Premier Division: Derry edge closer to securing European spot with Sligo win

Barry McNamee
McNamee's winner came soon after he had almost scored from a goalmouth scramble

Derry City came from behind to beat Sligo Rovers 2-1 and edge ever-closer to sealing a European spot.

Goals from Jamie McDonagh and captain Barry McNamee won the match for the Candystripes after Lewis Banks had given the hosts an early lead.

It means Declan Devine's fourth-placed side can qualify for next season's Europa League with a draw against St Pat's Athletic on Tuesday.

The top four go into Europe and St Pat's are five points behind in fifth.

After the visit of the Dublin outfit on Tuesday, Finn Harps come to the Brandywell for Derry's final Premier Division game of the season on Friday.

The Candystripes are now three points behind third-placed Bohemians, who only have one game left to play.

All of the action at the Sligo Showgrounds came in the first half, with the home taking the lead in the 13th minute just after Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe had fired straight at keeper Ed McGinty from a decent chance at the other end.

Jamie McDonagh
McDonagh's goal helped Derry to their third win of the season over Sligo

Ronan Coughlan started the move that led to the opener when he fed David Cawley down the right, who cut it back well for full-back Lewis Banks to sweep into the bottom corner for his first league goal for Rovers.

Derry came close to equalising in the 20th minute when Jamie McDonagh went on a fine jinking run down the right, before cutting inside and unleashing a shot from the edge of the box that grazed the crossbar.

McDonagh equalised for Derry in the 34th minute when the home defence failed to clear a Ciaran Coll cross. The ball dropped to McDonagh and he finished well against his former club for his fourth goal of the season.

The visitors nearly took the lead just a minute later when McNamee twice went close during a goalmouth scramble before the home side cleared to safety.

The Derry skipper did score what was the winner for his side three minutes before the break in bizarre circumstances. Goalkeeper Ed McGinty miskicked a clearance and it went straight to McNamee who showed good reactions to steer the ball home.

Rovers made a bright start to the second half and regan Donelon came close with a back-post effort but the visitors soon regained control and were rarely threatened as they completed a vital victory.