Zayed strike helps sink Saints
Derry City 2 St Patrick's Athletic 0
TWO second-half goals, through Eamon Zayed and a Dave Mulcahy own goal, ensured Derry City picked up three crucial points against St Pat's last night.
Zayed went close to opening the scoring for the home side inside the first few minutes, but his shot on the turn from 25 yards was saved at the second attempt by Chris Bennion.
Danny North caused problems for City minutes later, but some last-ditch defending by both Stewart Greacen and Shane McEleney denied the striker, while David McMillan had a low drive comfortably saved by Gerard Doherty.
A fantastic flowing move on 16 minutes should have resulted in the opening goal for the Candystripes, when Kevin Deery's low cross found Zayed, but his sliding effort flashed just wide.
Just before the break Bennion shone again when he firstly pushed away Daniel Lafferty's dangerous delivery, before quickly getting back on his feet to save Patrick McEleney's follow-up shot. City started on the front foot after the break, but Stephen McLaughlin's teasing centre flashed past the left-hand post.
Zayed had a fine chance on 50 minutes when he showed great skill to clip the ball over Brian Shorthall, but with his weaker left foot he blasted well over from just inside the box.
Zayed finally broke the deadlock on 73 minutes when Ruaidhri Higgins' ball into the box was chested back by Brian Shorthall and the alert City striker nipped in to get the faintest of touches pass the out-rushing Bennion.
North should have levelled things soon after when a long ball out of defence caught out the City backline, but the striker's attempted lob went the wrong side of the post.
The home side doubled their advantage on 82 minutes when Deery's inswinging corner was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Mulcahy.
Derry City -- Doherty, McCallion, Greacen, S McEleney, Lafferty; Deery, Molloy, Higgins, McLaughlin; P McEleney, Zayed.
St Pat's -- Bennion, Pender, Birmingham (Kenna 83); E McMillan, Kavanagh (Crawley 83), Bradley (O'Connor 83); North, D McMillan, Doyle, Shorthall, Mulcahy.
Ref -- D McKeon (Dublin).