Rory Patterson finds the net as Derry City defeat Shamrock Rovers to tighten grip on third
Shamrock Rovers 0 Derry City 1
Rory Patterson kept Derry City’s quest for Europe on course with a first half winner at Tallaght Stadium.
This impressive victory moves Derry five points clear of fourth-placed Rovers, who do have two games in hand.
Rovers’ promising start came to nothing as Derry, once Aaron McEneff brought a sublime one-handed save from Craig Hyland from a free kick on 13 minutes, dominated the first half, deservedly going in their match-winning goal up at the interval.
Hyland had to produce further heroics to keep out another free-kick from McEneff and then react well to deflect Ronan Curtis’s follow up out for a corner.
That wasn’t fully cleared with Hyland again getting down well to push McEneff’s low drive round a post.
Derry’s pressure then told on 36 minutes. Right-back Conor McDermott whipped over a terrific cross to the near post for Patterson to power home a header for his 12th league goal of the season.
Rovers pressed late on with Trevor Clarke just failing to meet substitute Dean Clarke’s low cross.
Curtis, though, might have added a second for Derry on 87 minutes, but for another stop from Hyland.
Shamrock Rovers – Hyland; Hanney, Cornwall, O’Connor; Madden, Miele, Cregg, K. Brennan (McCabe, 65), T. Clarke; Boyd (Dobbs, 71), Shaw (D. Clarke, 71).
Derry City – G. Doherty; McDermott, Vemmelund, Jarvis, McClean; McEneff, McCormack (Monaghan, 66); Schubert (Boyle, 72), McNamee, Curtis (B. Doherty, 89); Patterson.
ref – R. Matthews (Longford)