Derry City v Dundalk

Derry City v Shelbourne

Derry City v Finn Harps

Derry City FC V Shamrock Rovers

Derry City knock Shamrock Rovers out of the Cup AET

Derry City advanced to the FAI Cup semi-finals after a thrilling, feisty 3-1 win over ten-man Shamrock Rovers, that was dramatically decided in extra time

It is almost an understatement to call this match a classic cup tie but ultimately that is exactly what it was, packed with incident, a thrilling Brandywell atmosphere and drama aplenty.

The first big moment came in the twentieth minute as Jamie McGonigle picked the ideal time to end his 15-game goal drought! Cameron McJannet’s brilliant cross was calmly headed back across goal by Mark Connolly and McGonigle instinctively headed home.

Cameron Dummigan thundered a shot off the crossbar before Rovers were reduced to ten men.

Shamrock defender, Lee Grace was shown a straight red card by referee Rob Hennessy after shoving Derry’s captain, Patrick McEleney to the floor. A definite penalty but harsh sending off.

Will Patching stepped up, but it was déjà vu as he lashed against the crossbar, having also missed a penalty against Shamrock in the league.

Derry were dominant yet with the score only 1-0, they were always vulnerable.

Shamrock punished their profligacy midway through the second half. Neil Farrugia sliced the backline open, Andy Lyons shot and despite Brian Maher saving, the tireless Rory Gaffney gleefully gobbled up the loose ball.

Cameron McJannet & Joe Thomson spurned headers high & wide for Derry as the tie ticked towards extra time.

However, within six minutes of extra time, Danny Lafferty proved an unlikely hero as the experienced substitute rose high, heading home from Michael Duffy’s wicked corner.

Youngster Brandon Kavanagh, also on as a sub, added gloss to the score when he weaved through a shattered Shamrock defence and slotted home his first goal for the Candystripes!

An enthralling encounter, will it have psychological ramifications on the fight for the league title between these two? The coming games should tell.

Derry City v Sligo Rovers

Derry City close in on Shamrock Rovers once more at the top

A dominant Derry City dented Sligo’s European aspiration whilst also keeping apace atop the Premier Division standings, as they edged a bitty contest, 1-0

Will Patching was the matchwinner for the Candystripes. Patching’s peach of a free kick in the fifteenth minute enough to see off a disapprovingly tame Sligo Rovers.

Derry dominated but Ryan Graydon spurned their first opportunity as his header from six yards out, after sumptuous play by Cameron McJannet, flew wide.

It was soon forgotten however as the hosts early pressure yielded the lead. Robbie Burton, who was sloppy at times, conceded a cheap free kick in prime Patching territory.

From the left edge of the D, the midfielder curled in a beauty. A trademark top corner strike, another example of Patching’s party piece. 

The lively Michael Duffy and Cameron Dummigan came close to doubling Derry’s advantage before Sligo emerged out of their shell.

Paddy Kirk purposefully pushed up from left-back and his delicious cross needed the intervention of Brian Maher’s fingertip as top scorer Aidan Keena lurked for any loose ball.

Jamie McGonigle thundered a fizzing volley just high after the break before Graydon guilted another header, this time from Duffy’s wonderfully wafted cross.

As the clock ticked down, the nerves steadily increased in the Brandywell. Defender Mark Connolly, however, was immune to any anxiety as he made a series of brave blocks & intelligent interventions. He looks increasingly a steal of a signing from Dundalk & was a calming presence.

In injury time, Danny Lafferty made his centurion, 100th appearance for Derry. Yet it was one of Sligo’s subs, Max Mata, who nearly pooped the party in the 94th minute.

Keena weighted an ingenious chip in behind Derry’s backline but from a tight angle, Mata could only lift high. Seconds later, the whistle went, to cue delirium.

An important result for both sides as Derry maintains the pressure on Shamrock, their breathing down their neck in the league only adds to an already enticing FAI Cup quarter-final with them on Sunday.

Sligo, meanwhile, must ponder why they sat so deep, despite possessing a formidable attack, until the 1st of October when they welcome, whom other than, Shamrock Rovers themselves.

Derry will pray that Keena, Mata & Frank Livaak get more chances that night than they did on tonight’s tricky trip to an inform Northwest team.

Derry City v Bohemian FC

Derry City close in on Rovers with win against Bohemians

Derry City moved to within just one point of league leaders Shamrock Rovers courtesy of an exhilaratingly entertaining 1-0 win against Bohemians at the Brandywell.

Michael Duffy was the matchwinner with a rocket worthy of winning any match.

However, the first half was overshadowed by a serious injury to Derry’s Ciaran Coll. The defender appeared to fall nastily on his neck and after a lengthy stoppage for treatment, he was taken to hospital and applauded off by all sides of the Brandywell.

Everyone here at wishes Coll a speedy recovery.

There had been a fast-paced tempo to the match but this, understandably, quelled, following Coll’s injury. Rory Feely had Bohemians best chance of the first half but couldn’t capitalise on a free header afforded to him in the Derry box.

Just as the match was drifting into dull territory, Duffy illuminated the contest. Ironically, it came from Shane McEleney’s botched pass which trickled to the winger.

From the edge of the box, Duffy released a sledgehammer of a shot, arcing unstoppably past the stunned Bohs keeper, Jon McCracken.

Patrick McEleney and Feeley spurned a decent chance apiece in the second half before Boh’s Ethan Varian, booked in the first half, squandered their best opportunity of the match.

Liam Burt, last week’s matchwinner against Shamrock, played him in but Varian, with a large portion of the goal gaping, could only shoot straight at Brian Maher.

That was the last big chance either side concocted as a raft of substitutions ensured a nervy finish for the home fans. Jamie McGonigle’s searing pace was an outlet the Candystripes frequently turned to as they grinded the victory out in the closing stages.

Derry host Sligo in the league on Tuesday hoping to keep the pressure on Shamrock before the top two sides meet in the FAI Cup quarter-final, a week on Sunday.

With Dundalk’s dramatic defeat at UCD, has the landscape of the title race shifted from a three-team to a two-team race?

Bohemians are also in Cup competition next, they travel to Shelbourne looking to salvage something from an underwhelming season.

Derry City v UCD AFC

Derry inflict further woes on UCD

Derry City deepened UCD’s relegation woes as strikes from Ryan Graydon, Sadou Diallo and Michael Duffy saw the Candystripes earn a comfortable 3-0 win at the Brandywell.

The win rounds off a fine week’s work for Derry as they secured a third win in seven days.

Ryan Graydon, especially, was keen to keep up his recent momentum. After his injury time winner on Monday night, the winger was on the scoresheet early tonight.

Patrick McEleney’s sublime backheel instigated the breakthrough, enabling Cameron McJannet to fizz a cross in. Despite James Akintunde’s scuff that hit the post, Graydon was lurking to gobble up the rebound.

UCD replied by getting their foot on the ball and Sean Brennan led their brightest moves. He set up Dylan Duffy for a chance before extending Derry goalkeeper, Brian Maher, himself with a sumptuous curling effort.

However, the second half was one-way traffic as Derry dominated the ball. A stubborn away defence were, in the end, prised open by a stroke of magic.

Michael Duffy, who shone in the second half where Brennan had in the first, released Sadou Diallo with a classy, perfectly timed backheel. Diallo’s finish was ice cool and gave Derry a merited, two-goal advantage.

Duffy continued to torment the student’s defence and with five minutes remaining, got the goal he deserved. McEleney played him in with a typically assured pass and Duffy powered a fierce, low drive beyond Kain Moore.

Three wins from three for Derry then who move to within four points of Shamrock Rovers after their loss in the Dublin Derby. Ruadihri Higgins will be delighted with Graydon and Diallo bagging their second goals in three games, easing the reliance on Derry’s forwards for goals.

They host Bohemians next whilst UCD welcome Dundalk. The bottom side can at least take comfort in Finn Harp’s loss at St Patrick’s Athletic tonight, but they need to pick up points of their own if they are to haul themselves back above Harps by the season’s end.

Derry City v Cork City

Derry defeat Cork to reach Quarter-Finals

Goals from Will Patching and Sadou Diallo helped Derry City advance to the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup courtesy of a hard-fought, 2-0 win over ten-man Cork City.

This was an enticing matchup with both sides enjoying fine league seasons in the Premier and First Divisions respectively.

Leaders Cork City came out full of enthusiasm, but Derry felt their way into the match and gradually asserted themselves. Patrick McEleney went close before the first big moment in the game arrived.

Pacy winger Ryan Graydon went haring after a long ball flighted towards the penalty area and was clumsily taken out by away goalkeeper, Jimmy Corcoran as the players collided in a nauseating head-to-head.

Both, thankfully, were able to continue but Corcoran’s next action was to pick the ball out of his net. As Will Patching, who missed his last penalty against Shamrock Rovers, converted an emphatic spot-kick into top left corner.

Derry winger, Michael Duffy was in the mood, and he lashed the upright either side of halftime as Cork battled well to stay in the tie.

Yet, their hard work was undone by a moment of madness from forward Ruari Keating. In an off-the-ball incident, Keating stamped on home defender Mark Connolly and was rightly shown a straight red card.

Initially, however, Derry struggled to take the initiative of having a man advantage. Although, the raft of second-half substitutions on both benches probably didn’t help that.

Eventually, though, the Candystripes made the game safe. Cameron Dummigan crossed dangerously, young Gordan Walker hashed his clearance back into the danger zone and Sadou Diallo pounced, the midfielder rifling home a low, zinger of a volley for 2-0. Effectively, game over.

Diallo hit the side netting late on, but the damage had already been done from a Cork City perspective. They will rue Keating’s red mist moment more than anything else yet can return to First Division duties, where they will hope to seal promotion.

Derry travel to Shelbourne on Monday night in the league but will also be keeping an eager eye on who they draw in the quarter final.

Derry City v Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers and Derry share spoils at the Brandywell

League leaders Shamrock Rovers maintained their eight-point advantage above Derry City as they held the Candystripes to a goalless draw in a, nonetheless, enthralling encounter. Dundalk's win however takes them within four points of Shamrock

The first half seesawed as the Brandywell crowd made for a raucous atmosphere early on. Sean Hoare’s flicked header wide from Neil Furrigia’s cross their best chance amidst concerted pressure.

Given the recent soaring temperatures, water breaks were in play tonight and following the first, Derry sprang into life attacking Shamrock in waves.

With thirty-seven minutes played, Hoare was adjudged to have handballed from a Derry free kick and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Will Patching, passed fit to start, stepped up but sent an uncharacteristically tame effort to Alan Mannus’ left. A miss that let Shamrock off the hook.

Despite Jack Byrne’s arrival into the game as a substitute, clearcut chances remained at a premium. Indeed, Sean Kavanagh’s pearoller at Brian Maher’s was one of Rover’s better openings.

The home side scented blood and with Michael Duffy’s introduction, Mannus was forced into another sprawling stop.

Captain Patrick McEleney then engineered a golden opportunity for Ryan Graydon, but the winger’s shot hit the post from a narrow angle.

Despite a late surge, encouraged by the buoyant Brandywell crowd, a couple of flashing headers just wide from Cameron McJannet were the closest Derry came to snatching victory.

The visitors, despite the dropped points, will leave the happier of the sides considering their point tonight was a very hard-earned one. It rounds off a satisfying week’s work having also secured group stage European football for the near future.

While Dundalk’s win at Dalymount Park elevates them to within four points of Rovers, Derry are now languishing eight points adrift of the leaders.

Tonight’s results have teed us up for a mouthwatering clash between Shamrock and Dundalk next week. Derry will hope to get back to their goalscoring ways against Drogheda at the same time.

Derry City v Oliver Bond Celtic

Derry City comfortably through against Oliver Bond Celtic in FAI Cup

Derry City cruised into the second round of the FAI Cup courtesy of a 7-0 thumping against non-league team Oliver Bond Celtic. A brace from James Akintunde, Declan Glass’s dream hattrick debut and strikes from Mark Connolly and Jamie McGonigle saw the Premier Division outfit advance with ease.

This tie was one of the more David vs Goliath cups draws of the weekend. Derry flying high in the Premier Division against a non-league team founded only five years ago! As such, the Candystripes entered as overwhelming favourites.

Ryan Graydon continued to impress for Derry, yet the first half belonged to new signing, Declan Glass. First, he provided an inch-perfect assist for James Akintunde to make it 1-0.

He then scored a quickfire brace. Both were fine finishes after slick interplay with Sadou Diallo and Patrick McEleney, captaining Derry after Eoin Toal’s departure.

A calmly converted penalty got Glass a first-half hattrick, quite the dream debut!

Oliver Bond Celtic were far from rolling over however and could have scored had either Ciaron Walsh or Brandon Daly been more composed with chances in the Derry box. Away striker Ali Suge proved a physical handful for the home defence to deal with.

Akintunde stooped to add his second goal of the match following more ingenious build-up play from McEleneny. His outrageous chipped pass found Michael Duffy and though Jake Carey saved, Akintunde gobbled up the rebound.

Another home debutant got on the scoresheet when Mark Connolly converted at the back post after Glass’s free-kick came to him. Akintunde’s replacement, Jamie McGonigle made it seven after Caoimhin Porter chested a cross down to him.

McGonigle could have made it eight, but Daly heroically hacked off the line for Oliver Bond Celtic. Their performance was full of that defiant spirit but ultimately, the gulf in quality shone through on the scoreboard.

Derry travel to Dundalk for a crunch league match next but will take plenty of encouragement from this, especially their dream debut performers.