By Garry Ferry
Drogheda United’s stay in the Premier Division finally came to an end as they were comfortably beaten by Derry City at Maginn Park.
The game was only three minutes old when Derry were gifted the lead thanks to a shocking attempt at a back pass from Drogheda defender Conor Kane put Conor McDermott in on goal.
He duly rounded goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness before rolling the ball into the empty net for his second goal of the season.
It just got better for Derry from there and ten minutes later they were two goals to the good.
Again Patterson was involved as he found McDermott in space on the right wing and the full back powered towards the penalty area before crossing low to Ronan Curtis who tapped in his eighth goal of the season.
Drogheda were more of a threat in the second half, thanks in main to Adam Wixted.
The right winger was full of trickery and his team mates brought him into the game as often as they could, the youngster giving Ben Doherty a difficult time as Drogheda won a series of corners in the early stages of the second half.
Derry were labouring in their attempts to get the third and killer goal but they came close midway through the second period when Ben Doherty set up a shooting chance for Ronan Curtis, but the shot went into the side netting without testing McGuinness.
Derry barely threatened for long stages of the second half but with ten minutes remaining they almost put the seal on a largely comfortable victory as Nicky Low’s free kick found Harry Monaghan unmarked but his downwards header was kept out at close range by McGuinness.
Mark Doyle pulled a goal back in added time but it was too little too late for Drogheda.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Conor McDermott (Lukas Schubert 45’), Dean Jarvis, Nicky Low, Barry McNamee, Harry Monaghan, Ronan Curtis, Rory Patterson, Darren Cole, Ben Doherty, Aaron Barry.
Drogheda: Stephen McGuinness, Colm Deasy (Mark Doyle 78’), Lloyd Buckley, Sean Brennan, Adam Wixted, Conor Kane, Stephen Elliott (Ryan Masterson 85’), Richie Purdy, Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy (Jack Bayly 73’), Shane Elworthy.
Referee: John McLoughlin.