St Patrick’s Atheltic kept their European hopes alive with a stunning 3-1 victory over Derry City on Tuesday night.
Derry City 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 3
Report by Shaun Keenan at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
The defeat will come as major blow to Declan Devine’s side who need a point against rivals Finn Harps on Friday night to secure European football next season.
Four goals in the second half outshone a first half to forget as a David Parkhouse goal was undone by an effort from Chris Forrester and a sublime brace from substitute James Doona.
St Pats, despite spending most of the early exchanges on the back foot, still posed a threat and a mix-up in the Derry defence presented Lennon with a chance, but his effort went for a goal kick.
Shortly after the break, Stephen O’Donnell’s side paid the price in the early stages of the second half as City’s counter-attack, which involved Ciaran Coll and David Parkhouse, provided the breakthrough.
After 53 minutes, St Pats caught in possession, gifted Coll plenty of space on the right side to feed Parkhouse, who made no mistake from three yeards and an empty-net lying in wait.
St Pats mounted an instant response, turning Devine’s anxieties into reality as they turned the game on its head just after the hour mark.
It was vital St Pats struck early after the break – and inevitably it was Chris Forrester who provided the priceless equaliser after 62 minutes.
However, knowing a point wouldn’t be enough come the final whistle to keep their European hopes intact, St Pats went in search of their second – and it soon arrived.
Doona making an instant impact and two minutes later O’Donnell’s side found themselves in front through the forward.
The Candystripes were let down by defensive frailties again two minutes later as the Inchicore side strengthen their control with 10 minutes left
Scampering on the counter-attack once more, Walker found Doona in space, with the substitution stepping inside and calmly finishing beneath the exposed Cherrie.