Derry City 4 Sligo Rovers 0
Scorers: Schubert, Curtis, McEneff, Holden
Derry City lit up a sodden Maginn Park this afternoon as they swept away a disappointing Sligo Rovers, who continue to search for their first away win of the 2017 campaign. The Candystripes brushed off their European hangover to record their biggest victory over Sligo since 2009 and close the gap on the top four in the Airtricity Premier Division.
City deployed debutant Darren Cole in the heart of the defence and with the returning McNamee and Patterson, the Candystripes had an experience spine on show. The torrential rain which had battered the North West since early morning mean a small attendance at the Buncrana venue, but those who did travel saw a masterclass in flowing football from the home side.
The first chance came for the visitors when Doherty passed a clearance straight to Adebayo-Rowling. The full back didn’t have the angle for the shot, but squared it to Ayunga on the edge of the box. The striker got the ball caught in his feet and didn’t seriously trouble the Derry goal.
On eight minutes, City showed their intent when a powerful driven free kick by McEneff was tipped onto his bar and away for a corner by a scrambling Schlingermann.
The home side continue to probe, but the visitors defence held firm until twenty three minutes. Schubert, raiding down the right squared the ball to Patterson but the striker about to pull the trigger, the ball was nicked away from him by Leahy. From then on the home side found their rhythm and were in the ascendancy for the rest of the game.
Schlingermann was called into action and pulled off the first of a trio of world class saves to deny a half volley from Cole after Sligo had failed to clear from a corner. Just after the half hour McEneff drove into the box on the left hand side and the Sligo keeper did well to save the initial effort. However the ball spun up to Schubert who nodded home from three yards.
After the break the home side took control of the game and could have had the contest wrapped up. Sensing goals, Shiels swapped Monaghan for Boyle, with Schubert dropping back to fill the right back spot. The home side were completely dominant as waves of attacks rolled forward towards the Sligo goal. A combination of last ditch tackles and another superb save, this time from a Curtis header kept the visitors in the game. Rory Patterson who had a 30 yard effort tipped round the post in the first half, also crashed the side netting with a powerful effort.
The narrow margins of football were shown in the second goal. City forced a corner and in clearing the danger, Sligo found themselves in a 3 v 3 break. The ball to Ayunga forced him wide and a poor first touch saw Cole dispossess him. Immediately City poured forward and after a series of sharp passes a terrific cross field ball found Curtis. The youngster controlled it on his chest and having being denied by Schlingermann, rounded the keepr and fired home to double the advantage.
The home side were now completely in control as Sligo heads dropped, and it was clear that their were more goals in the game. Ben Doherty surged forward down the left and in exchanging passes with Curtis he was bundled over by Callan-McFadden. McEneff stepped up and on his 22nd birthday converted to make it 3-0 to the home side. Curtis also had another effort brilliantly tipped round the post to deny him his second.
With the game won, Shiels withdrew McNamee and Curtis and replaced them with Holden and Daniels. Holden, who had impressed in the European adventure capped off an impressive team performance with a sublime finish, his first competitive goal for the club. The youngster picked the ball up from a Patterson lay off and jinking past the tiring Sligo defence, deftly beating Schlingerman to make it 4-0.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Dean Jarvis, Darren Cole, Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low; Barry McNamee (Rory Holden 78), Harry Monaghan (Nathan Boyle 45), Ronan Curtis (Joshua Daniels 81), Rory Patterson, Ben Doherty, Lukas Schubert.
Sligo Rovers: Micheál Schlingermann; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Regan Donelon, Mich Leahy, Kyle McFadden, Seamus Sharkey (Gary Armstrong 46), Daniels Kearns, Raffaelo Creataro, Gary Boylan, Rhys McCabe (Chris Kenny 78), Jonah Ayunga (Mickael Place 64).