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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Derry City get over Europa League disappointment in emphatic fashion

After a run of four straight defeats, the Candystripes overcame Sligo.

Birthday boy Aaron McEneff was on target for Derry (file pic).
Birthday boy Aaron McEneff was on target for Derry (file pic).
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City 4

Sligo Rovers 0

DERRY CITY STROLLED to an emphatic victory over a lacklustre Sligo Rovers as the Candystripes got their league campaign back on track at Maginn Park.

After a run of four straight defeats it was a welcome three points for the Candystripes, who equalled their biggest win of the campaign with a clinical display.

A first-half header from Lukas Schubert gave City the lead and Ronan Curtis added a second on the hour mark as the home lot cruised towards a win, which moved them to within one point of fourth-placed Shamrock Rovers.

Birthday boy Aaron McEneff added a third from the penalty spot before substitute Rory Holden netted a fabulous individual effort late on — his first senior goal!

Returning to domestic duties after crashing out of the Europa League at the hands of Danish side, FC Midtjylland, midweek, it was Derry’s first league win since the 2-1 victory over Galway United on 2 June.

Both sides made a laboured start to the game and City skipper Gerard Doherty’s misplaced pass was intercepted by Adebayo-Rowling, who found Jonah Ayunga, but the Derry defence recovered and the chance was lost.

Micheal Schlingermann did superbly to get his fingertips to Aaron McEneff’s free-kick, which seemed destined for the top corner, but the Sligo stopper managed to send it over the bar after eight minutes.

Schubert did well to peel away at the back post moments later to latch onto Ronan Curtis’ cross, and when the Austrian laid the ball back into the path of Patterson, who was lurking on the six yard box, Kyle McFadden made a crucial interception.

Derry began to churn through the gears and Patterson had a shot deflected behind before McEneff drilled an effort wide.

Cole was then denied a debut goal on the half-hour mark, when Schlingermann produced a magnificent save at full stretch to stop the Scotsman’s 10-yard volley.

But there was nothing Schlingermann could do to stop Schubert from heading into the net from two yards on 31 minutes after McEneff’s shot spun off the Sligo ‘keeper and sat up nicely for the Austrian midfielder.

Schlingermann was again called into action two minutes before the interval to save Patterson’s 35-yard strike, which skimmed off the wet surface as City finished the half strongly.

Derry made a bright start to the second period and Patterson fired a snapshot just wide of the post two minutes after the restart.

Schubert sent in an inviting cross from the right and Curtis rose highest to send a downward header towards goal, but the inspired Schlingermann produced yet another brilliant save to stop it on the line.

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Sligo were on the ropes and Derry finally doubled their advantage on 61 minutes when Nicky Low picked out Curtis inside the Sligo penalty area and he brought the ball down, side-stepped Schlingermann and slotted into the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Ben Doherty was brought down inside the penalty area on 74 minutes, after a surging run by McFadden, and referee Paul Tuite pointed to the spot.

Up stepped McEneff, who slotted into the corner for his eighth goal of the campaign.

Curtis could have added a fourth moments later, but his low strike was saved well by Schlingermann.

City substitute, Holden netted a fantastic individual goal four minutes from time as he drifted past three Sligo defenders, before sending the ball into the net for his first Derry goal.

In the end, it was a comfortable win for the home lot, who returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion.

Derry City: G. Doherty; H. Monaghan (N. Boyle h-t), D. Cole, D. Jarvis, B. Doherty; L. Schubert, N. Low, A. McEneff, R. Curtis (J. Daniels 80); B. McNamee (R. Holden 77); R. Patterson; Subs Not Used – E. Grimes, M. Timlin, S. Whiteside, E. Toal.

Sligo Rovers: M. Schlingermann; S. Sharkey (G. Armstrong h-t), M. Leahy, K. McFadden, R. Donelon; T. Adebayo-Rowling, G. Boylan, R. McCabe (C. Kenny 77), D. Kearns; R. Cretaro; J. Ayunga (M. Place 64); Subs Not Used – S. Patton, C. Roddan, C. Kenny, J. Mahon, J. Keaney.

Referee - Paul Tuite (Dublin)

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Simon Collins

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