League of Ireland: Derry City 4-0 Drogheda United

Aaron McEneff (4) with Ronan Curtis, who scored his first goal of the season
Aaron McEneff (4) with Ronan Curtis, who scored his first goal of the season

Derry City have continued their unbeaten start to the season after a second-half hat-trick from Barry McNamee earned a fourth win in a row.

The midfielder scored three times in an eight minute spell to help his side to a 4-0 win over Drogheda United.

Ronan Curtis got the opener for the Candystripes as they moved back to within three points of Cork City.

After a bright start to the season, Drogheda have now suffered three consecutive defeats.

Despite their impressive 3-1 win over champions Dundalk in their last outing, Derry manager Kenny Shiels made three changes to his side with Lukas Schubert returning from suspension while Mark Timlin and Josh Daniels were also recalled but striker Nathan Boyle was among the players who were rested.

The wet and windy conditions in Buncrana made it difficult for both teams to settle into a rhythm but Derry's Aaron McEneff forced the first save of the match when his long range effort tested Drogheda keeper Stephen McGuinness.

The visitors first chance came in the 27th minute when Stephen Elliott beat the Derry offside trap but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Ger Doherty.

Elliott also should have done better with his header from Shane Elworthy's cross but the former Irish international's effort looped harmlessly over the crossbar.

Curtis finally broke the deadlock for the home side in the 41st minute when the forward took a touch to control a cross from Daniels before sweeping a low left-footed shot past McGuinness.

After a slow start to the second-half, the Candystripes wrapped up the win when McNamee scored twice within the space of 60 seconds.

The midfielder took advantage of a poor header from Drogheda's Sean Thornton to fire home in the 75th minute.

The 25-year-old added a second goal shortly after the restart when Daniels' effort rebounded into his path and he forced his powerful shot over a crowded goal line.

With the result decided, McNamee rounded-off his hat-trick in the 83rd minute when he curled his free kick past McGuinness in the Drogheda goal.

Derry return to action on Tuesday night when they host Limerick FC in their rescheduled fixture after the initial match was postponed following a floodlight failure at Maginn Park.

Teams

Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Lukas Schubert, Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Aaron McEneff, Barry McNamee, Josh Daniels, Nicky Low, Mark Timlin; Ronan Curtis.

Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Lloyd Buckley, Ciarán McGuigan, Conor Kane; Sean Thornton, Richie Purdy, Jake Hyland, Shane Elworthy, Gavin Brennan; Stephen Elliott.

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