Two goals from Sean Murray and Patrick Hoban helped Dundalk beat Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium as Declan Devine’s side slumped to their first home defeat of the season.
Derry City 0 Dundalk 2
Report by Shaun Keenan at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
Nearly two years to the day since the late Ryan McBride nodded Derry to victory at Maginn Park against Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk, the Lone Moor Road outfit failed to produce anywhere near the power and determination shown in Inishowen on that day.
Neither side created many clear opportunities on a bitter night on Foyleside and both sets of players were guilty of giving away possession too easily and too often.
The champions struggled to enforce their authority onto the game in the opening exchanges but after 24 minutes they had the first real opening of the contest.
Massey produced a slick hoist cross into the path Patrick Hoban who nodded from close range but Peter Cheerie denied last seasons top goalscorer with an excellent point-blank stoppage.
Just after the half-hour mark and City sparked into life forcing Gary Rodgers into action. The Dundalk goalkeeper parried away McNamee’s free-kick from 20-yards before stopping several half chances from the resulting corner kick.
However, Dundalk carried more of a cutting edge and took the lead in the tie in the 37th minute when Michael Duffy planted an exquisite cross into the danger area before Sean Murray capitalised – Derry failing to adequately clear the opposing threat.
The home fans urged City to respond, but the hosts’ play lacked fluidity for large periods.
In the second half, Derry City’s challenge inclined as Peter Cheerie took out into the incoming Patrick Hoban and Ben Connolly didn’t hesitate awarding the penalty-kick.
As Hoban and Dundalk prepared themselves for spot-kick, Nathan Gartside readied himself for his first appearance of the season for the injured Cheerie.
However, the prolonged wait didn’t phase the frontman as he fooled Gartside before running towards the jubilant travelling Lilywhite faithful with a 2-0 advantage.
Chances remained at a premium for Declan Devine’s outfit in a scrappy second period.
As for Vinny Perth’s side, other chances presented themselves but they failed to take them.
Despite showing impressive resilience in recent games, Derry now sits in fifth place, three games without a win.