Derry City’s Ryan Graydon celebrates scoring a goal. Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Derry edge Shelbourne to go top of the table

A poacher’s finish from Ryan Graydon separated the sides.

Shelbourne FC 0

Derry City 1

Darryl Geraghty reports from Tolka Park

DERRY CITY LEAPFROGGED Bohemians at the top — for 24 hours at least — with a hard-fought win against the 10 men of Shelbourne at a drenched Tolka Park thanks to a poacher’s finish from Ryan Graydon.

The visitors started much brighter and should have been ahead just a couple of minutes in. Livewire, Jamie McGonigle reacted quickest to a flick-on, before rounding the onrushing Conor Kearns, only to see his effort cleared off the line by Paddy Barrett on the cover.

As the rain continued to bucket down, Kearns was called into action again making a flying save pushing over Will Patching’s 30-yard free kick.

But from the resulting corner, unmarked Ryan Graydon, having just lost his marker, Tyreke Wilson, was given the easiest task of side-footing home from point-blank range.

With recent talk of off-field investment put to one side, Shels clawed their way back into the encounter. An early substitution saw JR Wilson replaced by Irish U21 international Kian Leavy.

And it was the talented 21-year-old who missed a gilt-edged chance to level just after the half-hour mark. Firstly, Jack Moylan burst in behind the Derry back line and was denied by the feet of Brian Maher, only to see the rebound fall to Leavy who couldn’t control his effort, as it flew over from just yards out.

Fellow Irish U21 international Ollie O’Neill then missed a glorious chance of his own to double his side’s lead, but again couldn’t keep his strike on target with the goal at his mercy.

Five minutes after the restart, the hosts faced an even bigger uphill task to rescue something as Barrett was sent for an early bath, receiving his second yellow for what looked like a stray elbow on McGonigle as they tussled for the ball in the air.

The visitors appeared content to keep possession and not force the issue in the hunt for a second, seemingly happy to move the ball quickly and tire the 10 men of Shels, maintaining their unbeaten run in the process.

With the last kick of the game, Shels had a late shout for a penalty waved away, as Kyle Robinson looked to go down under a clumsy challenge in the Derry area only to see their protests waved away.

Shelbourne FC: Conor Kearns, JR Wilson, Shane Griffin, Luke Byrne (JJ Lunney, 45’), Paddy Barrett, Tyreke Wilson (Kameron Ledwidge, 80’), Shane Farrell (Kian Leavy, 24’), Gavin Molloy, Evan Caffrey (Mark Coyle, 45’), Jack Moylan (Kyle Robinson, 80’), Matty Smith

Subs not used: Scott Van der Sluis, Andrew Quinn, Brian McManus, David Toure

Derry City: Brian Maher, Ciaran Coll, Shane McEleney, Cameron McJannett, Ben Doherty, Ollie O’Neill, Will Patching, Sadou Diallo (Ronan Boyce, 80’), Patrick McEleney, Ryan Graydon (Jordan McEneff, 73’), Jamie McGonigle (Cian Kavanagh, 90’)

Subs not used: Tadgh Ryan, Brandon Kavanagh, Matt Ward, Evan McLaughlin, Cian Kavanagh, Liam Mullen, Callum McKay

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal)

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