League Report: Derry City 3-1 Shamrock Rovers
Published: May 19, 2017

The Candystripes claimed only their second win in their last ten matches with a thoroughly deserved 3-1 win over Shamrock Rovers at Maginn Park. First half goals for City from Aaron McEneff and Barry McNamee, either side of Graham Burke’s goal, plus a late penalty from McEneff gave Derry City all three points in Donegal.


It seemed like the Candystripes and the Hoops wouldn’t be separated at the half time break. In a relatively quiet opening period, the crowd in Buncrana were only lifted by fine strikes from distance from first McEneff for the home side and then Burke for the visitors, until McNamee’s goal in the last minute of the half.


The home side were probably just about deserving of that lead. They had shaded possession in the opening half, with Rovers getting the only corner of the first 45. Kenny Shiels, going with a defensive back three, had made one switch from the side that drew with Limerick last time out – Lukas Schubert coming in at wing back as Josh Daniels dropped to the bench. Rovers were unchanged from the 2-0 win last Friday night in Dalymount Park.


Ahead of the game, the heavens had opened in Donegal and it made for a slippy surface with a bit of standing water in the centre circle. On a couple of occasions, Rovers players slid in late and both Brandon Miele and Trevor Clarke earned first half bookings from referee Ben Connolly.


The Hoops found themselves 1-0 down inside the opening five minutes. McEneff drove the ball home from outside the area in off the underside crossbar. It all came from a deep Nathan Boyle cross that came to Schubert. The ball worked free to McEneff whose well struck shot went over the top of Tomer Chencinski's despairing dive.


It was a fine goal but Burke’s beautiful curled effort bettered it mid-way through the half. Gary Shaw, playing up top on his own, put pressure on the Candystripe defence which allowed Burke, who lined out just behind him, get on the ball. From outside the box wide on the left, Burke found the top corner of the net for his fourth of the season.


It was a battle in midfield with Nicky Low seeing the majority of the ball in the centre while Rovers looked to move it mostly through captain Ronan Finn. Another McEneff effort from distance was the nearest City came to retaking the lead until the final minute of the half. Schubert’s run into the box saw him find McNamee who steered the ball low into the goal.


The Candystripes began the second period brightly and Rovers were glad of Chencinski’s athleticism to keep them in the game. From a McEneff corner, Jarvis’ header from centre drew a save off the Hoops Canadian ‘keeper. Then he pulled off a top class save as Ronan Curtis’ curling effort was tipped behind for a corner.


Barry McNamee was the next to go close for the Candystripes. Curtis’ centre gave him sight of the goal but he blazed over the bar as the home side began to dominate the midfield battle.


The Hoops had the ball in the back of the net after Brandon Miele picked up a free kick that had come back off the Derry City wall. However the assistant referee had his flag up for a foul on Derry ‘keeper Ger Doherty. The Hoops didn’t do enough in the second half to claim what would have been only their second draw of the season.


It was a case that they weren’t allowed as the Candystripes were fully deserving of the win which was wrapped up with an injury time penalty. The Hoops conceded the spot kick when Heaney took down Curtis. McEneff slotted home the penalty to send the home fans happy back to Donegal to Derry.


Derry City: Ger Doherty; Conor McDermott, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis (Ben Doherty 87); Lukas Schubert (Josh Daniels, 82), Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low, Harry Monaghan, Ronan Curtis (Mark Timlin 90+4); Barry McNamee; Nathan Boyle.

Subs not used: Eric Grimes, Rory Holden, Scott Whiteside, Mikhail Kennedy

Booked: Conor McDermott (51), Aaron Barry (74), Ronan Curtis (90+2).


Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; Simon Madden, Roberto Lopes (Sean Heaney 68), Dave Webster, Luke Byrne; Ronan Finn ©, David McAllister; Brandon Miele; Graham Burke (Michael O’Connor 81), Trevor Clarke (Darren Meenan 62); Gary Shaw.

Subs not Used: Kevin Horgan (gk), Sam Bone, Ryan Connolly, Aaron Dobbs.

Booked: Brandon Miele (35), Trevor Clarke (44), Darren Meenan (78), Dave McAllister (84).

Referee: Ben Connolly.

Attendance: 1,500 (estimate).

Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Aaron McEneff (Derry City)



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Macdara Ferris

Macdara Ferris is a contributor since 2007 to Hoops Scene (Shamrock Rovers' match day programme) and the co-author of Tallaght Time: Shamrock Rovers 2009 to 2012. He still believes that one day he will see Rovers win the FAI Cup. The first international game he attended was Luxembourg being dispatched 2-1 at Lansdowne Road by Jack Charlton's Ireland team.

He has been a writer with extratime.ie since 2012 covering the League of Ireland, the Irish National team and a few Champions League finals. He has also been known to pop up in far flung places like Ballybofey, Belfast, Berlin and Brazil to report for extratime.

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