Dundalk 1 Derry City 3
He may have spent the last few weeks on the sidelines as he watched the side win and Michael Rafter catch him on the goal scoring charts, but Rory Patterson wasted no time on his return, adding another two to his tally for the season. Declan Devine saw his side recover from one nil down to a comfortable 3-1 victory on the night as the Candystripes continue their promising early season form.
The manager opted to play Michael Rafter on the wing on the return of Patterson, with Patrick McEleney dropping to the bench. However it was the home side that had the better start, with Byrne shooting wide after a good move down the left. However, it was a warning sign which the visitors failed to heed and they were undone by a superb team goal after twenty minutes. A passing move saw Keith Ward sent clear and his pin point ball was crashed home Vinny Faherty to put the Lilywhites one up.
City boss immediately switched his team, moving Rafter inside and putting Barry McNamee on the flank and the team immediately looked more solid. It wasn’t long before City were back in the game but not without the involvement of the match official, Neil Doyle. A long ball into the Dundalk box was headed away by Rossiter. However the referee felt that Rossiter shoved Rafter in his attempt to get to the ball and had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. There was little question who was going to take the kick, and although Cherrie guessed right, Patterson kick nestled low into the Dundalk goal to bring City back on level terms.
The visitors appeared to up there game in the second period and were a lot more threatening in possession. Dundalk, who had dictated the play in the opening half, found themselves on the back foot in the second period and it was a sign of things to come. City forced a corner and Cherrie’s punched clearance eventually come to Patterson. The striker showed good awareness to lay it back and Barry McNamee crashed it home to put City in front. City continued to boss proceedings and ten minutes later they had a third. Tireless work by Simon Madden saw him retrieve and ball and a cross field ball found Crawley. His attempted shout was blocked by Sullivan and although the player was protecting his face, he did raise his hands and thus Neil Doyle awarded his second penalty of the evening.
Up stepped Patterson again and the result was the same as the striker claimed his seventh league goal of the season. However Dundalk were given fresh hope five minutes later when Shane McEleney was shown a straight red from stopping Tiernan Mulvenna. Opinion in the press box was divided but the general consensus was that City had been on the back of a harsh decision. The visitors went 4-4-1, with Patterson leading the line and Molloy dropping back to partner McBride in defence.
Whilst Dundalk may have huffed and puffed in the last twenty minutes, Gerard Doherty only made save of any real note. Whilst Devine may have seen his side concede their first goal in 470 minutes on the night, he will be pleased with the manner in which the team came back from going behind and the professional manager in which they closed out the game to make it five wins on the bounce.