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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021

Derry hammer Cork to boost European bid

It is Neale Fenn’s fifth defeat during the first six games of his tenure.

Derry City manager Declan Devine (file pic).
Derry City manager Declan Devine (file pic).
Image: Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City 4

Cork City 0

Arthur Duffy reports from the Brandywell

DERRY CITY SWEPT aside the challenge of a very poor Cork City side at the Brandywell to make a serious claim for a third-place finish and Europa League football next season.

Two goals within the space of four minutes at the end of the first half saw Declan Devine’s side secure this vital victory, Derry’s first since the defeat of UCD at Belfield back in August.

And for Cork City, this will be a performance to forget, as Neale Fenn suffered his fifth defeat during the first six games of his tenure.

In fact, it was clear from the outset that Cork’s tactics had been based on containment rather than attack, given that Premier Division status had yet to be secured and the Leesiders now face a tense final four games.

The home side created the first clear-cut scoring opportunity when a Ciaron Harkin cross from the left saw David Parkhouse head the ball wide in the 12th minute when racing forward.

Five minutes later, the lively Derry hitman forced Tadhg Ryan into a top-drawer save, the Cork ‘keeper diving at full stretch to superbly touch Parkhouse’s rising shot from 20 yards over his crossbar.

In the 25th minute, Parkhouse again threatened the Cork defence, when he outfoxed Shane Griffin before flashing another shot high over the crossbar.

The Cork bench will have breathed a sigh of relief in the 37th minute, when former Derry player, Eoghan Stokes, produced a late and ovely robust challenge on Harkin close to the edge of the Derry penalty area.

And given that Stokes had received a yellow card in the 17th minute, the decision of referee Derek Tomney not to produce a red did not go down well with the home attendance of 2,000.

However, as the game approached half-time, the home support celebrated, as Derry moved firmly into the driving seat.

The Cork defence failed to properly clear a long throw-in into the danger area, and when the ball was headed down by a visiting defender, Derry centre-back Eoghan Toal swept it home from close range.

And it got even worse for the Leesiders as the game entered additional time at the end of the first half.

Central midfielder Conor McCormack played a loose pass just outside his penalty area, and when Harkin combined with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, the Colchester United loanee calmly curled the ball beyond the reach of the advancing Ryan.

Buckley subsequently began to force Peter Cherrie into action for the first time, the Derry defence seeing much more of the ball.

While Cork certainly upped the ante after the break, the home side were happy to sit back and hit their opponents on the break, and Ryan did well to parry a powerful shot from Derry sub Darren McCready in the 70th minute.

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However, four minutes later, the game was ended as a contest, and it was another defensive disaster for Cork.

Junior’s header was parried by Ryan, but the rebound cannoned off the body of full-back Colm Horgan from close range, with the ball deflecting into the net as a result.

Junior then netted his second and Derry’s fourth deep into injury time.

Derry City – Cherrie; Gillespie (Boyce, 85), Toal, Gilchrist, Coll; Harkin, Sloggett, Malone (McCauley, 58), Ogedi-Uzokwe; McNamee (McCrudden, 78); Parkhouse.

Cork City – Ryan; Horgan, O’Brien, McCarthy (Bennett, 61) Griffin; Sheppard, McCormack (Buckley, 53) Morrissey, Byrne, O’Connor; Stokes (Coustrain, 53).

Referee – D. Tomney (Dublin).

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Arthur Duffy

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