League of Ireland: Derry City 0-4 Dundalk

Derry goalkeeper Gerard Doherty was unable to deal with Robbie Benson's deflected strike
Derry goalkeeper Gerard Doherty was unable to deal with Robbie Benson's deflected strike

Derry City have slipped to fifth place in the Premier Division after a heavy defeat by Dundalk at the Brandywell.

Robbie Benson's deflected strike gave the Lilywhites the lead at the break.

Dylan Connolly, Pat Hoban and Michael Duffy also scored as Dundalk clinched their eighth consecutive league win.

The Candystripes have now dropped below Shamrock Rovers on goal difference while Dundalk remain a point behind title rivals Cork City at the top of the standings.

Derry now have a short mid-season break before their next game against Rovers on 29 June at the Tallaght Stadium.

The summer break is a timely one for Derry boss Kenny Shiels, who is hoping to bolster his squad after he was forced to name six substitutes all aged 20 or younger against a Dundalk side with title ambitions.

The visitors began with intent and quickly began to dominate the midfield area without really threatening Ger Doherty's goal.

But it was Derry who had the first sight of goal when Rory Patterson's run teed-up Aaron McEneff and his stinging shot was pushed around the post by Gary Rogers.

McEneff's effort produced an immediate response as Connolly should have done better with a headed chance before Duffy rounded Doherty but couldn't find a team-mate with his pull back.

Dundalk's pressure told in the 41st minute when Benson's low strike took a deflection that fooled Doherty.

The home side continued to battle at the start of the second half but they fell further behind just after the hour mark when Hoban's initial effort struck the crossbar and Connolly reacted quickest to slot the rebound home.

Hoban got the goal that his performance deserved 10 minutes later when Jamie McGrath's cross was diverted into the striker's path and he calmly finished from close range.

A month after their 4-1 rout of the Candystripes, Dundalk rounded off the scoring in the 82nd minute when Michael Duffy fired home a superb half volley against his former club.

Shamrock Rovers were 2-0 winners over Limerick, which means the Dublin club have now moved ahead of Derry with a superior goal difference and Kenny Shiels' men are now just three points ahead of sixth place St Patrick's Athletic.

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