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EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Derry City loses miserably to Bruno’s Magpies

EUROPA CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Derry City loses miserably to Bruno’s Magpies

Bruno’s Magpies 2

Derry City 0

Derry City players were booed off the field by their own fans after a dismal performance and defeat to part-time Bruno’s Magpies in their Europa Conference League qualifier in Gibraltar.

Ruaidhri Higgins and his players face a tough task in next week’s return match at Brandywell after conceding two goals in the second half, both from set pieces.

The Candystripes can look back on some moments of brilliance at the other end, Daniel Kelly came close twice, but overall they were poor and the Magpies’ goals were the result of lackluster defending to say the least.

The guests were so close to a perfect start after just three minutes when Adam O’Reilly tried his luck from distance, but his shot only hit the top bar.

Playing on a pitch that had only been laid three days previously at Europa Point Stadium, there were some encouraging signs for the Candystripes. Daniel Kelly almost scored a superb individual goal when he outplayed two opponents and headed for goal, but Dayle Coleing saved the ball and the goalkeeper was grateful his defenders were able to clear the loose ball off the goal line.

The second half began disastrously for Derry City, however, as the Magpies took the lead just three minutes after the restart. Derry’s troubles began when Paul McMullan played a reckless ball across his own box that was met by substitute Forjan, whose shot was deflected just over the bar by Mark Conolly.

The home team forced several corners and took full advantage: Jack Storer’s pass found centre-back Ash Taylor at the back post, who headed the ball past Brian Maher from close range, scoring a memorable goal on his debut.

It should have been 2-0 just before the hour mark when Forjan easily made his way into the Derry penalty area, dodged half-hearted challenges and then shot over the bar from close range when he only had to beat Maher.

However, Derry should have equalised a few moments later when Will Patching pulled off an incredible trick that confused three Magpies defenders and sent Kelly through on goal, but the winger shot just wide.

With nine minutes to go, things got even worse for Higgins and his team when the Magpies doubled their lead: Zuniga powerfully headed Garcia’s free kick into the net to make it 2-0.

The performance and result were awful and the City fans who stayed until the final whistle let the players know exactly how they felt.

Team

Magpies: Coleing, Ronco (De Haro 82′), Diaz, Taylor, Zuniga, Storer (Orihuela 64′), Garcia (Coombes 83′), Carrascal, Bayode, Salles (Forjan 45′), Juanje (Stevens 90′).

Derry City: Maher, Doherty, S McEleney (Todd 85′), Connolly, Dummigan, O’Reilly, Patching, Diallo (Duffy 60′), McMullan, Kelly (Whelan 85′), Hoban (Mullen 79′).

Referee: Robert Ian Jenkins (Wales)

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