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Derry's Good Friday

LOI Premier Division: Derry City 2 St Patrick’s Ath 1

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Heads up: Derry City’s Rory Patterson outjumps St Pats’ Kevin Toner during last night’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the Brandywell

Heads up: Derry City’s Rory Patterson outjumps St Pats’ Kevin Toner during last night’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the Brandywell

Heads up: Derry City’s Rory Patterson outjumps St Pats’ Kevin Toner during last night’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the Brandywell

St Patrick's Athletic are the latest visitors to learn that Derry City are very much at home in the new-look Brandywell, Pat's going down 2-1 in Derry last night on what was not a Good Friday for the Dublin side.

One consolation for clubs from south of the border who played in Derry on Good Friday was the lure of a legal pint, but with the new licencing laws in the Republic even a sneaky beer was no attraction for the travelling Pat's supporters.

And as they headed down the N2 last night they can only wonder how they came away from Derry on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline.

A goal in each half from Aaron McEneff was the story of the night for Derry, who have now won all three of their games at the Brandywell since the place reopened for business 19 days ago,

But Pat's were in control for long spells, got back to 2-1 with a late goal from Dean Clarke and were then denied a point when Ger Doherty and Darren Cole combined in injury-time to deny the away side a point which they'd have deserved.

Home form before this game had been just perfect for Derry, and the early moments here last night suggested it would be another one of those nights.

A poor clearance from defence by Kevin Toner, after a high ball in from Rory Hale had dropped into the box, teed up the chance for McEneff in the tenth minute and his finish past Barry Murphy was a sweet one.

Derry could have added a second goal on 16 minutes, Ben Doherty setting up Ronan Curtis, but the effort was blocked.

That was about as good as it got for Derry as Pat's took the initiative, staying patient in their typical mode of playing even when things were not falling for them.

There was an early note of intent from the away side on 21 minutes when Ian Bermingham fired over the bar, but on 23 minutes the Saints felt they should have been level.

First, Ger Doherty was needed to save from Jake Keegan's shot, and the rebound fell for Dean Clarke, his shot coming off the post and then deflected out for a corner. American import Keegan did have the ball in the back of the net from the corner but ref Rob Harvey had seen an infringement and disallowed the effort.

It took Derry until the 53rd minute to come up with another effort of note, Patterson firing over the bar having been set up by Rory Hale.

But Pats looked more likely to score, coming close again on 55 minutes, Eoin Toal almost netting an own goal as he hesitated over how to deal with Conan Byrne's corner, and it needed Doherty's experience to clear.

Veteran Conan Byrne was a constant danger to City, Pat's in full control of possession, but Doherty's goal remained intact.

And on 73 minutes Derry managed to double that lead, McEneff the architect and the finisher.

He broke from midfield, spotted Patterson out wide, Patterson played the ball back to McEneff and the 22-year-old pulled off a superb finish.

Pat's got a goal back from Clarke on 79 minutes, a toe poke from Clarke, and to their credit the Dubliners kept going.

A chance from sub James Doona came very close but first Doherty saved and then Cole mopped up with a goal-line clearance to keep out the shot, earn the win and keep up that superb home record.


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