Sligo Rovers were left to rue what could have been after Jordan Gibson’s second-half strike was cancelled out by Ronan Boyce’s deflected effort 5 minutes from time at the Ryan McBride Brandywell on Monday evening. The late goal was a tough one to take as if the Bit O’Red were to see out the match, we would be level on points with Shamrock Rovers and St Pats on top of the table.
Liam Buckley made 4 changes from our defeat in Richmond Park last Friday with Robbie McCourt (injury), Colm Horgan, Walter Figueira and Romeo Parkes being replaced by Regan Donelon, Shane Blaney, Johnny Kenny and Ryan De Vries respectively. Derry made 1 change from our last game against them, with Ciaran Coll being replaced by Daniel Lafferty.
The first half was fairly benign, but it had its fair share of chances, with David Parkhouse hitting over on 33 minutes and Johnny Kenny unleashing a drive towards goal soon after which was saved well by Nathan Gartside. The half ended in unfortunate fashion as Eoin Toal was forced off due to an injury, with Danny Lupano taking his place.
The second half was certainly a more interesting affair, proved by Jordan Gibson’s opener after 55 minutes after Mark Byrne’s astute flick left him one-on-one with Gartside. This lead was threatened on the hour mark with Jack Malone’s curler forcing an excellent save from Ed McGinty, however the Bit O’Red struck back through Kenny attempting to lob Gartside from range, the Riverstown forward’s effort ending up just wide. With 5 minutes to go, our firm defence unraveled after Ronan Boyce’s effort was deflected into the net past a hopeless McGinty. He was once again called into action to prevent Will Patching’s thunderous volley.
A frustrating game but in the same breath, our first points since the break. Join us again on Saturday (well if my delay is anything to go by it’ll be the Saturday after match but anyways) for another report.
SLIGO ROVERS: E McGinty, L Banks, J Mahon, S Blaney, R Donelon, M Byrne (D Cawley 77), G Bolger, N Morahan, J Gibson, R De Vries (R Parkes 77), J Kenny (W Figueira 77).
DERRY CITY: N Gartside, R Boyce, E Toal (D Lupano 45), C McJannett, D Lafferty, C Harkin, J Malone, W Patching, W Fitzgerald, J Akintunde, D Parkhouse (M Walsh 63 (P Ferry 80)).
REF: Derek Tomney
Ed McGinty: 6 – Was unlucky on the goal.
Lewis Banks: 6 – Did well on the right.
Shane Blaney: 5 – Unlucky with the deflection for the equaliser.
John Mahon: 6 – Defended Parkhouse et al well.
Regan Donelon: 6 – Deputising well for McCourt.
Greg Bolger: 6 – Good and tenacious in the middle.
Niall Morahan: 6 – Making a good partner to Bolger.
Jordan Gibson: 7 – A constant thorn in the Derry defence’s side and was rewarded with the goal.
Ryan De Vries: 6 – Did decent. Taken off for Parkes with 13 minutes left.
Johnny Kenny: 7 – Did well on his return to the starting XI. Subbed for Figueira late on.
Mark Byrne: 7 – Cleverly assisted Gibson’s goal
Romeo Parkes: N/A – Came on late.
David Cawley: N/A – Came on late (x2).
Walter Figueira: N/A – Came on late (x3).