Boos rang out as Derry City suffered their third defeat of the season in losing 1-0 to title-chasing Shamrock Rovers.

City struggled throughout the 90 minutes and couldn't recover from Gary McCabe's first half thunderbolt.

The Candystripes went close to taking the lead on five minutes when youngster Tony McNamee played an inch-perfect pass into Enda Curran, but the striker’s shot fizzed wide.

Rovers created a good chance on 12 minutes, but after breaking the offside trap, Karl Sheppard his a drive that had Gerard Doherty diving at full stretch but which whistled just past the City goalkeeper’s right hand post.

The visitors did take the lead just after the half-hour mark in terrific style, after City lost possession on the half-way line and the alert McCabe picked the ball up before firing low past Doherty into the net-minder’s bottom left-hand corner.

City missed a glorious chance to level things minutes later, but Barry McNamee somehow side-footed wide from 12 yards, after Curran’s cut-back had picked out the unmarked midfielder.

Right on the stroke of half-time Rovers nearly added a second when they had two efforts cleared off the line by Barry Molloy, the midfielder initially booted clear Sheppard’s shot before blocking McCabe’s follow-up.

Rovers missed a chance to add a second on 59 minutes when a long ball caught out Molloy, but after breaking clear Sheppard fell to the ground looking for a foul just outside the box; referee Tomas Connolly waved play on.

On 80 minutes a left wing in-swinging corner from Cormac Burke found Ryan McBride, but the defender’s header looped over Murphy’s bar.

Minutes later Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters showed good neat skill to get away from Molloy, but his left footed strike from the right hand side of the box, curled just over Doherty’s bar.

Derry City: Doherty, Collins, Byrne, McBride, Barry; Burke, Molloy, T McNamee, B McNamee (Stewart 72); E Curran (Duffy 65), Boyle (R Curran 77).

Shamrock Rovers: Murphy, Madden, Kenna, McGuinness, Byrne; McCabe, Robinson, McPhail (Brenann 80), Waters; Sheppard, Kilduff.

Referee: Tomas Connolly (Dublin).