The Hoops disappointingly lost this evening against a very confident Derry side that took an early lead, then doubled their advantage with a controversial penalty before delivering the killer blow just after the break. Tommy Stewart scored a consolation goal in the last minute but a bad night for Rovers was compounded by an injury to Ronan Finn.
[GOAL 0:1 - 6th min.] The Candystripes started brightly and after 6 minutes Patterson turned Sullivan inside the area on the right and crossed for McLaughlin to head home from close range.
It took the Hoops ten minutes to get into the game and Pat Sullivan almost got Ciaran KIlduff inon goal but his first touch let him down and Doherty in the Derry goal was able to snuff out the danger. Good play on 13 minutes saw Dennehy and Twigg combine and the ball fell for Finn but his shot was blocked.
On 25 minutes a good defensive header from Sullivan fell to McNamee and his low cross back into the area needed a fine diving save from Jansson. Ronan Finn was foced off due to injury on 27 minutes after taking a knock in an earlier tackle. Shane O'Connor came into the midfield but swapped positions with Powell a few minutes later.
[GOAL 0:2 - 29th min.] It got worse for Rovers when Patterson got behind the defence and Jansson dived at his feet but the Derry forward went down under minimal contact and Linesman Douglas flagged for a foul. It was a harsh decision and Jansson received a booking as Patterson converted the spot-kick shooting in off the right-hand post.
In the absence of both Finn and Gary McCabe the Hoops found it difficult to create openings but in the 38th minute Sullivan did find Kilduff on the right-hand side of the box with a low ball but he was forced away from goal and shot wide.
[GOAL 0:3 - 46th min.] Rovers defensive frailities were again on show when barley a minute into the second-half Derry's Barry McNamee ran into space between both centre-halves to shoot low under Jansson and extend the visitors lead.
On 55 minutes Dennehy got down the left-hand side and crossed for Gary Twigg in a central position in the box but the Scotsman headed wide of the target. Five minutes later a Stephen Rice free-kick was headed on by Sives but Ken Oman missed his kick just in front of the six-yard box. Twigg tried a shot on the turn from 25 yards out on 63 minutes but his effort went just over the bar.
Rovers should have pulled a goal back on 65 minutes when Greene's short corner to Sullivan was crossed into the area only for Kilduff to glance his header wide of the target in front of goal. An O'Connor cross into the area after 72 minutes was punched away by Doherty while at the other end McLaughlin pounced on a stray pass to run into the box but he shot over the bar. Jansson then made a good save from Madden after he got behind the Hoops defence on the right.
[GOAL 1:3 - 90th min.] Substitute Tommy Stewart grabbed a fine consolation goal when he picked up the ball on the left and turned into a central position to find space for himself to coolly slot the ball past Doherty and into the bottom corner of the net.