Derry City’s nightmare start to their 2021 Premier Division campaign continued this evening thanks to a 2-1 home defeat to ten-man Waterford.
Oscar Brennan’s spot-kick was enough to separate the sides at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium – after the Blues had taken a lead through Shane Griffin’s free-kick.
Brennan would however be sent off ten minutes from time thanks to two bookings in the space of a minute – but Derry could not find an equaliser in his absence as the three points went to the RSC.
Waterford came into the game off the back of a disappointing start to the season that has yielded two successive defeats – while Derry City were headed into what was their first home league game of the season.
Following their limp display away to Longford, Declan Devine made a couple of changes for the hosts, with forward James Akintunde missing out and dropping to the bench.
Kevin Sheedy’s Waterford on the other hand opted to keep with the same side that was defeated at home to Sligo Rovers last time out.
Neither side particularly inspired in the early stages of the game – with the first shot on goal of the game coming near the 20 minute mark.
Midfielder Ciaron Harkin saw his long-range effort sting the hands of Brian Murphy in the Blues goal.
But Murphy was never in danger of coughing up an opener to the Candystripes – despite the shot coming out of the blue.
While Derry looked in control of the game, their lack of attacking threat proved to come to their detriment on the half hour mark as Waterford took the lead.
Shane Griffin’s free-kick left Nathan Gartside rooted to his spot from just outside the penalty area as Sheedy’s new-look side took the lead.
And as Waterford impressed towards the latter stages of the opening period, they were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time.
Dundalk loanee Will Patching’s inch-perfect free-kick was delivered into the six-yard box, where Cameron McJannet was on hand to poke home.
McJannet’s equaliser was perhaps harsh on visitors who were looking more assured as the half wore on – but it mattered little as Devine’s charges nicked a morale-boosting goal.
With the game slowly bubbling into life, the early exchanges of the second period produced two good openings – and an all important goal for the visitors.
Prince Mutswunguma went close on the turn after few seconds elapsed – but Gartside was able to deal with the danger easily.
New Derry recruit Will Fitzgerald then went close himself, but his header from a McJannet cross just went wide.
But Waterford regained the lead in the 50th minute thanks to an Oscar Brennan rebound from his own penalty-kick.
The former Shelbourne midfielder missed his initially effort after James Waite was taken down by Gartside in the Derry goal.
Brennan’s limp effort was saved by the Northern Irish international – but the Dubliner was on hand to score the rebound and save face.
Derry would then respond – and they went close twice in the space of 10 second-half minutes.
Firstly, Joe Thomson saw his effort saved by the impressive Murphy, before Patching then blazed over the bar after a drag-back from Jack Malone fell into his path.
The Candystripes continued to force the issue as the half wore on, with Malone’s crosses at the forefront of some good play from the hosts.
Patching also went close again in the final quarter of the game, but he could not get enough power on his effort to trouble Murphy.
The pressure cranked up on Waterford in the final ten minutes of the game again – as Brennan was dismissed for two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.
Derry would then hit the crossbar through defender Danny Lupano – who directed his header off the bar from a Patching free-kick.
But that was the best that Derry could muster up towards the latter stages of the game – as their wait for a point continues in the Premier Division this season.
Derry City: Nathan Gartside; Danny Lupano, Daniel Lafferty, Cameron McJannet, Eoin Toal; Ciaron Harkin, William Fitzgerald (James Akintunde 58), Jack Malone, Will Patching, Joe Thomson (Caolan McLaughlin 84); David Parkhouse.
Subs not used: Jack Lemoignan, Michael Glynn, Patrick Ferry, Ronan Boyce, Brendan Barr, Mark McChrystal, Mark McFadden.
Booked: Cameron McJannet (24), Nathan Gartside (50), Ciaron Harkin (85), David Parkhouse (90).
Waterford: Brian Murphy; Kyle Ferguson, Cameron Evans, Oscar Brennan, Darragh Power; Jamie Mascoll, Shane Griffin (Tunmise Sobowale 84), Prince Mutswunguma (Eric Molloy 60), Adam O'Reilly, James Waite; Cian Kavanagh (Daryl Murphy 55).
Subs not used: Katlego Mashigo, Paul Martin, Matthew Connor, Josh Collins, Niall O'Keeffe, Jack Stafford.
Booked: Oscar Brennan (79) ,Oscar Brennan (80) Tunmise Sobowale (86).
Sent off: Oscar Brennan (80).
Referee: Robert Harvey
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Oscar Brennan (Waterford).