Two first half goals from Conor Tourish against his former club earned Derry City a 2-0 victory in an entertaining Airtricity Under-19 League Northern Section encounter at a drenched Leckview Park on Saturday afternoon.
Letterkenny Rovers 0
Derry City 2
Indeed, the Letterkenny man had an ideal opportunity to complete his hat-trick but saw his well struck penalty saved by Jason Quinn just before the break.
For Rovers’ part, this was a vastly improved performance from their 4-0 drubbing in Dundalk in their opening match but it still took Anthony Gorman’s men until the second half before they really stepped it up a gear.
When they did, the home side were desperately unlucky not to get a goal for their efforts – Jack Blake was the closest with an effort which crashed off the underside of the crossbar – but they generally misfired in front of goal and otherwise could have made a real contest of it.
This was the Candystripes’ first outing of the season and they will be expected to challenge with Dundalk in the promotion stakes.
The visitors broke the deadlock just before the half hour mark when Ronan Curtis picked up possession on the left flank before slipping the ball through to Tourish and from an acute angle he steer his effort beyond Quinn.
Rovers had battled gamely up to that point with new signing Eunan Doherty providing a few teasing deliveries into the box which the home side failed to capitalise upon.
And the task in hand increased significantly when Tourish drilled in a second goal with the aid of a deflection on 35 minutes following a corner kick.
The match was threatening to run away from Rovers when Kieran Doherty handled the ball inside the box but Tourish saw his spot kick saved by Quinn and his chances of a first half hat-trick evaporate.
Gorman’s charges gave a much improved performance in the second half. Jason Doherty and substitute Michael Miller both screwed efforts narrowly wide from decent positions and Ryan McCloskey had another chance after Blake’s effort hit the woodwork.
Derry had their moments too in the second half with Quinn in fine form producing some sharp saves.
Next Saturday, Rovers host Finn Harps at Leckview Park still searching for their first points of the season.
Letterkenny Rovers: Jason Quinn, Kieran Doherty (Michael Miller on 46 mins), Noah Mailey, Liam Blaney, Shane Porter, Jack Blake, Aaron Scanlon, Kevin McGrath, Jason Doherty, Eunan Doherty, Ryan McCloskey.
Derry City: Kevin McLaughlin, Ryan Harkin, Dylan McCallion, Eoin Barrett, Conor Barr, Conal Kelly, Conor Tourish, Paul Ramsey, George Kelly, Jordan Toland (Tomas McCrossan on 60 mins), Ronan Curtis.
Referee – Con McLaughlin