Euro Dreams

Derry fire four past Welsh opposition as Sligo secure valuable draw

The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division sides were in Europa League qualifying action.

DERRY CITY AND Sligo Rovers both enjoyed positive results in the first legs of their UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round ties against Welsh and Lithuanian opposition respectively.

Derry were dominant throughout a 4-0 victory over Aberystwyth Town at the Brandywell, with Patrick McEleney and Mark Timlin highly influential for the Candystripes.

Rory Patterson celebrates scoring Derry's second goal 3/7/2014 Rory Patterson after scoring Derry's second. Lorcan Doherty Lorcan Doherty

21-year-old McEleney smartly curled in the opener in the 14th minute, firing home with his left foot. Seven minutes later, Aberystwyth goalkeeper Mike Lewis was sent off after conceding a penalty, allowing Rory Patterson to make it 2-0 from the spot.

Having brought that two-goal advantage into the break, Derry burst out of the blocks in the second half and scored through Timlin. Thereafter, heroics from sub ‘keeper Phil Draper kept the home side at bay, until a late strike from Barry McNamee wrapped up an impressive win.

Barry McNamee 3/7/2014 Barry McNamee scored the fourth and final goal. Lorcan Doherty Lorcan Doherty

Peter Hutton’s men move on to the second leg in a position that looks extremely safe.

Sligo deservedly secured a 0-0 draw away to Lithuanian side Banga earlier, with John Coleman’s men now heading into the second leg at the Showgrounds next Thursday with high hopes of progress.

Evan McMillan takes a tumble Sligo's Evan McMillan takes a spill as he competes in the air. LFF / INPHO LFF / INPHO / INPHO

That said, Rovers may regret several missed chances at Gargždai Stadium as Banga failed to overly stress Bit o’ Red’s defence. Raffaele Cretaro looked lively for Sligo, but ultimately couldn’t manufacture a crucial goal.

Coleman will now prepare for the return tie confident in his side’s ability to advance to the second round.

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