Date Time League Season
13 April 2021 7:45 pm Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Gaffney and Burke on target for Rovers in Derry

A brace of goals stretched Shamrock Rovers unbeaten league run to 26 games, as they accounted for the hosts at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

While a Rory Gaffney opening goal had some fortune to it, the second could not be denied as a goal of real class, as Graham Burke lit up Foyleside.

The opening opportunity fell to Shamrock Rovers as O'Neill's high pass was nearly met by Sean Gannon, Gartside however, did well to gather it on the second attempt.

Derry City went closer when the ball was sent over the top and Sean Hoare under headed his pass back to Mannus and Parkhouse flicked the ball goalward but was denied by the outside of the post.

Graham Burke was next to test Gartside's handling as his low shot is well saved by the Derry keeper.

The opening goal came just after the half-hour mark as Rory Gaffney, who started ahead of Aaron Greene hit the onion-bag for the first time this season. This score arrived after Graham Burke hit a low curling effort that Gartside could only parry. The loose ball fell kindly to Gaffney at the back who slotted it home from close range after taking a slight deflection.

Burke wouldn’t have to wait long to get another opportunity and when it did, he made it count. Collecting the ball inside his half he looked up and spotted that Gartside was on the edge of his box, the strike from just inside the halfway line going over the keeper and into the empty net. The finish will be a goal of the season contender.

The second half was about game management for Shamrock Rovers who always looked threatening on the break. Burke once again broke free of the Derry defence and his low left-footed effort had to be gathered twice by Gartside. The next big opportunity for the away side fell to Danny Mandriou whom an excellent strike that forced a clever save from Gartside. Substitute Aaron Greene had an excellent chance following a clever one-two with Burke but his effort went wide for a corner.

Shamrock Rovers were clinical when they needed to in what was a deserved three points for the away side. For Derry - rooted to the bottom of the table, points are needed thick and fast as they face Drogheda next weekend. 

  • 90'

    FULL TIME: A well-managed game by Shamrock Rovers who frustrate Derry City but proved clinical and precise with a two-nil victory in the Brandywell. The talking point of this game will be the moment of brilliance from Graham Burke who set the night alright with a fantastic goal from just inside his own half.

  • 86'

    For an infringement Gannon gets a yellow card.

  • 83'

    Greene has been excellent here as a clever one-two with Burke and Greene's effort goes wide for a corner.

  • 82'

    Porter comes on.

  • 82'

    McJannett comes off for the game.

  • 82'

    McLaughlin comes on.

  • 82'

    Barr has had an excellent game today on his full debut.

  • 80'

    Mandriou comes off.

  • 80'

    Dean Williams is coming into the game for the last ten minutes.

  • 76'

    O'Neill takes down Fitzgerald and he goes into the book.

  • 76'

    Mandriou with an excellent chance for Shamrock Rovers and his effort forces a great save from Gartside.

  • 75'

    Ferry the young striker comes on.

  • 75'

    Akintunde comes off.

  • 75'

    Jack Malone comes off for Harkin.

  • 75'

    Harkin comes on to tonight's game.

  • 74'

    Dylan Watts comes off.

  • 74'

    Darragh Nugent is coming on for the final series of the game.

  • 74'

    We have some subs coming your way.

  • 70'

    Shamrock Rovers trying to slowly build the play from the back and is ample possession. Derry you feel are tired and have retreated slightly.

  • 64'

    The first goalscorer of the game comes off.

  • 64'

    Greene comes on for the final periods of this game.

  • 64'

    Murphy can be happy with his efforts tonight. He comes off.

  • 64'

    In comes, Roberto Lopes after his self-isolation lay off.

  • 60'

    The former Rovers man blazes over the bar after he was set up by Will Fitzgerald.

  • 59'

    Big chance for the young player as he gets the ball at the back post but he bits the side netting.

  • 58'

    Fitzgerald comes on to make an impact.

  • 58'

    A frustrating night for Parkhouse he comes off.

  • 57'

    Burke once again breaks free of the Derry defence and his low left-footed effort had to be gathered twice by Gartside before stopping the danger.

  • 52'

    Apart from a Graham Burke free-kick that broke down after he decided to play it short, there hasn't been much to report so far. Any chance of another cracking goal? Let's wait and see.

  • 46'

    SECOND HALF: Derry City get us back underway, the lights have just switched on at the stadium,, will Derry have a bright light second half.

  • 45'

    HALF TIME: A game that was quiet with very few chances sprung into life when Rory Gaffney's goal opened the scoring and then Graham Burke doing his best to show us his best David Beckham impression adds a second by scoring just inside the Derry half. A big hill to climb for Derry City now.

  • 45'

    1 added minute of added time.

  • 38'

    Well, what a strike! Graham Burke looks up and notices that Gartside is on the edge of his box, he strikes from the half way line and it goes over the keeper and into the net. The finish is absolutely fantastic.

  • 33'

    Shamrock Rovers hit the front! Graham Burke opens his body up and hits a low curling effort that Gartside can only save, the ball falls kindly to Gaffney who slots it in from close range.

  • 30'

    A Will Patching free-kick is sent in and looked as if it was out for a corner it's a goal kick.

  • 19'

    A set of crosses into the area for Derry City put the Shamrock Rovers defence under pressure but both attempts are cleared. This has been a good end to end kind of game.

  • 16'

    Another big chance this time for Graham Burke has Rory Gaffney couldn't get the ball from under his feet and the ball falls to Burke whose low shot is well saved by Gartside.

  • 15'

    Well that was a big chance, the ball is sent over the top and Sean Hoare thought he had headed it back to Mannus however it falls short and Parkhouse flicks it goalwards and it strikes the outside of the post. Big chance from the home side.

  • 10'

    In the last five minutes, Shamrock Rovers are looking to have settled into this side better. Rory Gaffney is looking very threatening every time the ball comes to his feet.

  • 5'

    The first chance for Shamrock Rovers as O'Neill's high pass nearly met Gannon who was rushing into the area, Gartside however, did well to gather it on the second attempt.

  • 1'

    KICK OFF: We are underway at the Ryan McBride: Brandywell Stadium. Graham Burke kicks us off and gets the game underway.

  • Five minutes to kick-off so prediction time. Judging by form only Shamrocks look to be the only winners but Derry is due a big performance. It remains to be seen but this has the looks of a great match up.

  • Conditions in Derry look absolutely perfect for football. It's 9c with sunny temperatures and with a wind of 8km wind. So the perfect night for football.

  • When it comes to inform teams nothing tops Shamrock Rovers form at present. The Tallaght side is currently on a twenty-five game unbeaten streak in the league. Shamrock Rovers last loss was in fact the 3-2 defeat to Dundalk in Oriel Park back in September 2019 when Dundalk clinched the title.

  • Derry City will look to break an unwanted record they have against Shamrock Rovers. It has been four years since Derry City last were victorious over Shamrock Rovers. That night Derry won 2-0 way back in August 2017.

  • Team news from the Derry City camp: Ciaran Coll, Ronan Boyce and Brendan Barr have been added to the starting lineup.

  • Team news from the Shamrock Rovers camp: Max Murphy starts for the away side. Gary O'Neill will partner Dylan Watts in midfield and Rory Gaffney leads the line. Sean Gannon also returns to the starting line up after starting from the bench against Sligo Rovers last weekend.

  • One interesting news story that hit the press today was that Sean Kavanagh nearly signed for Derry City only for an admin delay ultimately led to him signing for Rovers: Kavanagh - “I was actually waiting on the paperwork to come through on the Thursday. It was touch and go to actually play on the Friday." “To be honest, I had no real other options, Derry was the only option I had. I was going to sign there, I was quite happy to sign there. “It prolonged and prolonged and the gaffer here (Stephen Bradley) and Stephen McPhail got on to me, it was a no-brainer to be honest, I’m from Dublin, big club like Rovers. It was a sliding doors moment.”

  • Declan Devine on Derry City's form this season: “It hasn’t been good enough from us, and we have to get better."

  • Stephen Bradley on his opponents: “It’s going to be a tough game. I think the results don’t tell the full story."

  • We are just uploading the team news as we speak and the full teams will be live shortly.

  • Good evening from FinalWhistle HQ for tonight's match between Derry City and Shamrock Rovers. We won't call it a six-pointer but the game has massive significance despite coming so early in the season.

Derry City

1Nathan Gartside Goalkeeper
3Ciaran Coll Defender
6Eoin Toal Defender
9David Parkhouse 7 Forward
10Will Patching Midfielder
11James Akintunde 31 Forward
15Ronan Boyce Defender
21Cameron McJannet Defender
24Danny Lafferty Defender
29Jack Malone 4 Midfielder
36Brendan Barr 32 Midfielder
30Jack Lemoignan Goalkeeper
4Ciaron Harkin 29 Midfielder
7Will Fitzgerald 9 Midfielder
8Joe Thomson Midfielder
22Mark McFadden Midfielder
31Patrick Ferry 11 Forward
32Caolan McLaughlin 36 Forward
35Micheal Glynn Defender
Caoimhin Porter 21 Midfielder

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
2Sean Gannon Defender
3Sean Hoare Defender
5Lee Grace Defender
7Dylan Watts 22 Midfielder
10Graham Burke Forward 39'
14Daniel Mandriou 19 Midfielder
15Liam Scales Defender
16Gary O’Neill Midfielder
20Rory Gaffney 9 Forward 34'
24Max Murphy 4 Midfielder
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
4Roberto Lopes 24 Defender
8Ronan Finn Midfielder
9Aaron Greene 20 Forward
11Sean Kavanagh Defender
19Dean Williams 14 Forward
22Darragh Nugent 7 Midfielder
26Chris McCann Midfielder

Past Meetings

(Series 16)
2 - 0
Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Derry City

(Series 7)
1 - 2
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Shamrock Rovers


The Brandywell
Ryan McBride Brandywell, Derry, Northern Ireland, BT48 6NP, United Kingdom

Ciaran Callan is a part-time sports journalist based in Dundalk, Co. Louth. He has more than 10 year’s experience working with media companies including both extensive radio broadcasting experience along with print and digital media reporting for the SSE Airtricity League as well digital media work with the national sports company eirSport. He joined FinalWhistle in February 2021 as is their main correspondent for Dundalk Football Club.