League of Ireland Premier Division: Drogheda United 2-3 Derry City

Rory Patterson continued his fine season for Derry by scoring two more goals

Rory Patterson's late winner earned Derry City victory over Drogheda United in a thrilling League of Ireland clash after the home side had fought back from two goals down to level.

Derry took the lead on 39 minutes after Alan Byrne turned a Barry McNamee corner into his own net.

Patterson hit Derry's second goal on 62 but sub Declan O'Brien notched two goals in a minute to level the game.

But Patterson sealed a vital win for Derry with his 86th-minute strike.

With Derry going into the game after successive defeats by leaders Sligo and UCD, Drogheda made the brighter start with Gary O'Neill and Ryan Brennan missing early chances before a David Cassidy volley was inches over the crossbar.

However, Northern Ireland international Patterson missed a chance to put the visitors ahead on 22 minutes as he fired wide after beating the offside trap.

Byrne and Cathal Brady then failed to take Drogheda chances before Derry took the lead six minutes before the break as the unfortunate Byrne diverted McNamee's corner into his own net.

As the chances continued at either end before half-time, Barry Molloy cleared a Byrne header off the line with Cassidy's follow-up blocked by team-mate Ryan Brennan while Patterson was denied by Drogs keeps Michael Schlingermann.

Derry keeper Gerard Doherty brilliantly denied Gary O'Neill after the restart as Drogheda started to look increasingly dangerous.

However, Derry took a 2-0 lead on 62 minutes as a misdirected pass by Philip Hand was pounced on by Patterson who slotted past Schlingermann.

At that stage, the game appeared over but Drogheda sub O'Brien diverted a Gavin Brennan corner to the net on 77 before blasting in the equaliser moments later.

But the remarkable contest had a further twist four minutes from time as more poor Drogheda defending allowed the unmarked Patterson to find the top corner with a glorious finish.

Derry remain third in the table as second-placed St Patrick's Athletic won 3-0 at Shelbourne on Friday night.

St Pat's join leaders Sligo on 30 points with Derry a point off the pace ahead of Rovers playing their game in hand at home to Dundalk on Saturday evening.