Mikey Drennan continued his fine form in front of goal but later got sent off. Donall Farmer/INPHO
moving on up

5 goals and 2 red cards as Hoops close the gap with comfortable win

Shamrock Rovers remain unbeaten this season after getting the better of Derry City at Tallaght Stadium.

Shamrock Rovers 4-1 Derry City

SHAMROCK ROVERS RECORDED their second high-scoring victory in four days with a 4-1 dismantling of Derry City at Tallaght Stadium last night.

Mikey Drennan got Pat Fenlon’s men on their way, before Gary McCabe, Kieran Marty Waters and Brandon Miele ensured they moved to within four points of SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Dundalk. Derry substitute Ryan Curran robbed Craig Hyland of a clean sheet five minutes from time.

Both sides also finished the match a man down as Ryan McBride and Drennan were both red-carded.

The Hoops, high on confidence after the 5-1 victory over Sligo Rovers on Friday night, made two changes to personnel. French defender Maxime Blanchard was nursing a hamstring injury so David Webster filled in, while Pat Cregg returned from suspension to replace Ryan Brennan.

Derry, meanwhile, were aiming to bounce back from a 3-0 loss at home to St Patrick’s Athletic.

Just 11 minutes in, however, it was the home side who opened the scoring with a well-worked goal. Miele and Cregg were involved before Waters raced to the end-line and squared to Drennan, who had the easiest of finishes for his tenth goal of the season.

The game hadn’t yet settled when Derry’s task was made even tougher as they went down to 10 men two minutes later. Candystripes captain McBride caught Cregg with a dangerously-high challenge and received his marching orders from referee Ray Matthews.

Ryan McBride Ryan McBride is shown a red card by referee Ray Matthews. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Waters was handed a golden opportunity to double the home side’s advantage soon after with Doherty stranded off his goal-line but the former Bray Wanderers man struck straight at the Derry goalkeeper.

Rovers continued to create and should have added to their lead in the latter stages of the first half but Doherty saved efforts from Drennan and McCabe, while Miele struck wide from 20 yards out.

Stephen McPhail with Philip Lowry Shamrock Rovers midfielder Stephen McPhail and Derry City's Philip Lowry. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

They didn’t have to wait long after the restart to increase their advantage. Four minutes of the second half had been played when Waters exchanged a one-two with Miele and drove inside before slipping a beautiful through-ball into the path of McCabe. He dummied to go by Doherty, then rolled into an empty net.

Waters added his own name to the scoresheet on 55 minutes — coming in off the wing to drive low into the bottom of the corner and effectively end the game as a contest. Miele then grabbed a fourth midway through the second half with a smart finish but the Derry players protested vigorously that he received the ball in an offside position.

There were a couple of rare sour notes for Rovers before the end, as Drennan was shown a straight red card 11 minutes from time after retaliating to a challenge by Clucas. And Derry substitute Ryan Curran, only on the field a matter of seconds, secured a late consolation for Peter Hutton’s side.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Craig Hyland, Simon Madden, Conor Kenna (c) (Tim Clancy 73′), David Webster, Luke Byrne, Pat Cregg, Stephen McPhail (Ryan Brennan 65′), Gary McCabe, Brandon Miele, Kieran Marty Waters (Gareth McCaffrey 84′), Mikey Drennan.

DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty, Seamus Sharkey, Ryan McBride (c), Shane McEleney, Dean Jarvis, Aaron Barry, Seanan Clucas, Barry McNamee (Ryan Curran 84′), Josh Daniels (Ronan Curtis 74′), Philip Lowry, Patrick McEleney (Cillian Morrison 60′).

Referees: Ray Matthews.

Bohs are well-represented in our LOI Team of the Week after ending Dundalk’s unbeaten run

Bohs pull off a shock, Heary under pressure and this weekend’s LOI talking points

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