League of Ireland: St Pat's Athletic 0-1 Derry City

Greg Bolger of St Patrick's Athletic in action against Derry's Aaron McEneff
Greg Bolger of St Patrick's Athletic in action against Derry's Aaron McEneff

Derry City's relegation concerns were eased as they won 1-0 at St Patrick's Athletic despite having Cillian Morrison sent off in the first half.

City took the lead in the 19th minute when Ciaran O'Connor was left free to head past keeper Brendan Clarke.

Morrison got his red card two minutes before the interval when a foul on Ger O'Brien brought him a second booking.

St Pat's got a penalty near the end but Conan Byrne blazed the spot-kick well over the bar.

The penalty had been awarded by referee Tomas Connolly for Ryan McBride's pull back on Morgan Langley.

The victory - a third in five matches - took Derry up from 10th to seventh in the table as Galway and Drogheda were beaten on Friday night.

Derry went into the game without Mark Timlin who sustained a hamstring injury in training on Thursday. Midfielders Philip Lowry and Ciaran O'Connor were also missing because of suspension.

However, Peter Hutton's men made the better start at Richmond Park and took the lead through O'Connor's header.

It was a fine move with Patrick McEleney running forward and playing out to Stephen Dooley on the right wing. The former Coleraine player sent over a good ball and O'Connor got away from the central defenders to head past Clarke from six yards.

The North West side almost went 2-0 up when McEleney's shot struck the post after some great individual skill.

Two minutes before the break City suffered a setback as Morrison became the third Derry player sent off in four matches.

Having earlier been booked for a foul on Morgan Langley, the Derry player got his marching orders for catching O'Brien. It was an eighth dismissal of the season for the Candystripes.

In the second half, Derry defender Aaron Barry saw a glancing header blocked after a corner.

At the other end, Derry keeper Gerard Doherty saved well from Langley who saw another effort go inches wide.

Then came the drama in the 86th minute when McBride conceded the penalty and striker Byrne blazed over from the spot.

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