League of Ireland Premier: Derry City earn vital win over Longford
Derry City earned their first win in 13 League of Ireland games as two Mark Timlin goals helped them clinch an impressive 3-0 win over Longford Town.
The win moved Peter Hutton's side three points above Sligo Rovers who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot.
Derry took the lead on nine minutes as Longford defender Rhys Gorman turned a Stephen Dooley cross into his own net.
Timlin notched Derry's second goal from a spectacular 25-yard shot on 20 and then completed the scoring on 77.
The victory gave Derry their first league win since the 2-0 success in Limerick on 20 April.
After conceding four goals in nine disastrous minutes against Bohemians last weekend, Derry manager Hutton signed Conor McCormack from St Patrick's Athletic and the holding midfielder went on to produce a fine debut.
Perhaps an even bigger contributory factor to Derry's improvement was the return of Paul Hegarty to the Derry dugout after his appointment as Hutton's assistant in midweek.
Hegarty was a vocal presence on the sidelines throughout the contest as Derry played with a verve and fluency that belied their recent struggles.
Barry McNamee should have put the Candystripes ahead as early as the second minute but Longford keeper Paul Hunt saved the Derry man's weak shot after great work by Dooley.
Dooley was again involved in Derry's opening goal seven minutes later as Rob Cornwall's cross was diverted into his own net by the unlucky Gorman.
With Timlin, Shane McEleney and Dooley all producing some delightful touches, Derry continued to dominate and Ryan McBride headed a great chance wide on 20 minutes.
However, Derry did double their lead five minutes later as double goal-scorer from last week, Timlin again demonstrated his ability to net from long range as he fired in a glorious strike from 25 yards.
Dooley should have extended Derry's lead four minutes before the break as he side-footed wide with only Hunt to beat.
Not surprisingly, Derry's football was not quite as expansive in the third quarter as Gary Shaw and Don Cowan missed half chances for the visitors.
However, Derry continued to create the better chances with Dooley missing his second glorious opportunity on 70 as he allowed Hunt to save his weak shot.
But Derry's third goal did arrive 13 minutes from time as McNamee's perfectly-weighted pass set up a charging Timlin to score his second goal of the night.