McNamee puts the seal on Derry stroll
Derry City 4 Aberystwyth Town 0
After a season of mediocrity, Derry City reached levels of excellence last night to easily defeat Aberystwyth Town in the first leg of their first-round tie.
Scoring four times without reply, the Candystripes recorded their biggest home win in a European game for 49 years, yet should have done so much more.
Fitter, tactically smarter and fired with more passion than their Welsh visitors, they dominated. They had the match effectively won after just 25 minutes and spent the rest of the night missing chances.
Rory Patterson, despite scoring their second from the penalty spot, was the chief culprit, spurning four gilt-edged opportunities in the second half, three of them when sent clean through with just Aberystwyth's reserve goalkeeper to beat and one when he hit the bar as he stretched to meet Michael Duffy's cross.
Yet while they survived that moment of crisis, Aberystwyth could do nothing to stay in this game, surrendering possession far too cheaply on a night when Derry's midfield trio Patrick McEleney, Barry Molloy and Barry McNamee bossed this game.
McEleney opened the scoring on 15 minutes when he burst through down the right, outpacing his marker initially, before outsmarting him, finding the space he needed to fire past Michael Lewis.
Seven minutes later, Lewis wrestled Patterson to the ground as the striker took the ball around him. Lewis was sent off, and Patterson beat replacement 'keeper Philip Draper from the spot.
On 47 minutes, Draper was beaten again, Mark Timlin getting the third goal with a superbly struck low shot from 25 yards. With four minutes left McNamee made it four, and had Patterson been more accurate Derry could have six or seven. As it is, four will surely be enough to see them through to the second round.
Derry City: Doherty; Jarvis, McBride, Byrne (c), Barry, Molloy, B McNamee, Timlin (Tracey 68), P McEleney (Lowry 77), Duffy; Patterson (Boyle 82)
Aberystwyth Town: Lewis; Davies (Morgan 66), S Jones (C), Thomas, C Davies; Corbisiero, Sherbon, Kellaway, Venables, Williams (Draper 24); M Jones
Referee: M-K Kristoffersen (Denmark)