Second-half strikes from David Parkhouse and Ciaron Harkin sealed Derry City’s comfortable win over Sligo Rovers.
The Brandywell men had skipper Barry McNamee to thank for the win, as the talented midfielder drove the home side onto a much improved second half display.
Derry gave a full debut to goalkeeper Nathan Gartside, who had to replace the injury Peter Cherrie, while Eoghan Stokes came in for Conor McDermott, who also missed out completely with a groin problem.
As for Sligo boss Liam Buckley, he made five changes to his side which lost to Shamrock Rovers last time out.
It was Derry who went close on 10 minutes but Eoghan Stokes’ left footed strike, which had Rovers keeper Mitchell Beeney beaten, hit the side netting.
Gartside was called into action a minute later as at full stretch he brilliantly tipped over Liam Kerrigan’s super curling 20 yard effort.
Just after the mid-way point of the half Beeney had to make a smart save, to keep out Junior’s 25 yard shot, after Stokes’ clever flick set-up the City winger.
Early in the second half Junior went close but his tame header from Barry McNamee’s left wing cross, never really troubled Beeney and the Rovers keeper easily gathered.
On 57 minutes Beeney dived low to his left to keep out McNamee’s shot on the turn and Stokes’ follow-up strike came back off the post.
Derry deservedly took the lead two minutes later as that McNamee picked up a the loose ball, before playing in Parkhouse, who took a touch and made no mistake drilling the ball low into Beeney’s bottom left hand corner.
Liam Buckley’s men side missed a golden chance to level things on 76 minutes as substitute John Russell, cut the ball back from the left to find Ronan Coughlan, but the striker side footed wide from close range.
On 85 minutes Russell was inches away from equalising but his 20 yard strike whistled just past Gartside’s right hand post.
Deep into stoppage time and as the visitors were pushing forward for an equaliser they were caught on the break with City substitute Gianni Seraf’s pass finding Harkin, who blasted home from the right hand side of the box.
Derry City: Gartside, Cole, Toal, Gilchrist, Coll; Sloggett, Harkin, McNamee (Kerr 93); Junior, Parkhouse (Bruna 88), Stokes (Seraf 73).
Sligo Rovers: Beeney, Donelon, Warde (Russell 73), Callan-McFadden, Dunleavy, Coughlan, Fordyce, Twardek (Parkes 81), Keaney, Kerrigan (Mahon 81), Leverock.