Derry City 1 Rovers 0
******* Eircom League Premier Division *******
Dave Cassidy and Ian Ryan in action in Derry tonight - picture Copyright maidencityimages.com
The Hoops may have left the Brandywell empty handed but with a little more composure in front of goal would have claimed at least a point. It was ex-Hoop Pat McCourt who struck a shot just wide after only 2 minutes and Murphy had to be quick off his line in the 8th minute to deny McHugh. However in the 13th minute McCourt took a loose ball and ran across the Hoops area before shooting into the corner past Murphy.
Rovers responded well and Jennings palmed away a dangerous free-kick from O'Brien after 15 minutes but two minutes later Duffy found Myler in front of goal but he scuffed his shot wide of the post. McGlynn then forced Murphy into a save from close range before Myler and Cassidy had shots blocked by the Derry defence.
Purcell forced Jennings into an acrobatic save from a header in the 32nd minute. Purcell then linked with Duffy after 36 minutes but the Hoops number ten dragged his effort wide. Some good defending from Ferguson in the 44th minute cut out a dangerous cross and the final chance of the first half fell to Purcell but he failed to connect properly from Ryans through ball.
The second half was only five minutes old when Myler crossed for Ferguson to head towards goal but Jennings was alert to push his effort over the bar. Ryan and O'Halloran then clashed in midfield with both players receiving a yellow card but O'Halloran kicked out at Ryan and was lucky to stay on the pitch.
O'Halloran then saw his long range shot brilliantly tipped over by Murphy in the 54th minute. This was the home sides best spell of the game as Murphy then tipped over Omans header from the resultant corner and then a minute later he got down well to push away McHughs volley. Hynes then tried his luck from outside the box but again Murphy dealt with his effort. On the hour Kelly rose to crash a header off the Hoops post with Murphy beaten.
The Hoops hit back with Purcells snap shot from the edge of the area going straight to Jennings. Ryan then sent Purcell on a run wide on the left on 65 minutes and he beat Jennings to the ball but was unable to find a Hoops player from his cross.
Rovers should have drawn level in the 69th minute when a quick free-kick sent O'Brien in behind the Derry defence and he crossed low past Jennings but unfortunately Duffy and Cassidy got in each others way and the ball went harmlessly wide. Purcell couldn't connect with a long throw in on 76 minutes and Rowe sliced his shot wide from Lawrences fine cross just three minutes later.
Purcell stretched to shoot straight at Jennings under pressure from Hargan after 83 minutes and another good cross from Lawrence fell to Myler at the back post but neither he nor Rowe could get a shot on goal. Rovers last chance saw O'Briens free-kick late in the game fail to pick out a Hooped jersey in the packed area.
1 Barry Murphy