Derry City 3, Bohemians 1
DERRY CITY maintained their perfect start to life back at Brandywell Stadium with victory over 10 man Bohemians which lifted them into third place.
The Candy Stripes have now recorded seven consecutive wins in all competitions with this hard fought victory over the Gypsies who had ex-City winger, Paddy Kavanagh sent off on 56 minutes for a robust tackle on Ronan Curtis.
And City's incredible winning run against the Dubliners has now stretched to NINE games since Kenny Shiels took charge in 2016. City twice hit the woodwork through Ronan Hale and Gavin Peers in an action-packed encounter played in wet and windy conditions on Foyleside and battled to a win which lifts them above Waterford and just three points behind leaders, Dundalk.
Aaron McEneff gave the home side the lead on 20 minutes with a neat left foot finish - his sixth of the season! However, six minutes later Bohs equalised when Dylan Watts deftly flicked it over the head of Gerard Doherty.
Kavanagh was given his marching orders by referee Rob Rogers for that rash challenge and Derry capitalised on their numerical advantage almost instantly through a close range strike from Rory Patterson after Hale's thunderous shot was parried into his path by Shane Supple.
And in the fourth minutes of stoppage time Scottish midfielder, Nicky Low broke at pace and slotted in the third to send the Brandywell support into raptures as the momentum continues ahead of the trip to Oriel Park on Friday night.
Shiels had made just one enforced change from the team which defeated Waterford on Friday night with the injured Conor McDermott (hamstring) replaced by Darren Cole at right back while Keith Long made five changes from the Bohs team which clinched the dramatic stoppage time win in the Dublin derby at Tallaght.
Bohemians soaked up the early pressure and created the first real threatening attack of the game when JJ Luney's shot was deflected behind by a last ditch block from Rory Hale inside the Derry penalty area which trickled behind for a corner.
Derry broke at pace from the resultant set-piece and goalkeeper, Supple needed to be quick off his line and with the assistance of Karl Moore managed to dispossess Hale inside the Bohs six yard box with a crunching tackle.
The home side hit the front on 20 minutes when McEneff latched onto the ball just outside the Bohs penalty area, strolled past Dan Casey with ease before firing clinically into the net at the near post.
The Gypsies drew level six minutes later when Kavanagh sent Watts in behind with a ball over the top of the City defence and he lifted it over the head of the out-rushing Doherty with a deft touch.
Derry almost hit back from a McEneff corner but Ronan Curtis' strike on the volley from six yards was blocked superbly by Supple.
Ronan Hale rattled the crossbar with a terrific strike from 20 yards before Eoin Toal's shot on the turn from a corner drifted narrowly wide of the post with Supple rooted to the spot.
The Dubliners should've taken the lead seven minutes before the break when Luney played Dinny Corcoran clean through on goal but his tame shot was saved comfortably by Doherty who reacted quickly.
Playing with the strong wind at their backs in the second half, Derry came so close to adding a second on 51 minutes. Low's powerful free-kick was parried into the path of Cole who blasted over the bar under pressure.
Bohemians were reduced to 10 men on 55 minutes when Kavanagh, who played 24 times for Derry, was shown a straight red for a robust tackle on Curtis 40 yards from the Derry goal.
And within 60 seconds the Candy Stripes were back in front as Supple parried McEneff's drive into the feet of Patterson and the striker was left the easiest of tasks as he slotted into the net from four yards.
Dan Byrne produced a brave clearing header to deny Curtis' close range volley on 74 minutes before Gavin Peers crashed a powerful header off the crossbar during a sustained spell of pressure on the Bohs' goal.
Substitute, Eoghan Stokes could've pulled one back for Bohs moments later when he got onto the end of a terrific cross from Karl Moore but he fluffed his lines from eight yards with the goal at his mercy,
Derry refused to be content with the one goal lead and when Low broke in behind the Bohs backline he showed superb composure to slot it past Supple who had no choice but to come from his line in the last action of the game as Derry's impressive run continues.
Derry City - Doherty; Cole, Peers, Toal, Doyle; Ronan Hale, Low, Rory Hale, Curtis; McEneff, Patterson (Cofie, 80).
Bohemians - Supple; Buckley, Byrne, Casey, Leahy; Kavanagh, Gannon, Watts, Moore; Lunney (Lynons, 72), Corcoran (Stokes, 61).
Referee - R. Rogers (Dublin).