A fantastic Ronan Finn strike took some of the pressure off Stephen Kenny as Shamrock Rovers secured all three points against Derry City at the Brandywell on Friday evening. The game was played in the main by two sides both looking low in confidence but it was the Tallaght side that were able to tough it out for a much needed win.
Derry opened the brighter of the two sides and in the sixth minute Stephen McLaughlin scampered clear and cut the ball back to Barry Molloy who slotted just over. A minute later Patrick McEleney tested Jannson with a curling shot but the keeper gathered well.
In the 12th minute Owen Morrison sent David McDaid clear but he had his ankles clipped from behind by Craig Sives who was extremely fortunate only to receive a yellow card.
Shamrock Rovers started to come back into the game and in the 24th minute a poor back pass from Dermot McCaffrey saw Gary Twigg one on one with Gerard Doherty but the Derry netminder did just enough to thwart his effort.
In the 32nd minute Patrick McEleney was caught in a tackle and had to be stretchered off with what looked a serious injury and was replaced by Barry McNamee. There was then a couple of half chances for both sides with McCabe going close for Rovers and Morrison shooting wide for Derry.
At this point Mr Tomney blew for the interval with the Candystripes probably just shading the first half.
Derry again started strongly in the second period and in the 49th minute a magnificent 25 yard strike from Ruaidhri Higgins was brilliantly tipped over by Jannson. The moment of the match, however, arrived in the 54th minute when Ronan Finn cut inside 25 yards out and let fly with a spectacular strike which flew in off the bar giving Doherty no chance.
Gary Twigg was guilty of missing a couple of good chances for the Dublin side and Colin Hawkins should have done better with a header off an excellent McCabe cross.
In the 73rd minute a powerful and direct run from Stephen McLaughlin ended when he flashed the ball past a stranded Oskar Jannson but it was well wide.
Derry’s best chance to level the game came in the 87th minute with another fine run and cutback from McLaughlin. The ball fell to Mark Farren who seemed to be bundled over in the box but Derek Tomney was not interested in the penalty claim.
There followed a nervous six minutes of added time for Kenny and Ryan McBride should have done better with a free header, but it was not to be for Declan Devine’s men as Rovers held on to claim the win.
There wasn't a great deal between the two sides on the night, but Shamrock Rovers experience secured them the away win in the end.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Ryan McBride, Dermot McCaffrey; Owen Morrison, Ruaidhri Higgins (Mark Farren 74), Barry Molloy (c), Stephen McLaughlin, Patrick McEleney (Barry McNamee 32 (Eddie McCallion 90+3)); David McDaid.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Matthew Rooney, Michael Duffy.
Booked: McCaffrey (15), McLaughlin (82).
Shamrock Rovers: Oskar Jannson; Pat Sullivan, Craig Sives, Colin Hawkins, Conor Powell; Gary McCabe (Conor McCormack 76), Ronan Finn, Stephen Rice, Chris Turner, Daryl Kavanagh (Killian Brennan 58); Gary Twigg (c), (Ciaran Kilduff 78).
Subs not used: Reyaad Pieterse, Lorcan Shannon, Kerrea Gilbert, Gary O'Neill.
Booked: Sives (12), Kilduff (80), K Brennan (90), Sullivan (90+6).
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Attendance: 1,100 (estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Ronan Finn (Shamrock Rovers).