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Saturday 19 July, Away - Brandywell Stadium, 7.30 pm
DESPITE the forced resignation of manager, Kevin Mahon, just before kick off, Derry City overcame TNS thanks to an early penalty from veteran striker Liam Coyle (pictured).
Saints fielded a full strength side but, with the Eircom League currently in season, the difference in fitness between the two teams soon began to show.
Liam Coyle settled the match from the penalty spotIndeed, the game was over before it really began with veteran striker Liam Coyle putting the home side ahead inside the first five minutes from the penalty spot, an early blow from which Saints failed to recover.
Beckett was pulled down by Jimmy Aggrey for a stonewall penalty and Coyle sent Doherty the wrong way to make it one-nil.
Saints only showed their ability in snatches as they struggled to match the sharpness of the home side, who currently languish next to bottom of the Irish league.
Brabin was booked in the 21st minute for a bad foul on Beckett and aggressive tackling was a feature of Saints' play throughout the evening, with more players lucky not to be added to the referee's notebook.
TNS failed to mount a serious attack in the first period, mostly falling foul of Derry offside play. However they showed their teeth from a number of set pieces.
Ruscoe forced Gough to push the ball away well from a free kick and from the resultant corner, Holmes had his effort scrambled clear. Friars squandered a number of chances for Derry when other players were in better positions.
A cutback from Beckett found McGlynn clear in the box but he stubbed his shot when he should have doubled the lead. Darren McCready scampered onto a deep cross but fired a shot against the post just at the end of the first half.
Saints made a number of substitutions at the break and the replacements showed a willingness to make their mark. Perry and Toner both found themselves clear and it was only great work by Derry 'keeper Gough that denied them an equaliser.
The second half petered out into a forgettable affair, both sides showing nice touches but with no real penetration. Derry appeared content to play within themselves and not risk injury with crucial games to come, while Saints began to show their lack of match fitness.
Substitute Michael Wilde had a chance to level it, but again Gough was down smartly to deny him while Tommy McCallion's shots from distance were the height of Derry's attacking ambitions.
Goalscorer: Coyle, pen (5).
Saints travel to Ellesmere Port this Tuesday (22 July) to play last season's FA Cup giant-killers, Vauxhall Motors (Rivacre Park, 7.30pm).
20 July 2021
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