They All-Ireland Fleadh may be in full flow in the Maiden City, but Derry City certainly weren’t, as another flat display meant Drogheda United eased to a 2-0 victory.
Brennan brothers Gavin and Ryan were the match winners, and in truth the County Louth men were fully deserved winners.
The Candystripes were under the cosh for most of the game and this result could put a big dent in their European hopes.
Mick Cooke’s side had a super opportunity to take the lead on 15 minutes but Gavin Brennan headed over from close range, after Cathal Brady’s teasing right wing centre had picked him out.
Soon after Declan O’Brien, who has netted four times already this season against City, got in behind the home side’s defence, but after bearing down on goal his drive from a tight angle was kept out by Gerard Doherty.
The Brandywell men had a half chance on 35 minutes but Ruaidhri Higgins blasted high over the bar, after Rory Patterson’s initial shot was blocked.
The deadlock was broken on 38 minutes after more uncertainty in the City penalty box saw Doherty keep out O’Brien’s close range effort, but the alert Gavin Brennan out-jumped Simon Madden, to head home into the unguarded.
Drogs doubled their advantage from the penalty spot on 52 minutes when Shane McEleney barged into the back of Ryan Brennan inside the box, referee Alan Kelly had no hesitation to point to the spot and Brennan dusted himself down before drilling the resulting penalty into the net.
City made a double change just before hour mark with Barry Molloy and Barry McNamee coming on for Houston and Ruaidhri Higgins.
Soon after Molloy was in the thick of things when his pass set-up Michael Duffy, but the young striker saw his shot while under pressure from Derek Prendergast, kept out by the out-rushing Michael Schlingermann.
Right at the death Drogheda went close to adding a third but Michael Daly’s powerful long range effort was saved by Doherty.
Derry City: Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, McBride, Osbourne; Kavanagh, Houston (Molloy 56), Higgins (McNamee 56), P McEleney, Duffy (Griffin 81); Patterson.
Drogheda United: Schlingermann, Hand, Prendergast, Daly, Byrne; Brady, O’Conor, R Brennan, G Brenna, Cassidy, O’Brien (Hynes 86).
Referee: Alan Kelly (Cork).