Evan Logan/INPHO Parkhouse was the match-winner for City on Friday night.
Parkhouse's late double hands Derry dramatic derby victory in Ballybofey
Declan Devine’s side came out on top of a five-goal derby against Finn Harps.

Finn Harps 2

Derry City 3 

DAVID PARKHOUSE’S LATE double won a bruising north-west derby for Derry City against Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

A gem of a floated cross from Jamie McDonagh was met by a bullet header by Parkhouse, who rose comfortably above everyone else in the crowded penalty area on 82 minutes to put Derry 2-1 up.

Then, in injury time, with Harps pressing forward, a lumped clearance from the Derry defence up the field set Parkhouse away again.

Ciaran Gallagher, the Harps goalkeeper, won the race but fluffed his attempted clearance and the Derry striker got in to score from an acute angle in the 94th minute for 3-1.

There was still time for more as Harps substitute Mikey Place managed to pull one back with a 96th-minute penalty after Ally Gilchrist was penalised for a tug.

Place’s strike was to prove the last act of the game as the Derry support spilled onto the pitch in celebration and Declan Devine, the Derry manager, celebrated a big win.  

After a scoreless first half, Donegal native Aidy Delap had given Devine’s side the lead.

The 20-year-old from Ray, between Rathmullan and Ramelton, struck a left-footed effort in off the underside of the Harps crossbar from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe’s pullback seven minutes into the second period. 

Rock-bottom Harps managed to claw back level on 75 minutes when former Derry frontman Nathan Boyle tucked home from close range, when Sam Todd had got a touch on John Kavanagh’s delivery to create the opening.

Derry’s opening goal was no more than the away team deserved having had the upper hand against their neighbours, who were down to 10 men before the break. 

Colm Deasy was given a straight red card eight minutes before half-time for a terrible challenge on Ciaran Coll, the former Harps captain, who made the switch from Finn Park to the Brandywell over the winter.

The Derry left-back had to be stretchered from the field in some pain to be replaced by Delap and the early indications would suggest a lengthy spell on the sidelines awaits.

There was a moment of controversy on 22 minutes when Derry netminder Nathan Gartside’s clearance cannoned off the back of Todd, who had turned to retreat, and the ball fell to Nathan Boyle to slot into the empty net.

Referee Neil Doyle disallowed the goal and gave Todd a yellow card despite his protestations. Harps manager Ollie Horgan was irate. 

Harps have yet to win this season and started promisingly enough, without bringing Gartside into action. However, Derry felt their way into the contest and dominated from there on. 

Fourteen minutes in, the visitors created their first chance of note when Ogedi-Uzokwe headed just over Gallagher’s crossbar following a neat cross by Parkhouse.

Barry McNamee, the Derry captain whose brother Tony was lining up for Harps, set up a chance which Greg Sloggett improvised to steer just off target. Then, Sloggett missed a header following a long throw from Parkhouse.

McNamee, of the Derry variety, played a great ball down the channel for McDonagh to smash from an acute angle and bring a fine save from Gallagher.

After Deasy’s dismissal, McDonagh fizzed another ball across the Harps goal as Derry continued in vain to cash in their chips before the interval.

The goal was coming and soon arrived as the second half took shape. 

Fifteen minutes from time, Boyle made it 1-1 to give the home support among the 2,228 crowd something to cling onto. But it was still Derry who were pressing and Parkhouse’s two goals, before Place’s late penalty, confirmed the three points in a frenetic finish.

FINN HARPS: Ciaran Gallagher; Niall Logue, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; Colm Deasy, John Kavanagh, Jacob Borg, Tony McNamee, Daniel O’Reilly; Caolan McAleer; Nathan Boyle (Mikey Place 82).

DERRY CITY: Nathan Gartside; Conor McDermott (Darren Cole 57), Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll (Aidy Delap 40, Eoghan Stokes 84); Jamie McDonagh Greg Sloggett, Ciaron Harkin, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe; Barry McNamee; David Parkhouse.

Referee: Neil Doyle.

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