Last-gasp winner helps Derry keep pressure on Shelbourne

The title race now looks between the two as Shamrock Rovers lost further grounds

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins with Sadou Diallo back from injury and waiting to go on against Shelbourne at the Brandywell on Monday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin  6-5-2024
Sadou Diallo scored Derry's equaliser at Dalymount Park last night. Picture: Margaret McLaughlin (MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY )
SSE Airtricity League Premier Division
Bohemians 1 Derry City 2

DERRY City go into the two-week break two points off the top after super-sub Daniel Mullen scored a last-gasp winner to secure the three points against Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

The Scottish forward blasted home from 12 yards after fellow substitute Cameron McJannet, who looks set for a cross-channel move to Grimsby Town, rose to head the ball down for the chance.

Leaders Shelbourne, who still have a game in hand over the Candystripes, were 1-0 winners at Waterford but Shamrock Rovers lost further ground as they were held to a 1-1 draw by St Patrick’s.

They now sit 10 points behind Derry and 12 behind Shelbourne, though they do have two games in hand over the former and one in hand over the latter.

Derry’s deserved win was their third in a row in the league – the first time they have achieved that since last May.

The woodwork came to the hosts’ rescue on eight minutes as Cameron Dummigan’s right-wing cross found Michael Duffy, but the unmarked left winger saw his close-range header come back off the post with Bohs goalkeeper Kacper Chorazka beaten,

Bohs were awarded a penalty on 14 minutes as Sadou Diallo didn’t see Dayle Rooney coming from behind him and he brought down the midfielder inside the box.

Referee Rob Hennessy rightfully pointed to the spot and after City’s protests were waved away, Jordan Flores’ resulting spot-kick was kept out by a diving Brian Maher, only for the alert Danny Grant to side-foot home the rebound.

To their credit the visitors didn’t let Grant’s goal upset them and they should have levelled things a minute later as Paul McMullan found Pat Hoban, but the striker’s close-range shot was somehow kept out by Chorazka, the big Polish keeper spreading himself to well divert the ball around the post.

McMullan’s resulting short corner found Will Patching and the midfielder’s left-wing cross found an unmarked Diallo, who made no mistake by coolly side-footing home from six yards.

Incredibly, Derry then hit the woodwork twice in quick succession.

Firstly, Dummigan’s right-wing cross nearly caught out Chorazka, the keeper getting back to tip the ball on to the crossbar; then another McMullan short corner on the left to Patching ended with the gifted ex-Manchester City youth team player watching his curling centre sail over Chorazka and rattling the post.

Chorazka had to make a top-drawer save just after the half-hour mark when at full stretch he got down low to his right to parry away Patching’s 20-yard free-kick.

The home side were nearly gifted a goal on 41 minutes as Ben Doherty’s terrible pass into his own penalty box only found Rooney, but the midfielder was denied by Maher, who did well to rush off his line to block his close-range shot.

Right on the stroke of half-time, a superb inswinging right-wing corner by Rooney picked out Jevon Mills, but the young centre-back was unable to turn the ball home when it looked easier to score.

Chorazka was called into action on 50 minutes as Dummigan’s clever pass released Hoban down the right and the striker’s angled drive was well saved by the Bohs net-minder.

City made a double-change on 74 minutes, with McJannet and Daniel Kelly replacing Doherty and Diallo, as manager Ruaidhrí Higgins went to try and win the game in the final quarter.

They did go close to taking the lead on 85 minutes as Shane McEleney’s cross back into the Bohs box found Duffy, but his goal-bound header, which had Chorazka beaten, was headed off the line by Martin Miller.

On 91 minutes, City substitute McJannet and Kelly combined, but the ex-Bohemians man was unable to hit the target and fired over at the back post.

Moments later, Adam O’Reilly burst through from midfield before feeding Kelly down the right, but his first touch took him slightly wide and Aboubacar Keita got back toblock the shot.

Derry won the points on 94 minutes as McJannet got up well to head the ball down to fellow sub Mullen, who controlled the ball before his left-footed strike flew past Chorazka into the bottom right corner.

Bohemians Chorazka, Kirk, Flores, Grant (Piszczek 78), McDonnell. Mills, Rooney, Clarke (Connolly 71), Miller, Carroll (Keita 83), Akintunde.

Derry City Maher, Dummigan, S McEleney, Connolly, Doherty (McJannet 74); Diallo (Kelly 74), O’Reilly, Patching; McMullan (Mullen 83), Hoban, Duffy

Referee: Mr Robert Hennessy (Dublin).