Derry City must secure at least a share of the spoils against Finn Harps on Friday night if they are to secure Europa League football next season. And St Patrick’s Athletic can thank to their super sub, James Doona, who was hailed the hero with a brace of goals late in the game.
Doona’s brace keeps Stephen O’Donnell’s men in the hunt for Europe but they must still defeat Dundalk at Oriel Park this weekend. Derry had moved into the driving seat following a superb break on the counter-attack in the 52nd minute.
Ciarán Coll fed David Parkhouse for a simple tap-in from close range. But Pat’s deservedly restored equality in the 61st minute. A loose Greg Sloggett clearance found its way into the path of Chris Forrester, he duly drilled the ball low into the corner.
Derry’s hopes of Europa League football then suffered a blow when the Dubliners broke in the 79th minute with substitute Doona raced clear of the home defence to guide the ball into the Derry net from 20 yards.
And just to make matters worse, Doona used his pace to great effect yet again when racing into a one-on-one situation with Cherrie and the youngster made no mistake in the 84th minute.
Derry have the opportunity to secure European football when hosting Finn Harps on Friday night.
Derry City: Cherrie; Gillespie (McCauley, 62), Toal, Gilchrist, Coll; Sloggett, McNamee (Bruna, 75) Harkin; McDonagh, Parkhouse, Ogedi-Uzokwe.
St Pat’s Athletic: B Clarke; D Clarke, Kelly, Desmond, Bermingham; Markey (Doona, 75), Coleman (Clifford, 62), Lennon, Hale; Forrester; Shaw (Walker, 69).
Referee: P McLaughlin (Donegal).