Despite David McDaid twice going close in the opening five minutes, City played most of the half on the back foot, with Conan Byrne and Paddy Kavanagh going close for the hosts. Philip Hughes led the line intelligently and was a handful for the Derry defence throughout and from one intricate move, Shane McEleney was fortunate not to have been penalised for a trip on Kavanagh inside the penalty area.
The breakthrough arrived in the 43rd minute. McEleney stumbled in attempting to clear and Hughes elected to shoot from distance and was rewarded with his third goal of the campaign, as Doherty fumbled to the net.
Derry improved upon the restart and should have levelled within two minutes of the resumption but referee Pauric Sutton waved play on after Patrick McEleney’s free-kick appeared to have crossed the line after crashing down off Dean Delany’s crossbar.
On 70 minutes, the hosts rode their luck again, with Barry Molloy’s drive clipping the top of Delany’s upright.
Derry had further missed chances from Rory Patterson and substitute Mark Farren before Patterson’s injury-time sending-off concluded a poor night for the Candystripes.
SHELBOURNE: Delany; Matthews, Boyle, Ryan, Fitzgerald; McGill (Cassidy, 78), Cronin, Hurley, Byrne (Murphy, 68); Kavanagh, Hughes (Gorman, 83).
DERRY CITY: Doherty; Madden, Greacen, S McEleney (McBride, 70), McCaffrey; P McEleney (Morrison, 70), Molloy, Higgins, McLaughlin; McDaid (Farren, 66), Patterson.
Referee: P Sutton (Clare).