Dominant Dundalk leave Derry chasing shadows
Derry City 0 Dundalk 2
Derry City continue to wait for a Brandywell win over Dundalk after falling short against the champions once again.
The Candy Stripes have failed to beat Dundalk at the Brandywell since 2012 and they never looked like ending that run here as Dundalk eased to victory.
It took Dundalk 24 minutes to test Peter Cherrie and when they did they were denied a goal due to a sensational save from the Derry City goalkeeper. Dane Massey's cross found Pat Hoban in between Eoin Toal and Darren Cole, and last season's top scorer headed goalwards from six yards, only for Cherrie to deny him with a brilliant, instinctive save.
The first goal arrived on 36 minutes when Michael Duffy's cross was headed down into the area by Hoban, and Sean Murray volleyed it beyond Cherrie and into the net.
The visitors doubled their lead from the penalty spot seven minutes into the second half. Sean Gannon's cross found Hoban in behind the Derry defence and he was taken out by Cherrie, with referee Ben Connolly pointing to the spot.
That proved to be Cherrie's last contribution as he aggravated his hand injury and had to be replaced by Nathan Gartside, whose first task on his senior debut was to face Hoban from the penalty spot. The prolific Dundalk forward showed great composure, sweeping the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.
It should have been 3-0 on 55 minutes as Michael Duffy led Dundalk on a lightning counter attack from a Derry corner, eventually setting up substitute Dean Jarvis who somehow shot over the bar from close range.
Derry came close through Barry McNamee in response, but Gary Rogers saved as Dundalk comfortably saw the game out.
Derry City - Peter Cherrie (Nathan Gartside 52), Ciaran Coll (Aidy Delap 55), Ally Gilchrist, Eoin Toal, Conor McDermott (Eoghan Stokes 78), Darren Cole, Greg Sloggett, Barry McNamee, Ciaron Harkin, Junior Ogide-Uzokwe, David Parkhouse.
Dundalk - Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey, Daniel Cleary, Sean Murray (Dean Jarvis 48), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy (Jordan Flores 90), Daniel Kelly (Cameron Dummigan 86) Pat Hoban.
Ref - Ben Connolly.