Derry may be unhappy at having to return to Dublin on Monday to face St Patrick’s Athletic, but they went home happy last night after this surprisingly comfortable win.
As if to signal a dreadfully disjointed first-half showing to come, Shelbourne wasted a glorious chance to take the lead as early as the second minute.
Winger Barry Clancy had Ger Doherty’s goal at his mercy from his captain David Cassidy’s cross but somehow planted a tame header over the bar.
Derry then all too easily carved Shelbourne open to take the lead six minutes later. Their captain Barry Molloy dinked the ball wide left for Stephen McLaughlin in acres of space. The low cross was swept home by the unmarked David McDaid, who scored for the second week running.
Out of sorts Shelbourne had another let off on 24 minutes, when central defender Ryan McBride met Simon Madden’s corner at the back post, with Dean Delany forced into a fine save at point-blank range from the firm header.
Further bad defending gave Derry their second goal 10 minutes into the second half.
Simon Madden’s deep cross didn’t look to pose too much of a threat. But the influential McLaughlin volleyed the ball goalward from an angle and Delany fumbled it into the net at the foot of his right-hand post.
SHELBOURNE: Delany; Matthews (Paisley, 32 mins.), Boyle, Shortall, Fitzgerald; Kavanagh (Murphy, 66 mins.), Cronin, Dawson, Clancy (C. Byrne, 57 mins.); Cassidy; Hughes.
DERRY CITY: Doherty; Madden, McBride, S McEleney, B. McNamee; Brolly (Curran, 81 mins.), Molloy, Higgins, McLaughlin (P. McEleney, 58 mins.); McDaid, Murphy.
Referee: Pádraigh Sutton (Clare).