Matthew Lingard at Tallaght Stadium
Shamrock Rovers continued their indifferent start to the 2017 season with a disappointing defeat to Derry City at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.
Derry City centre-half Ryan McBride scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half when he fired home what proved to be the winner from eight yards.
Disappointingly for Rovers, this defeat also came after Lukas Schubert was sent off after picking up a second yellow card for dissent 20 minutes from the end.
Derry began the game at a high tempo, forcing Rovers to make poor decisions leading to a series of Derry chances.
Rovers however settled down as the first half progressed and predictably dominated possession but struggled to make inroads.
Decent passing possession inevitably led to little goal scoring opportunities. The final third really being Rovers downfall.
Derry, for their little possession, were doing more to unsettle the Rovers rearguard, and this was very disappointing from a Rovers point of view.
Shortly before half-time, Monaghan should have headed Derry in front from Nicky Low’s cross, but the midfielder glanced his opportunity past the post.
The second half continued in the same pattern as the first, with Rovers controlling the football while Derry sat back and sought to counter.
It was a surge from forward from Aaron McEneff that created the only goal of the game as he took Lukas Schubert’s angled pass in the right channel and forced Webster to concede the corner.
From the resulting corner, Rovers failed to deal defensively with it and the ball came to Derry captain McBride, who shot past Tomer Chencinski.
Schubert four minutes later however was red carded for a second yellow card and this gave Rovers some hope of a comeback.
The Hoops introduced James Doona for David McAllister to add fresh energy in midfield as they sought to break down the ten men Derry had stationed behind the ball.
However, in continuation of the pattern of the game, Stephen Bradley’s side lacked the guile to create any meaningful opportunities and finally lost the game 0-1.
This defeat is Rovers second of the season and shows at present the realistic situation for the Tallaght side, being able to beat off the sides at the bottom of the table, but failing to compete with the Dundalk’s and Derry’s of this world.
From a defensive point of view, Rovers look far superior to what they have been in recent seasons but are struggling in the final third. Without a recognised striker in the side, Rovers will continue to struggle against the top sides.
Next up for Rovers is a Monday night trip to Galway United in what is now a very important fixture for Stephen Bradley’s side.