Patterson sinks Town
Longford Town 2 Derry City 3
Rory Patterson broke Longford hearts with a late, quick-fire brace as Derry twice came from behind to win a five-goal thriller at the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night.
Longford remain in real trouble, six points adrift at the foot of the table. Victory moves Derry third and on the verge of Europa League qualification.
"It was very disappointing because it was a good opportunity for us," said frustrated Longford boss Alan Mathews.
"I thought our first-half performance was excellent. We took the lead, gave a goal back, but we had a right go at them.
"Then, having regained the lead in the second-half we just needed to make the right decisions and we didn't.
"We played well and I can't fault the lads for effort, but it's a recurring theme - you make mistakes, you get punished
"We lost a game on the night that I genuinely felt we could win."
David O'Sullivan turned home Don Cowan's low cross to put Longford in front on 12 minutes.
Derry levelled on 38 minutes, Barry McNamee shooting low to the net after a Ronan Curtis cross deflected into his path.
Longford regained the lead from O'Sullivan's 63rd-minute penalty after Niclas Vemmelund's trip on Kaleem Simon.
However, Derry turned the game on its head inside a two-minute spell. Patterson levelled on 76 minutes following a goalmouth scramble before he latched on to substitute Josh Daniels' through ball to drill home the winner.
Longford Town: Coulter; J. Mulhall (Haverty, 86), Flynn, Mvita, Powell; McGlynn (Dillon, 82), O'Connor, Gannon, Simon; Cowan, O'Sullivan.
Derry City: G. Doherty; Vemmelund, Castells, Jarvis; Monaghan, McCormack (Boyle, 69), McEneff, McNamee (Ward, 89), B. Doherty (Daniels, 69); Patterson, Curtis.
Ref: S Grant (Wexford).