DERRY CITY 1 SHAMROCK ROVERS 0
Paul Hegarty cut a very happy figure following Derry City’s slender victory over Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell.
The new Derry City caretaker boss – who stepped into the breach following Peter Hutton’s departure on Tuesday – will have been relieved to see the Candystripes move two points clear of the relegation zone in his first game in the hot-seat.
In was proved a closely contested affair, Derry’s cause was certainly not helped with the 34th-minute loss of talisman Patrick McEleney with a leg injury.
However, with both teams battling throughout the proceedings the game was decided following a corner in the 74th minute.
Mark Timlin floated the ball into the danger area and when defender Dean Jarvis rose at the back post, his downward header gave keeper Barry Murphy no chance.
Rovers started well with Brandon Meile having been presented with two clear-cut chances during the opening 10 minutes but Derry keeper Ger Doherty grew in confidence to put in a superb shift on the night.
Following a scoreless first half the home side enjoyed a decent spell of possession with Timlin’s shot taking a deflection for a corner before Damien Duff entered the fray in the 56th minute.
And 10 minutes later Meile played Duff through in a one-on-one with Doherty, the Derry keeper making a vital save with his leg.
Rovers piled on the pressure as the clock ticked down, but Derry successfully held out to record what may well prove a significant victory.
Derry City: Doherty, McLaughlin, McBride (McClean 80), Barry, Jarvis, Timlin, Lowry, McCormack, Dooley, McEleney (McEleney 34), O’Connor.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy, Madden (Waters 81), Blanchard, O’Connor, Byrne (Kenna 46), Brennan, McCabe, Cregg, Miele, Drennan, McCaffrey (Duff 56).
Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).