Date: 7:45 p.m. May 1, 2009
Venue: United Park
The Greencastle man celebrating his 27th birthday handed himself and Derry a nice present of three goals resulting in three points for the visiting side.
After a highly competitive first half Drogheda seemed to be caught cold in the second half as Derry looked to avoid of a repeat of their Dundalk experience and came screaming out of the blocks.
Introduced at the break, James McClean took a mere three minutes to make an impact as the sub delivered a pin point cross for Farren, left totally unmarked, to head past Williams and open the scoring.
Farren then doubled his tally moments later, this time Kevin Deery supplying the through ball that saw the goal scorer just beat the offside trap before deftly chipping Williams and sparking wild celebrations among the travelling support as the home fans prayed that would be that in terms of goals.
The rout was complete in injury time, and Farren saved the best for last, as the striker hit the sweetest volley that rocketed past the helpless Williams to complete what was almost a perfect night for Stephen Kenny’s men.
The loss of Peter Hutton at half time with what seemed to be a serious looking injury was the only blemish of the away side’s night. A doctor was summoned to the dressing rooms at half time for what can only be assumed to be an examination of Hutton, the defender was withdrawn for McClean at the break.
The first half saw chances aplenty for both sides, Paul Shiels had the first shot but his effort sailed harmlessly over the bar, while at the other end Ciaran Martin failed to turn an inviting Thomas Stewart cross goalwards.
Drogheda took the game to the away side and hit a purple patch where within the space of five minutes they had two great chances, both of which required saves from Gerard Doherty in the Derry goal.
Jamie Duffy had the first chance, after being put through by Gavin Whelan and he unleashed a powerful shot which was pushed wide by Doherty and barely a minute later David O’Connor tested the visiting shot stopper and found Doherty more than a match as the keeper at full stretch denied Drogheda an opening goal.
Derry returned fire as Barry Molloy smacked a shot from 20 yards out that left Williams flat footed, however the strike sailed just past the post.
Stewart then had a good opportunity which he managed to curl straight into the thankful arms of Williams.
Despite the three goals, the second half was a dull affair with chances coming few and far between. Drogheda had the lion’s share of the chances in the second period as just after the hour William Woods managed to beautifully control a high ball on his chest, however, the subsequent volley was charged down by Eddie McCallion. Then Derry broke down field as Farren once again is set free and his powerful strike was blocked by Robbie Clarke.
Shane Barrett made a rare appearance in place of William Woods and the striker, although contributing little to the Drogs attack, managed to come through the final fifteen minutes without any problem boosting his chances of return to first team duties.
Drogheda remain rooted to the bottom following what was their biggest home defeat so far this season. Mathews' men are facing a massive uphill battle as Stephen Kenny will sleep easier tonight as Derry have somewhat vindicated themselves after a string of poor results.
Drogheda United: Williams, Ryan, McNally, Kenna, R Clarke, Whelan, Shiels, Chambers, O'Connor (King 79), Duffy, Woods (Barrett 74).
Derry City: O'Doherty, McCallion, Hutton (McClean 45), McChrystal, Gray, Deery (Scullion 81), Martyn, Molloy, Stewart, Farren, Morrow.
Referee: Alan Kelly (Cork).