Late Candystripes brace clinches sweet derby win
Finn Harps 0 Derry City 2
Derry City struck twice in the closing stages in Ballybofey last night to maintain their challenge for third place and leave their local rivals deep in relegation trouble.
Scottish defender Darren Cole bagged his first goal in the Candystripes and Aaron McEneff (left) netted a second in added time.
Cole hammered home from ten yards after Nicky Low's 87th-minute corner fell into his path.
Up to then, it had been a timid tussle that seemed destined for stalemate until Cole's strike set City on their way. For good measure, McEneff tucked in a second as City overcame their north-west rivals to give their supporters in the 2,896 crowd the bragging rights.
Derry boss Kenny Shiels was without the suspended Aaron Barry while in-form striker Ronan Curtis was dropped from the squad for what is believed to have been an alleged breach of discipline.
Eoin Toal, who was in for his Derry debut, hit the crossbar with a 26th-minute header while Rory Patterson forced Ciaran Gallagher into a save from a powerful close-range effort.
Eddie Dsane - who scored in each of his last two outings - curled wide for Harps in the first half and it took a timely block by Dean Jarvis to stop his advances just after the hour when he latched on to Ciaran Coll's delivery.
Harps were minus the class of Paddy McCourt and the graft of Barry Molloy, but the hosts could have stole ahead just before half-time, but Sean Houston headed wide.
In the end, they were left to rue their missed opportunities as Derry's late show settled proceedings.
Finn Harps - C Gallagher; D McNulty, K Cantwell, P Mailey, C Coll; C McAleer, E Boyle, G Harkin, E Dsane (J Bonner 78); S Houston; I Keita (BJ Banda 66).
Derry City - G Doherty; C McDermott, E Toal, D Cole, D Jarvis; A McEneff, B McNamee, N Low; L Schubert (N Boyle 72), R Patterson, J Daniels (B Doherty 78).
Ref - R Matthews (Mullingar).