League of Ireland: Derry City 2-1 Limerick

Gerard Doherty
Gerard Doherty made a crucial save in the last minute as Derry held on to win

Debutants Aaron Splaine and Alistair Roy scored as Derry City came from behind to beat Limerick at the Brandywell.

Connor Ellis opened the scoring for the visitors after 35 minutes in an entertaining first half.

Splaine equalised with a wonderful effort before Roy struck the winner 30 seconds after the restart.

Barry Maguire passed up two opportunities to equalise for Limerick as Derry held on.

Splaine and Roy were brought straight into Kenny Shiels' starting line-up despite the club announcing their signings just hours before kick-off.

The pair had been training with Derry and played in the midweek friendly win over Cliftonville.

The Candystripes came into the game having lost five of their previous six matches and looked short of confidence in the opening stages.

Ellis crashed an effort off the bar inside the opening minute before Karl O'Sullivan headed over from point-blank range.

Aaron McEneff went close to opening the scoring only for Tommy Holland to deny Derry's top scorer with a smart save.

Ellis eventually punished the hosts for allowing him too much space inside the box by smashing the opener in off the bar.

The Candystripes responded well to going behind and Splaine levelled just two minutes later, curling a sweet effort into the top corner after the ball fell to him at the edge of the area.

Former Hearts striker Roy looked lively in the first half and further endeared himself to the home crowd after the break when he applied a neat finish to McEneff's cut back.

In contrast to the opening 45 minutes the second half was a relatively uneventful affair with Limerick unable to ask too many questions of Derry's defence.

Maguire passed up their best chance of an equaliser when he latched onto Splaine's under hit back-pass but clipped his effort over the bar.

The midfielder did hit the target in the 90th minute but his effort was brilliantly saved by the alert Gerard Doherty.

Ronan Hale struck the post for the Candystripes, whose attentions now turns to their Europa League qualifying tie against Dinamo Minsk on Thursday.