Shamrock Rovers 2-1 Derry City

The Hoops moved to within three points of league leaders Bohemians with this hard earned win against an impressive Derry side. The Candystripes owned possession of the ball for long periods of the game but Rovers two first half goals proved enough to seal the win. 
Rovers started well and Sean O’Connor (on photo) raised the roof of the stadium when he collected a throw-in on the left and cut in along the edge of the box to fire in an unstoppable shot with his right-foot for a fantastic goal.
The Hoops continued to pressure the away defence with Pat Sullivan, making his debut, drilling a low cross that Purcell couldn’t control but the ball rebounded in front of Gary Twigg but Doherty advanced to claim the ball. 
However Derry began to make inroads into the Rovers half and after 18 minutes a Stewart shot was well blocked by Price and four minutes later a Sives defensive header fell to Deery and Barry Murphy got down well to save. 
The visitors continued to attack and following Rice’s clearance, Sullivan made a good defensive header before McManus met a cross from the right but steered his shot wide.
Rovers countered on 25 minutes and good work by Baker saw him cross for the unmarked Purcell to head home past a stranded Doherty. Derry tried hard to get back into the game and on 33 minutes defender Gray got his head to a corner but Cahill cleared. Murphy then saved a follow-up header from McManus. 
Rovers did enough to keep the visitors scoreless going in at half-time while Twigg had a shout for a penalty when he chased down a Baker cross.
With just 45 seconds of the second-period on the clock O’Connor failed to control the ball and McManus stepped up to fire a shot from 25 yards that zipped past Murphy and into the net. Derry were back in the game.
Rovers responded well and Purcell’s low ball beat Delaney and found Twigg who shot on target but Doherty got down well to make a good one-handed save. Rovers did well up to the hour mark with O’Connor and Baker a threat going forward. 
The visitors were playing good possession football and they gradually began to make chances. Murphy got down well to save Stewarts shot before Sullivan cleared a dangerous cross from McGlynn on 65 minutes. 
Murphy was quick off his line to deny Farren just two minutes later and on 69 minutes Sullivan misjudged a defensive header and Stewart pounced on the loose ball and would have had a chance but Robinson got back for a vital block. 
McManus took a pass from Farren and his fine half-volley caused Murphy some problems but he gathered the ball at the second attempt. Barry Johnston made his competitive debut for Rovers as Michael O’Neill tried to stem the Derry attack. O’Connor’s free-kick was easily taken by Doherty on 77 minutes but the ‘keeper threw the ball to Robinson but the Hoops captain couldn’t direct the ball on target from 25 yards out. 
Johnston cleared a dangerous Ger O’Brien cross on 81 minutes and Aiden Price followed this up with a good defensive header. Steven Gray met a corner a minute later and Murphy was grateful to claim the ball under his crossbar. 
Derry continued to dominate in the closing stages but Nash and McManus were wasteful in good positions and the Hoops survived the four minutes of added-on time to claim this hard fought victory in a very entertaining game.