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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring Derry's early opener.
# Candystripes
Derry City go top after comprehensive win over Shamrock Rovers
Rovers failed to register a single shot on target tonight at the Brandywell.

Derry City 3

Shamrock Rovers 0

DERRY CITY’S DISMANTLING of Shamrock Rovers at Brandywell tonight took the Candystripes three points clear at the top of the Premier Division table.

It was a real statement of intent from Kenny Shiels’ troops who stretched their unbeaten run to six games.

First-half goals from Ronan Curtis and Harry Monaghan, and a Rory Patterson penalty, were enough to see off Rovers who had arrived at the Brandywell unbeaten on the road since their last visit to Foyleside last September.

The Candystripes began with real intent and from Keith Ward’s short corner kick to the edge of the box after just 60 seconds, Barry McNamee’s scuffed shot was cleared off the line at the back post by Gavin Brennan. Curtis’ follow-up shot was blocked by a last-ditch tackle.

It was an early warning for Rovers but just 40 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net when it was taken off the foot of McNamee in the six yard box and Curtis reacted quickest to scramble the ball home for his second of the season.

Rovers were struggling to get out of their own half during a dominant spell for City and the Hoops found themselves two goals behind on 22 minutes. McNamee’s inviting cross from the left wing was headed to the net by Monaghan from 10 yards.

Rory Patterson was holding the ball up superbly and he linked up with McNamee on the centre circle before attempting a cheeky lob from distance, and Barry Murphy tipped the ball over the bar at full stretch.

Killian Brennan almost found Brandon Miele with an incisive through-ball in a rare Rovers attack but Dean Jarvis slid in superbly to intercept.

Keith Ward tried his luck when he got the ball back from Patterson after starting off a quick Derry counter attack but his shot sailed wide of the far post as Derry ended the half firmly in the driving seat.

Rory Patterson and David Webster Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Derry City's Rory Patterson and Shamrock Rovers' David Webster challenge for possession. Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Clearly unhappy with his side’s first-half defensive display, Pat Fenlon replaced David O’Connor with David Webster on the restart and Rovers started the second half with urgency.

However, Patterson was hauled down inside the Rovers area on 58 minutes by Max Blanchard and referee David McKeon pointed to the spot. Patterson stepped up and blasted the spot-kick confidently into the net to take his season’s tally to five from seven games.

Ward played Patterson in behind the Rovers defence on 65 minutes but the striker dragged his first-time strike past the far post as Murphy watched helplessly.

Derry closed the game out to good effect as Rovers finished having failed to register a single shot on target.

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Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Niclas Vemmelund, Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry (Patrick McClean, 90), Dean Jarvis; Aaron McEneff, Harry Monaghan; Ronan Curtis, Barry McNamee (Conor McDermott, 88), Keith Ward (Nathan Boyle, 81); Rory Patterson.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, David O’Connor (David Webster, HT), Max Blanchard, Gavin Brennan, Patrick Cregg (Trevor Clarke, 75); Brandon Miele, Michael Drennan, Gary McCabe, Killian Brennan; Danny North (Gareth McCafferty).

Referee: David McKeon (Dublin)

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