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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018

Curtis strike earns Candystripes first win of the season at snow-covered Dalymount Park

Ronan Curtis struck on the hour mark while captain Ger Doherty saved a penalty in the final five minutes for Derry City.

Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring for Derry City on Tuesday night.
Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring for Derry City on Tuesday night.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Bohemians 0

Derry City 1

Aaron Gallagher reports from Dalymount Park.

DERRY CITY GOT their first points on the board in the 2018 Premier Division with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at a snow-covered Dalymount Park on Tuesday night against Bohemians.

Ronan Curtis struck on the hour mark to give the visitors the lead, before late drama saw Candystripes goalkeeper Ger Doherty produce a brilliant penalty save to deny Eoghan Stokes an equaliser with five minutes remaining.

Kenny Shiels’ side came into this midweek fixture bottom of the table following back-to-back defeats to newly-promoted Waterford and Sligo Rovers, but left Phibsborough with that losing streak firmly put to bed with their first win of the season.

The game was dominated by shots bombarded on goal batted away by the exploits of both sets of goalkeepers, with Shane Supple and Doherty keeping the scoreline level for an hour with brilliant individual performances throughout.

Striker Stokes grabbed a dramatic late equaliser for Bohemians three days ago at the Markets Field against Limerick and the former Leeds United player had his stamp all over this game from the first whistle.

Darragh Leahy with Darren Cole Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

The 21-year-old constantly got himself into promising positions behind enemy lines and despite consistently managing to get shots off, was persistently blocked down by the close-quartered, tight marking of Eoin Toal and Darren Cole in the centre of defence for Derry.

Supple was the first goalkeeper called into serious action when Aaron McEneff split the Gypsies’ defence wide open with an expansive pass through the middle from deep.

Curtis latched onto the pass with an untracked run, but when faced with a one on one opportunity could only muster a low effort which rebounded off the feet of Supple, who sprang from his line to close the space and make the striker’s mind up for him.

Derry captain Doherty followed that up with an outstanding save of his own at the other end shortly later, as the game began to warm up and come to life with temperatures teetering narrowly above freezing in the capital.

A member of the ground staff clears snow from the pitch Snow covered the pitch before kick-off. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Paddy Kavanagh curled a superb though ball into the path of a vast empty space — the pass perfectly timed to meet the run of the untracked Stokes breaking from midfield.

Stokes sized up the chance to muster a powerful left-footed strike on goal, but turned away in disappointment as Doherty raised a strong right hand to claw the ball into the air and away from danger.

Keith Long had seen his side start the season promisingly with four points from six, following an opening night win against Shamrock Rovers before that last-gasp point against Limerick on Saturday night.

The absence of key striker Dinny Corcoran was felt on Tuesday however, as boss Long earlier this week highlighted the short recovery time afforded to his players with three games played in the space of seven days.

Corcoran scored 15 goals in the Premier Division last year but failed to make the matchday squad for this game, with Bohemians struggling to capitalise on chances created to secure a second win in Dalymount Park in as many home games.

The deadlock was finally broken on the hour mark as an end-to-end opening period directly after the break swung in Derry’s favour.

Gerard Doherty celebrates in front of Bohemians fans after the game Doherty saved an 85th minute penalty. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

With half an hour left on the clock forward Curtis struck a brilliant half-volley flying into goalkeeper Supple’s bottom corner following a corner kick which fell to the striker unmarked at the back of the box.

A host of chances came and went for the hosts thereafter.

Kevin Devaney performed excellently throughout, but when a golden chance to level proceedings came his way on the edge of the box he could only see his shot deflected inches wide of goalkeeper Doherty’s bottom corner.

Bohemians had the ball in the back of their opponents net nine minutes after going behind, but defender Darragh Leahy was judged to have illegally jumped on top of his marker in the process.

Late drama continued into the final five minutes as Conor McDermott fouled midfielder Devaney to earn the home side a penalty with minutes left on the clock.

Stokes stood over the spot-kick but saw his strike palmed away expertly by 36-year-old Doherty, with Derry holding on to inflict a first defeat of the season on Bohemians while earning their first win of the campaign at the third time of asking.

BOHEMIANS: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Darragh Leahy; Keith Buckley, Oscar Brennan (Dylan Watts 72); Paddy Kavanagh (Karl Moore 80), Keith Ward (JJ Lunney 68), Kevin Devaney; Eoghan Stokes

DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty; Eoin Toal, Darren Cole, Niall Logue, Ben Doherty; Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low, Rory Hale; Jamie McDonagh (Conor McDermott 62), Rory Patterson, Ronan Curtis

Referee: Rob Harvey

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