Kavanagh keeps Derry City’s Premier Division title hopes alive
St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Derry City 1
Cian Kavanagh hammered home a 70th-minute winner against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park last night to keep Derry City’s Premier Division title hopes alive.
Plucked from the bench in the second half, Kavanagh opened his club account in spectacular fashion to leave the Candystripes just two points adrift of defending champions Shamrock Rovers — albeit with a game more played.
Pat’s looked set to take the lead in the 16th-minute, only for Derry netminder Brian Maher (fresh from his exploits with the Republic of Ireland U21s) to pull off a dramatic close-range save from Harry Brockbank.
Saints custodian Daniel Rogers subsequently tipped a Will Patching set-piece around the post, but even though Derry were playing the more enterprising football, the hosts were on level terms at the interval.
With the deadlock still unbroken heading into the final-quarter, Ruaidhri Higgins sought to inject fresh life into the Derry challenge by adding Joe Thomson and Kavanagh to the mix.
This proved to be a stroke of genius from the Candystripes boss as — with their first involvements of the game — Thomson headed the ball into Kavanagh’s path and the former Waterford attacker unleashed an unstoppable strike from a right-hand angle into the bottom left-hand corner.
Yet the travelling Derry faithful breathed a sigh of relief when Pat’s midfielder Chris Forrester rattled the frame of the woodwork just two minutes later. Forrester and Derry substitute Ryan Graydon were both dismissed in an ill-tempered finale, but Derry ultimately held firm for their 17th league win of 2022.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Rogers; Brockbank (King, 72 mins), Redmond, Grivosti; Cotter, O’Reilly, Forrester, Lennon, Curtis; Atakayi (M Doyle, 58 mins), E Doyle (Owolabi, 79 mins).
DERRY CITY: Maher; Boyce, Connolly, McJannet, Coll; P McEleney (Graydon, 46 mins), Diallo (Thomson, 68 mins), Dummigan, Duffy; Patching (Lafferty, 86 mins); McGonigle (C Kavanagh, 68 mins).
Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).