SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE: DERRY GO DOWN 4-2 TO LONGFORD IN FINAL MATCH
IT wasn’t the way the end of season party was supposed to finish for Derry.
They travelled yesterday evening to Longford hoping to come away with at least a share of the spoils.
But party poopers Longford Town had different plans for the Candystripes.
Before kick-off Derry sat in sixth place on 35 points in the SSE Airtricty League with Longford snapping at their heels in seventh place on 33 points.
At the final whistle, they teams swapped places and Derry ended the season in seventh place after going down 4-2.
The question now is will Donegal man Paul Hegarty take the leap of faith and manage the Candystripes in a full-time capacity?.
He is certainly the board’s choice even after losing their final two games of the season.
A David O’Sullivan penalty gave Longford a 1-0 lead at half-time and Mark Rossiter and Gary Shaw added to Longford’s lead after the interval.
Pat Sullivan scored another penalty midway through the second half.
Ronan Curtis headed in for Derry in the 76th minute and Rob Cornwall poked the ball home with one minute remaining.
The first half hour of this mid-table clash was something of a non-event, until Kevin O’Connor forced a fingertip save from young Derry keeper on 36 minutes.
O’Sullivan broke the deadlock from the spot after Cornwall had handled the ball in the area, Patton unable to keep the ball out despite getting a hand to it.
Longford increased their lead 11 minutes after the break when Patton misread the flight of the ball and Rossiter’s shot from at least 40 yards hit the post and nestled in the Derry net.
Shaw scored with a free header at the back post in the 63rd minute and five minutes later Patton fouled Shaw in the box and Sullivan fired home from the spot.
Curtis pulled one back when he rose well to meet a Patrick McEleney cross and powered a header into Paul Hunt’s net.
Cornwall completed the scoring after a bout of pinball in the Longford penalty area.