Watts 68), Towell; Burke, Gaffney (Mandroiu 68), Byrne.
Derry City: Maher, Boyce, McEleney, Toal, Lafferty; Dummigan, Thomson, Patching; Kavanagh (Akintunde 66), McGonigle, Smith (McLaughlin 78).
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).

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