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Patterson delivers 88th minute winner as Candystripes and Saints share three red cards

There and were three goals and three red cards between Derry City and St Pat’s at the Brandywell on Friday.

Rory Patterson bagged a late winner for Derry (file pic).
Rory Patterson bagged a late winner for Derry (file pic).
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City 2

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Simon Collins reports from the Brandywell

RORY PATTERSON breathed new life into Derry City’s European hopes with a dramatic late winner against St Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell, moments after coming off the bench.

Tempers flared at the end of an action packed encounter with referee, referee Robert Harvey flashing red cards to St Pat’s pair, Ian Bermingham and Thomas Byrne and City defender Eoin Toal following a melee after Patterson put Derry back in front on 88 minutes.

Man of the match Gerard Doherty produced a terrific save to deny Killian Brennan from the penalty spot just moments before while Jamie McDonagh blocked Ryan Brennan’s shot on the line as the Saints scratched their heads in disbelief.

Scottish striker, Ally Roy had fired Derry into a third minute lead which was cancelled out by Ryan Brennan who bundled in a deserved equaliser before the interval.

With both teams chasing the winner it was a breathtaking conclusion to the match and Patterson’s 94th goal for the Candystripes kept alive the club’s hopes of catching third placed Waterford in the race for Europe as they moved to within five points of the Blues with just nine game remaining.

Manager Kenny Shiels described the encounter as a ‘must-win’ prior to kick-off and he would’ve been delighted with his side’s blistering start as they opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock.

In-form striker, Roy raced onto a long ball over the top and smashed his effort across goal and into the far corner of the net to make it a third goal in five matches since joining the Candystripes from Hearts.

Derry came close to doubling their advantage on nine minutes following superb work by Rory Hale who won back the ball tenaciously and the Belfast man was unfortunate not to find the bottom corner with a curling effort which went just wide of the post.

With former St Pat’s defender, Gavin Peers receiving treatment off the pitch, the visitors almost capitalised on 15 minutes. Aaron McEneff sloppily gifted Pats possession in a dangerous area and Byrne’s shot took a deflection off Dan Seaborne and hit the outside of the post and went behind for a corner.

Derry were living dangerously as the Saints dominated the ball and were causing problems down both flanks as City’s three-man defence looked exposed.

However, Hale tested Brendan Clarke on 28 minutes when he broke into the box but his shot with his weaker left foot was gathered cleanly by the Saints keeper.

And Clarke needed to be alert moments later when a long ball sent Dean Shiels in behind the defence but the keeper was quickly off his line and cleared the danger.

It was a good spell for the home lot and when Jamie McDonagh was brought down on the edge of the penalty box by Jamie Lennon, Aaron McEneff sent the resultant free-kick narrowly wide of the right hand post with Clarke scrambling across his goal.

St Pat’s were back in the match on 34 minutes when Darragh Markey crossed into the box and when Ian Bermingham stabbed it back across goal, Ryan Brennan bundled the ball home with just over 10 minutes remaining of the first half.

The injured Conor McDermott was replaced by Fisk at the interval as Shiels reverted back to a 4-4-2 formation but it was the visitors who looked more likely to add a second goal in the early stages of the second half.

Ryan Brennan rose highest to meet a cross from the right side and Gerard Doherty was forced to tip his effort over the crossbar. And the City skipper did superbly to keep out Keegan’s downward header from Simon Madden’s dangerous cross from the right as the Saints threatened once more.

At the other end Ian Bermingham’ short back-pass was intercepted by substitute Ronan Hales but Clarke raced off his line and saved well with his feet to divert it behind for a corner kick.

McEneff then dragged his shot wide of the target during an encouraging spell before Ben Fisk’s shot was stopped by Clarke who gathered at the second attempt under pressure from Roy as the pendulum began to swing in Derry’s favour.

Derry defender, Eoin Toal should really have done better when he was gifted a free header but sent his effort recklessly over the crossbar at the back post.

St Pat’s were gifted a glorious chance to take maximum spoils when Simon Madden went down inside the penalty area under the challenge from Fisk and referee, Rob Harvey pointed to the spot.

Killian Brennan stepped up to take the spot-kick but Doherty read it correctly and saved superbly to keep his side in the match. Moments later Ryan Brennan rounded Doherty but his shot was bravely blocked on the line by McDonagh.

The drama continued as Patterson came off the bench and fired home McEneff’s cross with his first touch to spark celebrations among the home support.

Tempers flared in additional time with the referee flashing three red cards following a melee inside the Derry penalty area with Bermingham and Thomas Byrne sent off for Pats and Toal for Derry in dramatic scenes but Derry held their nerves to clinch a vital win.

Derry City: G. Doherty; Peers, Toal, Seaborne; McDonagh, Hale, Splaine (Ronan Hale 61), McDermott (B. Fisk h-t); Shiels; McEneff; Roy (R. Patterson 85)

St Patrick’s Athletic: B. Clarke; S. Madden, L Desmond, K. Brennan, I. Bermingham; R. Brennan, J. Lennon, C. Byrne (I. Turner 75), D. Markey, D. Clarke; J. Keegan (T. Byrne 71) ; Subs Not Used – B. Murphy, K. Toner, C. Clifford, J. Doona, M. Leahy.

Referee: Robert Harvey

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About the author:

Simon Collins

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