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Will Patching’s penalty earns Derry valuable three points as they close in on Dundalk

UCD 0 Derry City 1

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Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins will be delighted as his side have gone our matches unbeaten in the league. Photo: Sportsfile

Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins will be delighted as his side have gone our matches unbeaten in the league. Photo: Sportsfile

Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins will be delighted as his side have gone our matches unbeaten in the league. Photo: Sportsfile

Will Patching scored against UCD for the third match running as Derry City ended their slump with a first win in eight at the UCD Bowl.

This victory edges Derry to within a point of second-placed Dundalk. 

Derry’s Brian Maher was the first goalkeeper to see action, on eight minutes, getting down well to hold a crisp drive from Dylan Duffy.

He was worked again by Mark Dignam before UCD should have taken the lead on 33 minutes, with Sean Brennan ballooning over.

A minute earlier Derry’s Ciaran Coll headed powerfully wide from Will Patching’s corner with what was Derry’s first real chance. 

Derry continued to dominate in the second half, Dara Keane making a superb block to deprive Joe Thompson, before they took the lead on 53 minutes from a penalty after Michael Gallagher tripped McGonigle.

Patching staggered his run-up to side-foot the ball to the bottom corner for his ninth goal of the season.

UCD – Moore; Gallagher (Ryan, 66), Keaney, Todd, Osam; Brennan (Nolan, 66), Keane; Dignam (Verdon, 66), Caffrey, Higgins (Lonergan 57); Duffy (Norris, 84).

Derry City – Maher; Porter, S McEleney, McJannet, Coll; Thomson, P McEleney; Kavanagh (Lafferty, 89), Patching, Smith (E McLaughlin, 90+4); McGonigle (Akintunde 73).

Ref – R Matthews (Midlands).

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