Declan Devine was given the perfect start on his return as Derry City manager with a 3-0 victory over UCD at Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
His young talented side, who took until David Parkhouse’s opening goal to really get into the game, were then always on top and in truth should have won by a bigger margin.
The Students went close as early as the third minute but Timmy Molloy’s was denied after a goalmouth scramble, following good play by Neil Farrugia, who had initially won possession from Darren Cole.After somewhat of a shaky start the home side got to grips of things and took the lead on 21 minutes as Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe’s intelligent flick found Ciaron Harkin and the midfielder’s cut-back was side footed home by striker David Parkhouse.
Minutes later Parkhouse went close to adding a second as Patrick McClean’s left wing cross found the big front man, but his looping header flashed just wide.
The home side were inches away from adding a second on 52 minutes as left-back McClean burst into the UCD box, but his left footed strike was saved by a diving Kearns and Parkhouse’s follow up header was also kept out by Kearns.
To their credit the Students kept going forward and went close to equalising minutes later but Conor Davis’ shot flashed just wide.
Derry did add a second on 58 minutes in somewhat fortunate circumstances as Josh Collins’ sliced the ball into his own net.
The centre-back was unfortunate as they was attempting to clear Eoghan Stokes’ 40 yards strike, after keeper Kearns’ clearance had fallen to the ex-Bohs man just inside the UCD half.
A contrasting night for the Derry City and UCD camps pic.twitter.com/QOBvWpgG9k— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) February 15, 2019
The lively Ogedi-Uzokwe had two chances to score on his debut, but on both occasions his shot was blocked by Dan Tobin, the second effort in particularly was bravely blocked by the UCD defender.
Derry did add a third on 66 minutes as the impressive Harkin picked out Collins’ misplaced pass before feeding Stokes, who with a help of deflection turned the ball home.In the closing stages another slick passing move by the home side ended with Greg Sloggett’s right wing cross finding substitute Aidy Delap, but the winger’s shot was saved by Kearns.
Then deep into stoppage time Delap was denied again by Kearns, this time the winger shot was turned around the post by the UCD net-minder.
Derry City: Cherrie, Kerr, Toal, Cole, McClean; Sloggett, Harkin, McNamee; Stokes (McDonagh 72), Parkhouse, Ogedi-Uzokwe.
UCD: Kearns, Tobin, Scales, Collins, Farrugia, O’Neill, Molloy, McClelland, O’Farrell (Coffey 72), Davis (Mahdy 80), Dignam.
Referee: Mr John McLoughlin (Roscommon).