Odhrán Crumley reports from the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
It definitely was a Good Friday for Shamrock Rovers as Aaron Greene’s goal just before the break sealed another win for the league leaders.
Declan Devine’s side were left to rue missed chances as Stephen Bradley’s team made it eight victories in a row.
A bumper crowd piled into the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and an impeccable minute’s silence was observed before kick-off for journalist Lyra McKee, who was murdered in the city on Thursday night.
It was an act of defiance and solidarity from a city who made a bold statement that mindless thugs do not act in their name.
On the field, the beginning of the game was frantic as Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe tried a speculative effort from range which narrowly flew over the bar.
Rovers’ first chance fell to Lee Grace, who narrowly headed Joey O’Brien’s free-kick towards the back post over the top.
Midway through the half, Dylan Watts beat Patrick McClean on the right wing and his inviting ball across the face of goal evaded the reach of Jack Byrne in the area.
Three minutes before the break, Derry had the best chance of the game so far and really should have broken the deadlock.
Barry McNamee played a neat backheel into the path of David Parkhouse, and his cross was headed wide by Junior at full stretch.
From the very next attack, Rovers would punish their opponents as Byrne’s through-ball took out the home defence, leaving Aaron Greene clean through on goal.
Greene showed real composure racing through on goal shooting low into the bottom corner of the net to ensure his team led at the break.
The Candystripes would pin their opponents in their own half for the majority of the second stanza but to no avail.
Junior set Parkhouse in behind but the striker’s effort was struck down the throat of Alan Mannus, who easily saved.
Derry had a succession of corners but they did so without truly troubling Mannus in the Shamrock Rovers goal.
Yet another, big chance would fall to Junior in the area, but the striker blazed the ball over the top.
In the end, Rovers held out for another valuable three points as they prepare to face local rivals, Bohemians on Monday night while Derry travel to Waterford to take on the Munster side.
Derry City: Peter Cherrie; Patrick McClean, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Darren Cole; Ciaran Harkin (Conor McDermott 76), Darren Cole, Greg Sloggett, Barry McNamee, Eoghan Stokes (Gerardo Bruna 57); David Parkhouse, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Subs not Used: Nathan Gartside (gk), Ciaran Coll, Evan Tweed, Shane McNamee, Josh Kerr.
Booked: Ally Gilchrist (14), David Parkhouse (78).
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Dylan Watts, Ronan Finn (Orjan Vojic 78); Aaron McEneff, Sean Kavanagh, Trevor Clarke (Dan Carr 65), Aaron Greene; Joey O’Brien, Jack Byrne (Joel Coustrain 87).
Subs not Used: Leon Pohls (gk), James Walter Furlong, Dean Dillon, Brandon Kavanagh.
Booked: Trevor Clarke (67), Joey O’Brien (90).
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Attendance: 3,800 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Barry McNamee (Derry City).