Friday 7th September 2007, 10:03 pm
7th September 2007
Derry City 1
Billy Gibson 66(og)
St. Patrick's Athletic 0
Referee : Paul Tuite
Live on TG4
A freak own-goal from Billy Gibson gave Derry City all three points as they beat Saint Patrick's Athletic 1-0 at the Brandywell tonight in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland.
Both sides had early sight of goal but Michael Keane and Mark Farren dragged shots wide of the target at both ends. Kevin Deery also scuffed a volley wide in the early going but after that, goal chances were sporadic.
Neither side really controlled possession with very little spark of creativity on show from either side - although the absence through injury of Paddy McCourt was a major factor in Derry's flat showing.
Alan Kirby saw his shot deflect behind after he fired away a shot after a dangerous run and saw the ball ricochet off a couple of legs before drifting out for a corner midway through the first half.
Pat Jennings had to be alert from the resulting corner kick and saved as Josepn Ndo's corner came off the head of Peter Hutton. Mark Quigley chipped the loose ball over after a brief scramble in the penalty area as Derry attempted to clear.
Derry pushed out a little in response and Ken Oman had a header saved from Killian Brennan's corner kick. The big defender from Dublin would threaten again before the break in similar circumstances but only found the side netting.
Kevin Deery again looked dangerous before half-time but again there was no end product as he missed the target under pressure.
After the break, Ndo drifted back into the play but his attempt at a spectacular volley was no-where near Jennings' goal. It was a similar story at the other end when Kevin McHugh just couldn't get around Brennan's cross to the back post, missing the target from an awkward angle.
The only goal of the game came on 66 minutes when an innocuous looking long ball from the Derry defence drifted towards the Saints penalty area. However, Gibson didn't look around him and blindly headed back towards goal. Goalkeeper Barry Ryan though was already well advanced off his line and as Ryan chased back, the ball trickled agonizingly over the line for what proved to be the decider in a game of little quality.
Despite throwing on attackers Gary O'Neill, Ryan Guy and Glen Fitzpatrick St Pats never went that close to over-working Jennings.
Oman headed away a dangerous drilled cross into the box while Fitzpatrick headed across goal and wide. Mark Quigley also failed to hit the target with a shot of his own as time fizzled out.
The win sees Derry improve their chances of climbing into the top half of the table while the Saints poor run - which has now seen them collect just six points from their last seven games - could see their battle for second switch to a battle for third.
Derry City : Jennings, McCallion, Brennan, Hutton, Oman, Deery (Hargan 79), Martyn, Molloy, Higgins, McHugh (McGlynn 85), Farren.
St. Patrick's Athletic : Ryan, Brennan, Frost, Rogers, Paisley, Gibson, Kirby (Fitzpatrick 81), Ndo, Keane (Guy 70), Barker (O'Neill 69), Quigley.