Last-gasp goal succumbs Hoops to defeat in Derry
Jack Byrne formed part of Stephen Bradley's attacking line-up for Rovers against Derry City

Last-gasp goal succumbs Hoops to defeat in Derry

There was disappointment for champions Shamrock Rovers at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium last night as a Jamie McGonigle goal deep into stoppage-time saw them suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Derry City.

Comfortable victors over UCD on the opening weekend of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season, the Hoops looked set to come away with a point to show for their efforts after Dylan Watts had cancelled out a Will Patching penalty.

However, there was just enough time for McGonigle to produce a decisive score and while it is early days in their race for a third consecutive top-flight crown, this will nonetheless be viewed as a set-back in the Tallaght club.

Rovers boss Stephen Bradley picked an attacking line-up for this game with Daniel Mandroiu, Jack Byrne and Richie Towell all included along with centre-forward Rory Gaffney.

It was the latter who produced a fine stop out of Derry netminder Brian Maher on 18 minutes, but the visitors weren’t having it their own way for much of the opening period.

A block from Roberto Lopes – who began the year lining out for Cape Verde in the Africa Cup Of Nations – prevented McGonigle from finding the target as the Candystripes pressed for a breakthrough. Mandroiu almost did so at the opposite end, only for Maher to come to the home team’s rescue.

Although the sides remained scoreless at the break, there was just nine minutes gone in the second period when Derry took the lead.

Following a foul on the lively McGonigle, Patching comfortably fired the subsequent spot-kick beyond the reach of Alan Mannus.

Rovers came from behind to pick up several points in the 2021 Premier Division campaign, however, and looked set to repeat this trick once again.

With 73 minutes gone on the clock, Watts superbly curled a free-kick from just outside the penalty area into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Having earlier found themselves in a losing position, the prospect of a sharing of the spoils seemed agreeable for Rovers and their travelling supporters.

Yet there was to be a sting in the tail as McGonigle maintained his composure to hammer past Mannus in the 95th-minute.


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