League of Ireland Premier Division: Shamrock Rovers 0-1 Derry City

Derry's Rory Patterson is about to challenge Killian Brennan at Tallaght Stadium
Rory Patterson's goal proved enough for Derry at Tallaght Stadium

Derry City maintained their push for a European place as Rory Patterson's goal clinched victory over Shamrock Rovers in Tuesday's League of Ireland contest.

Derry's away win in the battle between third and fourth place moves them five points clear of Rovers although the Dublin club have two games in hand.

Cork remain second in the table, a point ahead of Derry, after their 4-0 win over Bray Wanderers on Tuesday.

Patterson headed Derry's winner on 36 minutes after a Conor McDermott cross.

Former Derry player Simon Madden threatened the visitors early on at Tallaght Stadium with a couple of strong runs while Patrick McClean had to react smartly to clear after keeper Gerard Doherty had beaten away a Trevor Clarke cross.

However, Derry then began to take control with the impressive Aaron McEneff testing Rovers keeper Craig Hyland with two fierce free-kicks.

Derry took a deserved lead in the 36th minute as Patterson notched his 13th goal of the campaign by heading McDermott's cross past Hyland.

Rovers rallied after the break with the impressive Doherty denying Gary Shaw and home striker Brandon Miele wasting a great chance as he attempted to find a team-mate instead of shooting himself.

Barry McNamee should have sealed Derry's victory as he wasted a glorious chance after a Lukas Schubert cross and the visitors had to defend stoutly late on with McClean and McDermott making crucial interventions.

Derry's win moves them to within two points of leaders Dundalk although the Oriel Park outfit's European exploits in recent weeks means they have four games in hand on the Candystripes.

Kenny Shiels' Derry side, now unbeaten in eight league games, will be back in action on Friday night when they host Galway United.