League Report: Derry City 3 - 0 Waterford

Pat Hoban celebrates with his teammate

Pat Hoban celebrates with his teammate Credit: John-Paul McGinley (ETPhotos)

Pat Hoban was Derry City's hat-trick hero as he extended his superb scoring spree to six goals in five league games, continuing Derry City’s unbeaten start as they defeated Waterford at the Brandywell.

Hoban, an off-season star signing from Dundalk, netted twice in the first half’s closing stages, opening the scoring in the fortieth minute from Michael Duffy’s pullback. With the last kick of the half, Hoban bagged his brace with a sublime overhead kick that sent the Brandywell stadium into delirium.

He completed his hat-trick early in the second half, scoring from the penalty spot after Waterford’s Darragh Leahy was sent off for pulling down a marauding Paul McMullan.

From Monday’s outings, both managers opted for a sole change apiece. Derry saw winger Daniel Kelly make his second start, replacing defender Shane McEleney. Waterford brought in Harvey Macadam in place of Rowan McDonald.

Although Derry had scored two goals on three of four occasions so far this season, slow starts had been a recurring theme for the Candystripes, neither scoring nor conceding across all four first halves.

Against a confident, high-pressing Waterford, it was Derry who had the best early chance, with Kelly dragging a shot off target from inside the area.

In a meeting of two in-form forwards, Hoban and Padraig Amond respectively, neither striker had a clear-cut chance until the former pounced forty minutes in.

McMullan’s ingenuity instigated the opener. The Scot took a free kick quickly to winger Duffy, entering the left side of the box.

Once there, Duffy evaded the attentions of Waterford debutant Joseph Forde, introduced midway through the half due to a Darragh Power injury, cutting the ball back to the six-yard box. Hoban reacted first, instinctively poking it past Sargeant from close range to end Derry’s streak of scoreless first halves.

Before the break, Derry doubled their advantage. In the fourth minute of injury time, Duffy caused problems down the left again, his wicked cross uncertainly hoicked at by Grant Horton.

His clearance lacked purchase and sat up beautifully for Hoban, inside the box, who executed a sublime bicycle kick into the top left corner, leaving the home faithful cheering at the interval. Rather like the bus adage, following a first-half goals drought, two came along at once for Derry!

Eight minutes into the second half, and the hosts went further ahead. Captain Cameron McJannet aimed a long diagonal up to McMullan’s path from the halfway line.

Kacper Radkowski, on the edge of the box, misjudged the ball’s flight, letting it bounce. McMullan scampered onto it, haring in on goal until a crude challenge from Darragh Leahy ended his run.

Referee Paul Norton immediately pointed to the spot before showing Leahy a red card as The Blues went down to ten men. Hoban (who else?) stepped up to the spot-kick, finding the bottom right corner with ease as Waterford goalkeeper Sam Sargeant guessed the wrong way.

Jordan McEneff whisked an effort narrowly wide before Ruaidhri Higgins took the opportunity to rest Duffy, the winger replaced by in-form Danny Mullen in Derry’s first change.

With Waterford’s front three getting scant service, Derry controlled the pace, setting the game’s tempo against the ten men. McMullan, especially, was a bustling, lively presence, sending a left-footer snaking just past the post after fine jinking footwork from him set up the chance.

When Amond did see the ball at the other end for Waterford, he nudged an alert pass into his captain, Barry Baggley’s run. Baggley, though, dragged a poor shot off target from twenty yards in a rare attack by the blue shirts.

Substitute Romeo Akachukwu threatened instantly after coming on, driving down the right wing and flashing a dangerous ball right across the penalty box.

In the dying embers, Kelly surged forward on the right as he looked to add a fourth, but Horton ushered the ball out of play in the last meaningful attack.

With key midfielder Patrick McEleney returning to the squad as an unused substitute, Derry departed having enjoyed a very satisfying all-round night.

Shelbourne’s late match-winning strikes away at Bohemians meant that Derry couldn’t end the night top of the table but cemented themselves in second place, now four ahead of third-placed Waterford and trailing Shels by only two points after the first five games.

These teams are both on the road next Friday night as Derry travel to Dalymount Park to face Bohemians. Waterford are away at Oriel Park playing Dundalk at the same time.

Derry City: Brian Maher; Ronan Boyce, Mark Connolly (Shane McEleney 59), Cameron McJannet ©, Ben Doherty, Jordan McEneff, Adam O’Reilly (Sam Todd 68), Daniel Kelly, Paul McMullan, Michael Duffy (Danny Mullen 54), Pat Hoban.

Subs not used: Tadgh Ryan (gk), Ciaran Coll, Patrick McEleney, Tiernan McGinty, Luke O'Donnell, Sean Patton.

Waterford: Sam Sargeant; Darragh Power (Joseph Forde 27), Ryan Burke, Grant Horton, Barry Baggley ©, Darragh Leahy, Kacper Radkowski (Robert McCourt 57), Harvey Macadam (Romeo Akachukwu 81), Connor Parsons (Ben McCormack 81), Padraig Amond, Maleace Asamoah (Rowan McDonald 57). 

Subs not used: Matthew Connor (gk), Niall O’Keefe, Gbemi Arubi, Dean McMenamy.  

Booked: Harvey Macadam (43).

Sent Off: Darragh Leahy (51).

Referee: Paul Norton.

Attendance: 3,133.

extratime.com Player of the Match: Pat Hoban (Derry City).