Derry City extended their lead at the top of the Airtricity League table on Friday night after a neat back heel from Patrick McEleney gave the CandyStripes a 1-0 win over Bohemians and a valuable three points to take back to the Brandywell.
The Gypsies welcomed Derry City to Dalymount Park on Friday with both teams looking to continue their good form in the league in recent weeks.
The game got off to a very slow start with the midfield pairings having the most to do in the opening exchanges. Both teams had good spells of possession but were lacking any sort of end product, giving the ball away almost as soon as the regained possession.
The first real chance of the game fell to the visitors after 26 minutes. Stephen McLaughlin managed to find himself some space out on the left and whipped a quick ball into the box for Eamon Zayed who guided the ball just clear of the crossbar.
It was the first of only a handful of chances in the opening half with both teams operating well in defence to keep each other at bay.
Bohs had one or two chances of their own but were finding it very hard to link up with Christy Fagan who was on his own up front for a lot of the first half.
They could have taken the lead just before half time after good link up play between Buckley and Downes just outside the Derry box. Keith Buckley took the ball to the corner and played the ball inside to the onrushing Downes who connected well with a brisk shot but straight at the keeper who saved comfortably.
The second half was only seconds old when Derry nearly opened the scoring, The Bohs defence caught napping as McLaughlin got in behind Owen Heary after a perfectly placed through ball by Ruaidhri Higgins. He had the keeper bet but the ball cannoned off the near post and out for a goal kick.
The game continued to open up a lot more after the break with both sets of wingers particularly Killian Brennan starting to find a lot more space for themselves as both sides looked to carve an opening.
Brennan turned Eddie McCallion inside the box and drove towards goal before pulling the ball short for Owen Heary who controlled the ball calmly on his chest before blasting the ball over the bar with a strong volley.
The home side were growing in confidence and were certainly testing the resolve of the sturdy Derry defence and looked to have taken the lead just after the hour mark. Killian Brennan again with the cross from a corner which Aidan Price connected onto with a powerful back post header and into the net only for the referee to give a free out for pushing in the area much to the relief of the Derry supporters behind the goal.
It was a harsh decision for the home side and things got even worse for them as Derry had the ball in the back of Barry Murphy's net within minutes of the offside call. Derry with a swift counter attack down the right hand side with McEleney earning his team a corner.
Eamonn Zayed powered the resulting corner towards goal with Barry Murphy making a point blank save but the ball dropped perfectly for the waiting Patrick McEleney who smartly back heeled the ball into the bottom corner of the net after a major scramble in the box.
The goal certainly put a huge dent in the home sides confidence as the CandyStripes began pouring forward in search of their second goal and a big three points.
They almost doubled their lead only for the impressive presence of Barry Murphy in the Bohs goal. Another fantastic corner from the Derry captain Kevin Deery latched onto by the unmarked Daniel Lafferty who headed towards the top corner but Barry Murphy at full reach tipped the ball just over the bar to keep Bohs in the game.
Bohs had a fantastic chance in the dying moments to steal a point from the match through substitute Christopher Forrester. Killian Brennan picked out Forrester with a teasing ball into the box who swung wildly at the ball and somehow volleyed wide of Ger Doherty's goal from only 8 yards out.
That was to be the final piece of action for the night as Derry City went three points clear at the top and left Dalymount with a controversial but valuable three points.
Bohemians: Barry Murphy; Liam Burns (Chris Forrester 81), Ollie Cahill, Owen Heary, Aidan Price; Killian Brennan, Keith Buckley (Stephen Hurley 46), Glenn Cronin, Ger O’ Brien; Aidan Downes, Christy Fagan (Anto Flood 58).
Subs not used: Kevin Feely, Roberto Lopez, Mark Rossiter, Craig Sexton.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Shane McEleney, Eddie McCallion, Daniel Lafferty, Stewart Greacen; Barry Molloy, Patrick McEleney, Ruaidhri Higgins (Ruairi Harkin 85), Kevin Deery; Stephen McLaughlin, Eamon Zayed (David McDaid 79)
Subs not used: Michael McCrudden, Ryan McBride, James Henry, Emmet Friars, Eugene Ferry.
Bookings: Lafferty (64), Molloy (71), Doherty (89).
Referee: Neil Doyle.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Kevin Deery