Football/Soccer

Patching is spot on as Derry City return to winning ways with victory over UCD in Dublin

Will Patching scored from the penalty spot for Derry City in Friday night's SSE Airtricity Premier Division match against UCD in Dublin
Picture: Margaret McLaughlin 

SSE Airtricity Premier Division: UCD 0 Derry City 1

Derry City returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory at bottom side UCD.

Will Patching's second half penalty sealed the points for Ruaidhri Higgins's side, their first victory in eight games and while it wasn't a vintage performance, the Brandywell men always deserved the points.

City, like in so many games in recent weeks, had good clear cut chances to have won the game in a more comfortable manner, however they'll be happy with the three points and also their first clean-sheet in seven games.

The Students had the first effort on goal after 10 minutes as the lively Dylan Duffy, did well to get away from Shane McEleney, but his 20 yard strike was saved by a diving Brian Maher.

City, who were lack lustre in the opening half-hour, went close on 33 minutes as Will Patching's left wing corner found Ciaran Coll, but the left-back's powerful header was inches off target.

A minute later UCD missed a glorious chance to take the lead as Duffy got in behind Shane McEleney, before cutting the ball back from the byline to find Sean Brennan, but the young midfielder blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Right on the stroke of half-time Derry hit the Dubliners on the counter attack, as Maher's superb pass down field found Jamie McGonigle, who cut-in from the left before seeing his powerful strike tipped over by Cian Moore.

The home side went close in the early stages of the second half but Brennan's close range header was straight at Maher.

Derry, who started much better after the break, should have broken the deadlock on 50 minutes but Brandon Kavanagh's close range shot was bravely blocked by Dara Keane.

The vistiors were gifted the lead three minutes later after Michael Gallagher bundled into the back of McGonigle inside the box and referee Ray Matthews pointed to the spot and Patching slotted home his ninth goal of the season, sending Moore the wrong way and planting the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

Moments later UCD substitute Thomas Longeran ran at the Derry back-line, before his low drive from 20 yards was straight at Maher, who gathered comfortable.

In the closing stages City went close to adding a second as Patching released substitute Evan McLaughlin, but the youngster's low drive was parried away by Moore.

UCD: Moore, Todd, Gallagher (Ryan 66), Higgins (Lonergan 57), Osam, Keaney, Keane, Brennan (Nolan 66), Caffrey, Dignam (Verdon 66), Duffy (Norris 84).

Derry City: Maher, Porter, S McEleney, McJannet, Coll; P McEleney, J Thompson, Patching; Smith (McLaughlin 93), McGonigle (Akintunde 74), Kavanagh (Lafferty 88).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Kerry).

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Football/Soccer