Thursday 26 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Ryan Byrne/INPHO
# saints marching again
Fagan stars with hat-trick as Derry ship five away to St Pat's
The striker took his tally to 12 for the season.

St Patrick’s Athletic 5

Derry City 2

CHRISTY FAGAN’S HAT-TRICK helped St Patrick’s Athletic get back to winning ways tonight in Inchicore as the Champions beat Derry City 5-2.

The striker, who has now scored 12 league goals, was in superb form, and he was aided by Chris Forrester, who continued to make the game look effortless.

The midfielder showed his full range of skills throughout the night, beginning with a brilliant run and pass to Fagan for the opening goal.

On the penalty spot, the striker cushioned Forrester’s pass and turned brilliantly to find the bottom corner for his 10th goal of the season after just eight minutes.

The pressure continued from the Champions, and when Keith Fahey caught Michael Duffy in possession, the former Republic of Ireland International immediately set his sights on goal.

He eventually squared his pass to Fagan, and although Ryan McBride intervened on the line, he could not stop Fagan’s shot from crossing the line after 20 minutes.

The slack Derry defending offered Peter Hutton little respite in the City dugout, and three minutes later it was 3-0. Conan Byrne, unmarked from a Killian Brenan corner-kick, headed past Doherty.

When City did make advances on Brendan Clarke’s goal some neat play from Dean Jarvis, Patrick McEleney and Barry McNamee resulted in the latter forcing the Pat’s net-minder into a smart save low to his left.

Those flourishes forward were few and far between though, and four minutes after the restart Sean Hoare had the ball in the back of the Derry net for his first league goal.

Forrester went down under a challenge from Shane McEleney, and Killian Brennan delivered an inviting ball to the back post for the young defender to head in.

Roddy Collins Ryan Byrne / INPHO Roddy Collins was on commentary duty tonight. We're sure he enjoyed it. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

A noticeable drop in the intensity of the contest on the hour mark, and some improved passing from Derry, then resulted in a clinical strike from Michael Duffy.

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Derry’s top scorer was allowed to advance forward from midfield, and he effortlessly placed the ball inside the far post for his fourth of the season.

However, the mistakes that had littered Derry’s first half performance returned after that, and Fagan was gifted his hat-trick when he intercepted a poor pass from Doherty to shoot into an empty net.

With mistakes being something of a trend in the game, Lee Lynch’s poor pass deep in his own half to Derry’s Barry McNamee then handed him the opportunity to slide the ball across to Rory Patterson, and he converted with ease to make it 5-2 late on.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke, O’Brien (c), Hoare, Browne, Bermingham, Byrne, Fahey, Chambers (McCormack 79), Brennan, Forrester (Lynch 75), Fagan (Quigley 75).

Substitutes: Gilmartin, Bolger, Quigley, Fitzgerald, Lynch, Kavanagh, McCormack.

DERRY CITY: Doherty, Jarvis, Molloy (c), McBride, McEleney, McNamee, Ventre (McGovern 64), McEleney (Foy 90), Patterson (Boyle 86), Duffy, Barry.

Substitutes: Lynch, Collins, Boyle, Tracey, McGovern, McNamee, Curran.