League of Ireland: Derry beat Waterford to end winless run

Conor Clifford's double gave the Candystripes a vital victory
Conor Clifford's double gave the Candystripes a vital victory

Conor Clifford scored two penalties as Derry City defeated Waterford 2-0 to secure a first victory in five games and ease relegation concerns.

It was a deserved and much-needed win for the Brandywell hosts with Clifford netting his first City goals after fouls on striker Walter Figueira.

Clifford slotted in the opener before the break before his delightful 'Panenka' spot-kick on 58 minutes.

Derry move up to sixth and seven points clear of bottom spot.

Candystripes boss Declan Devine described September as "a disaster" after his side picked up just two points from four games - scoring just one goal in the process.

Devine made five changes from Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Sligo Rovers and for much of a lacklustre first half it looked like it made little difference.

Visitors go close

Waterford started the game in third place and they created the first opening when an unmarked Robbie McCourt sent a header off-target.

Play was congested in midfield with neither side showing the urgency to take control and it was the 38th minute before Derry threatened when Clifford's 20-yard free-kick was punched clear by Brian Murphy.

The breakthrough came six minutes later with former Waterford forward Figueira going down under a challenge from Tunmise Sobowale.

The penalty award appeared to be a harsh decision by referee Robert Hennessy but Clifford stepped up and sent Murphy the the wrong way.

Hennessy waved away Waterford penalty appeals at the start of the second before Derry, buoyed by the goal, enjoyed a decisive period of dominance.

Walter Figueira joined Derry from Waterford in November last year
Walter Figueira joined Derry from Waterford in November last year

Murphy made a superb triple-save to deny Ibrahim Meite, Eoin Toal and Figueira but the second goal arrived four minutes later.

The was no doubts over this spot-kick as McCourt fouled Figueria before Clifford dinked the ball over a diving Murphy from 12 yards.

Derry were comfortable in their two-goal advantage with McCourt sending a long-range strike wide while City midfielder Ciaron Harkin drilled just over.

It was a crucial win for Derry ahead of a two-week break before starting their final four league games against leaders Shamrock Rovers in Dublin.

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