Derry City gained their first three points since April as they comfortably dispatched Longford Town 3-0 at the Brandywell on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match Mark Timlin began the game in his usual left-wing position, but when he was switched to an accompanying striker role midway through the first-half by Derry boss Peter Hutton, the young winger flourished as his brace alongside an early own goal from Pat Sullivan was enough for the Candystripes to take all three points.
Derry began the game as they meant to go on and had the first chance of the contest after just three minutes. Stephen Dooley sprung down the right flank before playing a perfectly weighted pass across the box to Barry McNamee but the Ramelton native couldn’t beat Paul Hunt.
However, just six minutes later the visiting 'keeper was beaten by a fellow teammate. Rob Cornwall advanced into the Longford penalty area before cutting a low cross across the box. The ball was subsequently flicked on towards the back post by Patrick McEleney which Pat Sullivan was unfortunate enough to turn into his own net.
And things went from bad to worse for Tony Cousins' men just ten minutes later when Hunt was beaten again. Timlin and Dooley in particular combined well down the right side, with the latter then working it into the path of McEleney in the middle of pitch who in turn returned the ball to the aforementioned Timlin – and the former Ipswich Town man unleashed a wonderful shot from 25 yards which left the 'keeper helpless to double the home side's lead.
The game lulled until just before the half-time break when Derry sprung into life again. It was Dooley once more who was the architect, beating his man before firing a low ball into the area. This evaded everyone, reaching McNamee on the far side who lofted the ball back across the box towards Dooley, but the winger could only fire over.
Derry began the second-half as they ended the first, on the front foot, though real goalscoring opportunities were scarce for the hosts. However, Derry made sure of the win in the 75th minute when Timlin netted his second of the night. Winger-turned-striker, the 20 year old broke through the Longford defence before setting himself and firing home past Hunt.
Longford battled manfully through the final ten minutes in search of a consolation and came close in the 88th minute. David O’Sullivan met the initial cross but Ger Dohety dived low to deny the striker, parrying the ball into the path of Conor Powell. The Town full-back looked certain to score but Dean Jarvis put his body on the line to block the shot and preserve the cleansheet.
That wrapped up an impressive showing from the Candystripes as they registered their first league win in 13 matches in comfortable fashion.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Rob Cornwall, Ryan McBride, Dean Jarvis; Stephen Dooley (Ronan Curtis, 89), Barry McNamee, Conor McCormack, Philip Lowry, Mark Timlin (Mark Quigley, 89); Patrick McEleney (Cillian Morrison, 79).
Subs not used: Shaun Patton, Seamus Sharkey, Josh Daniels, Ryan Curran.
Booked: Cillian Morrison (89).
Longford Town: Paul Hunt; Jamie Mulhall, Pat Sullivan, Conor Powell, Martin Deady; Kaleem Simon (Lorcan Shannon, 71), Mark Salmon, Rhys Gorman (Don Cowan, 60), Stephen Rice, Jack Doherty (David O’Sullivan, HT); Gary Shaw.
Subs not used: Keith Byrne, Paul Skinner.
Booked: Powell (55).
Referee: David McKeon.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Mark Timlin.