It was a thrilling game at the Brandywell that saw Derry City comfortably beating Aberystwyth Town 4-0 in the opening leg of their Europa League qualifier last night, but in truth the margin of victory could have been greater.
The opening minutes of the match were a one-sided affair as the fitter Derry City dominated the match and searched for a goal to break the deadlock.
This continued as the match approached 15 minutes, with Patrick McEleney scoring a well-worked solo effort from the left wing which nestled into the back of the Aberystwyth goal.
Stuck in first gear
It seemed as if the Welsh side hadn't got out of first gear as Derry City continued to attack the Aberystwyth goal and with 23 minutes gone Derry City’s Rory Patterson, after cutting inside was brought down by the visitors goalkeeper, Mike Lewis, in the box which caused the referee pointed to the spot with Lewis being sent off for being last man.
This sending off sparked protests from the Aberystwyth players as their first match in Europe turned into a nightmare. Patterson stepped up and scored the resulting penalty.
On the back foot
Understandably, Aberystwyth Town were now on the back foot and Derry was desperate to make the extra man count to kill the game. Patrick McEleney had a few chances in the closing stages of the first half to make it three-nil, the first of which was stopped by a finger tip save from Draper followed by his 20 yard effort being deflected. At the break Derry were leading comfortably 2-0.
Within minutes of the second half starting, Derry City did extend their lead to 3-0 with Mark Timlin scoring an outstanding goal from 35 yards.
Patterson had several opportunities to put the game beyond after 60 minutes, these should have been routine finishes for a player of his quality and could have very easily scored a hat-trick and went home with the match ball.
Derry added insult to injury on 86 minutes, with Barry McNamee's side footed effort into Aberystwyth`s goal.
Comfortable margin of victory
That rounded off a very good performance at the Brandywell, as Derry take a comfortable 4-0 lead to Wales next Thursday. With Aberystwyth needing to beat Derry city by a substantial margin, Derry should be through to face Belarus side, FC Shakhtyor Salihorsk in the next round.
The game will give fans renewed hope that Derry City this season could possibly embark on another "European Adventure".
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