Odhrán Crumley reports from the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
David Parkhouse and Ciaron Harkin’s decisive strikes to down a defensive Sligo could prove invaluable come the end of the season for Derry City in the hunt for Europe.
Despite what appeared a relatively low-par attacking performance from Derry, you felt that it could be a massive turning point for the young team.
Grinding out results in difficult games is a trait that has to be learned the hard way and this was something that Devine’s outfit achieved to get back on track.
Neither side could claim much ascendancy in the opening exchanges as the game ebbed from end to end.
The first chance of the game fell to Eoghan Stokes after a neat cutback from Barry McNamee.
There was a cheer that erupted from the Mark Farren with supporters sure the rattle of the net spelt goal. Unfortunately, for them the ball had struck the side-netting proving once again how deceiving an angle can be.
From the very next attack, Liam Kerrigan had his sides first effort, sending a rasping effort from range towards goal, forcing Nathan Gartside to make a save.
Derry continued to dominate possession, midway through the first half a fine passing move allowed David Parkhouse to fire across the face of goal.
The cross would evade most until Sam Warde fired the ball in the direction of his own goal, much to the anguish of his manager before breathing a sigh of relief as it flew over the top.
Declan Devine’s men would fail to break the Sligo rear-guard in the first period as the teams went in goalless at the break.
It would be more of the same in the opening minutes of the second stanza as Barry McNamee had an effort saved by Mitchell Beeney. The agony for the home support would continue as Eoghan Stokes’ follow-up cannoned back off, of the post.
Just shy of the hour mark, ‘The Candystripes’ would finally take the lead through David Parkhouse.
Captain McNamee threading the young striker through before he fired across goal into the bottom left corner of the net.
The home team continued to boss possession but failed to fully pile the pressure on a resurgent Sligo team with numerous bodies set-up behind the ball.
In the end it was Derry that looked to be holding out for a valuable three points in tough circumstances.
Up step, local boy, Ciaron Harkin who fired into the net from the corner of the area in fine fashion as any tension in the Brandywell eased.
Derry City: Nathan Gartside; Darren Cole, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll; Eoghan Stokes (Gianni Seraf 73), Ciaron Harkin, Greg Sloggett; Barry McNamee (Josh Kerr 92), Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, David Parkhouse (Gerardo Bruna 88).
Subs not Used: Daniel Houghton, Evan Tweed, Ronan McKinley.
Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Regan Donelon, Kyle Callan-McFadden, John Dunleavey, Dante Leverock; Liam Kerrigan (Romeo Parkes 81), Sam Warde (John Russell 73), Daryl Fordyce; Kris Twardek (John Mahon 81), Ronan Coughlan.
Subs not Used: Luke Nicholas, Lewis Banks, Ronan Murray, Niall Morahan.
Booked: Regan Donelon (75)
Referee: Tomas Connolly
Attendance: 3,500 (Estimate)
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: David Parkhouse (Derry City)