Blackburn loan star Doyle gets the job done for Derry in the Brandywell
Derry City 1 Waterford Utd 0
Jack Doyle's second-half header condemned Waterford to defeat in a pulsating encounter at the Brandywell last night.
The defender, on loan from Blackburn Rovers, got on the end of Ronan Hale's cross to decide a game which should have had so many more goals.
Waterford started well and Derry just about survived on 24 minutes when they lost possession in midfield and a swift counter-attack saw Sander Puri outpace Nicky Low on the right and his early ball put Ismahil Akinade one-on-one against Gerard Doherty.
The striker had time to take a touch and although Doherty got something on his shot, it was still headed in, only for Gavin Peers to get back and hack the ball off the goal line.
The game was finely poised, but City finally made Lawrence Vigouroux work on 38 minutes when a burst into the area by Conor McDermott saw Aaron McEneff receive the ball with his back to goal.
McEneff was surrounded by blue shirts, but he was able to work a pass to Rory Hale 20 yards out and his low curling effort had to be beaten away by the Waterford goalkeeper.
Derry City began the second-half impressively and they were rewarded on 53 minutes with the opening goal as Ronan Hale's cross to the back post eluded everyone, except full-back Doyle, whose downward header had enough on it to beat Vigouroux at his near post.
It really should have been 2-0 on 74 minutes as Derry broke through again. Ronan Hale was in space and the youngster set up McEneff. He couldn't turn the ball home from two yards, with Vigouroux saving.
Five minutes of added-time only increased the tension in the Brandywell and still Derry could not add a second, Ronan Hale going through and shooting wide with just Vigouroux to beat. But Waterford could not muster one chance of note as City professionally saw out the game.
Derry City - Gerard Doherty, Conor McDermott (Darren Cole 57'), Eoin Toal, Gavin Peers, Jack Doyle, Ronan Hale, Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low, Ronan Curtis, Rory Hale, Rory Patterson
Waterford - Lawrence Vigouroux, Garry Comerford (John Martin 70'), Paul Keegan, Sander Puri (Dean Walsh 76'), Gavan Holohan, Faysel Kasmi, Rory Feely, John Kavanagh, David Webster, Dylan Barnett (Derek Daly 70'), Izzy Skinade
Ref - N Doyle