Candystripes grab sweet win over UCD

NEWLY-PROMOTED Derry City picked up their first Premier Division points of the season when an early goal from winger Gareth McGlynn set them on the path to victory over UCD in a tense encounter at the Belfield Bowl.

A brilliant late Daniel Lafferty effort made certain of the three points despite a spirited second half by the Students, who will feel that they deserved at least a share of the spoils.

Stephen Kenny’s side had their noses in front after just six minutes when a powerful header out of defence by Shane McEleney was picked up by his brother Patrick McEleney. He supplied a perfect reverse ball for McGlynn to fire home with his left foot from 14 yards.

To their credit, both teams tried to play entertaining, attacking and passing football on a pitch that looked the worse for wear, after the ground had been shared by College’s rugby team in weeks. It proved a difficult assignment.

The Students missed a glorious opportunity to draw level on 33 minutes when a perfect cross from deep on the right by defender Sean Harding was headed inches wide from close range by striker Graham Rusk.

Derry went close to stretching their lead early in the second half when Patrick McEleney laid on a perfect ball for striker Eamon Zayed. The Libyan international let fly from the edge of the box only, to see his effort brilliantly pushed over for a corner by keeper Ger Barron.

College went close to an equaliser when Barry Molloy fouled Cillian Morrisson 20 yards from goal. But the resulting free by Dean Marshall was blocked by a wall of Derry defenders.

The Candystripes then went close when a Stewart Greachen effort was saved by Barron after a corner on the right by Patrick McEleney.

But College kept pressing forward and both Rusk and Dean Marshall had efforts blocked by an overworked Derry defence.

The visitors should really have made victory certain on 70 minutes when Zayed set up a perfect chance for McGlynn only for the winger to shoot wide from close range. Then a Ruairi Harkin free on the left allowed Stephen McLaughlin to get in a header which just looped over the bar.

Late on, Patrick McEleney had a shot which clipped the post after the Derry man had cut in from the left. But the Foylesiders made victory certain on 88 minutes when Lafferty shot into the corner of the net with a brilliant individual effort.

UCD: Barron; Harding, Leahy, Haro, Nangle; O’Conor, Creevy, Corry, Marshall (Meenan 74); Rusk, Morrisson (Benson 66).

DERRY CITY: Doherty; McCallion, Greacen 6, S. McEleney, Lafferty; McGlynn, Harkin, Molloy, McLaughlin, P. McEleney (McDaid 88), Zayed 6.

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).

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