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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Rovers fail to convert chances against Derry as wait for win continues

The Dublin side have now gone six matches without victory.

Image: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City 0

Shamrock Rovers 0

Simon Collins reports from the Brandywell

SHAMROCK ROVERS WILL take great confidence from a pulsating share of the spoils against Derry City at Brandywell but the Dubliners really should be travelling back to Tallaght with three points in the bag.

The swing in fortunes since the last meeting between these teams back in March when City suffered a 6-1 thrashing in Tallaght, has been significant.

The Candy Stripes have gone on a nine-game unbeaten run and lead Rovers by five points with two games in hand, while Rovers have now gone six matches without victory.

But Rovers boss Stephen Bradley will be kicking himself after this missed opportunity to return to the winning trail.

His side wasted several glorious chances to break the deadlock with the league’s top scorer, Graham Burke coming closest when he struck the underside of the crossbar in the second half.

And substitute Brandon Miele volleyed narrowly wide of the post with Gerard Doherty stranded in the final minute.

A resolute Derry defence held on, however, to extend their impressive unbeaten run.
City were boosted by the return of experienced striker, Rory Patterson and right-back, Conor McDermott who both sat out the 2-2 draw with Dundalk last weekend.

John Cofie and the suspended Gavin Peers made way.

Joey O’Brien was the only survivor from the Rovers team which suffered a shock exit from the EA Sports Cup to Longford midweek but it was back to a full strength startingXI for the wounded Hoops.

Rovers were quick out of the blocks and top scorer Graham Burke’s deflected shot was safely gathered by Gerard Doherty with four minutes on the clock.

Derry finally settled into the game and on seven minutes Nicky Low tried his luck from 25 yards but dragged his shot harmlessly wide of the target.

Three minutes later Jamie McDonagh did well to race past Lee Grace and delivered dangerously into the six yard box where Patterson guided his shot the wrong side of the post.

Derry down to 10 men and under sustained pressure for five minutes as Curtis received several staples in his head following a clash with Rovers right back Ethan Boyle but, the visitors failed to capitalise.

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Rovers had a glorious chance to take the lead four minutes before the break when Sean Kavanagh’s free-kick was met by the head of Roberto Lopes, who somehow managed to send his effort over the bar.

Graham Burke found himself in behind the last City defender on 45 minutes but hit his strike with the outside of his left boot adn sent it sailing wide with just the keeper to beat.

It was a pulsating match but while Rovers had the best two chances of the half neither goalkeeper was troubled throughout.

The Dubliners dominated after the break and six minutes into the second half, Dan Carr got away from Darren Cole and Doherty did brilliantly to direct his close range shot away from goal with his right hand.

Aaron Bolger nipped in front of Eoin Toal and raced clean through on goal but the Rovers midfielder sent his shot across the goal and wide on 58 minutes.

Boyle did well to cut his pass into the path of Burke on 68 minutes and the striker rattled the underside of the crossbar. From the rebound Kavanagh’s low strike was desperately cleared by the City defence at the second attempt.

Carr was gifted a gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock on 78 minutes when he latched onto the ball 16 yards from the Derry goal but pulled his shot wide.

Substitute Brandon Miele came so close to winning the match in the final minute when his volley from the edge of the penalty area went agonisingly wide of the post.

DERRY CITY: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, E. Toal, D. Cole, J. Doyle; J. McDonagh (N. Boyle 66), N. Low, R. Hale, R. Curtis (B. Doherty 31); A. McEneff; R. Patterson; Subs Not Used – E. Grime, J. Cofie, C. Farren, S. Whiteside, N. Logue.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: K. Horgan; E. Boyle, J. O’Brien, R. Lopes, L. Grace; G. Burke (B. Miele 85), G. Bolger, A. Bolger, S. Kavanagh; R. Finn (D. McAllister 88); D. Carr (G. Shaw 90); Subs Not Used – T. Chencinski, L. Byrne, A. Gilchrist, S. Bone.

Referee: Derek Tomney.

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Simon Collins

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