Derry City: Dane Massey's late goal sees Candystripes lose opener in Dundalk

Declan Devine shouts instructions during Friday's game at Oriel Park
Declan Devine's Derry side were eventually breached by champions Dundalk

Dane Massey's 78th-minute goal saw Derry City go down to an opening 1-0 defeat against champions Dundalk in the League of Ireland at Oriel Park.

Derry contained Dundalk in the first half as there were few openings.

The game opened up in the second half as Daniel Kelly rattled the Derry woodwork before debutant Tim Nilsen was denied by Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers.

But Massey volleyed Dundalk ahead after Derry failed to clear a corner with Rogers denying Ally Gilchrist late on.

After the inevitable comings and goings of the last number of months, Derry manager Declan Devine included close-season signings Nilsen, Danny Lupano, Conor Clifford, Conor McCormack and Walter Figueira.

Early on, Dundalk claimed that Belgian teenager Lupano had tugged Massey's shirt in the penalty area but the protests were ignored as Derry were largely untroubled during the opening period.

With Ciaron Harkin and Conor Clifford impressing, the Derry midfield looked compact with Dundalk not creating a chance of note until just before the break as Ciaran Coll cleared a Kelly header off the line.

Predictably, Dundalk picked up the pace after half-time with Kelly firing just wide before thundering a shot off the Derry woodwork in the 51st minute.

Three minutes later, Derry had their best chance as Norwegian striker Nilsen headed Jamie McDonagh's cross goalwards only for Rogers to make a brilliant full-length save.

However, Dundalk bossed the remainder of the contest as Derry keeper Peter Cherrie denied Daniel Cleary and Cammy Smith before Massey finally breached the Candystripes' resistance in the 78th minute as he volleyed in substitute Jordan Flores' corner.

Derry did produce pressure at the death as Rogers punched away a dangerous McDonagh free-kick before he then saved Gilchrist's injury-time snapshot.

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