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Derry City move up to fifth with comfortable win over Shels

Joe Thomson and Walter Figueira struck in a 2-0 win for the hosts.

Derry City’s Joe Thomson celebrates scoring his side's opener.
Derry City’s Joe Thomson celebrates scoring his side's opener.
Image: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City 2

Shelbourne 0

DECLAN DEVINE CELEBRATED his 150th game in charge of Derry City with a precious victory over Shelbourne which moved them into fifth place in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

It was Derry’s final home game of the season and the win was never in doubt from any point after Scotsman Joe Thomson, making his first league start in two months, fired Derry in front on 20 minutes from close range.

Adam Hammill struck the woodwork in either half with two spectacular shots but Walter Figueira sealed the win when he pounced to deservedly double City’s advantage on 62 minutes.

walter-figueira-scores-their-second-goal Walter Figueira scores Derry's second. Source: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Shels had come into the game two places and three points ahead of Derry in sixth spot after back-to-back wins.

However, they slipped down into eighth spot after the comprehensive defeat as the home side moved up three positions.

City boss Devine made three changes from the team which started the 2-1 defeat to Dundalk on Monday with the injured Darren Cole making way for Colm Horgan.

Skipper Conor McCormack returned after suspension at the expense of Ciaron Harkin while Thomson was handed a rare start after a long injury lay-off, taking the place of Ibrahim Meite.

As for Shelbourne, Ian Morris made just two changes from the team which won against Sligo on Sunday.

Daniel O’Reilly came in for the suspended Luke Byrne while Strabane native Aidan Friel replaced the injured Georgie Poyton.

Straight from the kick-off City winger, Adam Hammill latched onto a long punt upfield and he cut inside before curling his 30-yard strike off the top of the crossbar.

It was an early let-off for the Dubliners and Derry defender Cameron McJannett had a chance from Hammill’s inswinging corner on six minutes but he steered his first time shot wide from eight yards.

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Shels were camped in their own half and when McCormack found Figueira with his back to goal the Londonder chested into the path of Thomson who blasted his shot wide.

Derry finally broke Shels’ resolve on 20 minutes as Thomson latched onto a deflected pass from Jack Malone, held off the challenge of O’Reilly and from close range guided the ball into the far corner past Jack Brady.

joe-thomson-celebrates-scoring Thomson enjoys his goal. Source: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

The home side were in total control of proceedings and went into the break with a thoroughly deserved advantage.

City substitute Stephen Mallon somehow missed from point-blank range after a superb cross from Malone’s as the Belfast man put his effort the wrong side of the post under pressure from a defender on the hour mark.

The home side doubled their lead on 62 minutes after some lovely work down the right wing involving McCormack and Hammill.

Former Barnsley ace Hammill crossed towards the near post and O’Reilly touched it onto his own post with Figueira reacting quickest to the rebound as he slotted home from two yards for his fourth goal of the season.

Peter Cherrie, making his 50th league appearance for Derry, was called into action for the first time on 83 minutes when he turned Jaze Kabia’s shot behind at the near post.

Hammilll did brilliantly to win the ball back deep inside the Shelbourne half and he exchanged passes with Figueira before crashing his shot off the post with two minutes to go.

Derry City: P. Cherrie: C. Horgan, E. Toal, C. McJannett, C. Coll (S. Mallon h-t); A. Hammill (A. Boyce 89) , C. Clifford, C. McCormack, J. Malone; J. Thomson (C. Harkin 70), W. Figueira; Subs not Used – N. Gartside, G. Bruna, I. Meite, J. Dunwoody.

Shelbourne: J. Brady; A. Friel, O. Brennan, D. O’Reilly, A. O’Hanlon; M. Byrne (A. Dobbs 75), G. Deegan, D. Fernandes (J. Kabia h-t), D. Rooney (S. Farrell 64); R. Brennan (S. Quinn 64), C. Kilduff; Subs Not Used – C. McCabe, D. Byrne, B. McManus.
Referee: Michael Tomney

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Simon Collins

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