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Football: HUGHES A CLEVER BOY THEN, JAMIE; Derry C 1 Bohemians 0.

Byline: Michael SCULLY

JAMIE Hughes propelled Derry City into second place in the eircom Premier Division table with a late cracker at the Brandywell.

And it was a goal that finally sparked a run of the mill encounter into life.

Bohs had the chance to cut Shamrock Rovers' lead to one point, but clear-cut chances were at a premium in the Maiden City as the fierce wind prevented a free-flowing game from taking place.

And it took Hughes, who fired home his third of the season from outside the area, to give the game a talking-point.

It also helped ensure that Bohs embarked on the long journey home contemplating a poor record of no victories in six games and just one win in eight.

The Brandywell is fast becoming a fortress again for the Foylesiders and their clean-sheet emphasises their excellent defensive record.

The Candy Stripes have conceded just seven goals in 12 games.

Last night the best chances of the first-half fell in the opening 10 minutes as both sides were boosted by the availability of players who began the week on the casualty list.

Darren Kelly and Gareth McGlynn played for Derry, while Stephen Caffrey returned for Bohs.

Caffrey had a good opportunity to score in the opening minutes, but he could only direct his shot from six yards from Paul Byrne's free-kick at Russell Payne in goal.

If that was a decent opening, Hughes had an even better one for the home side on nine minutes.

Paddy McLaughlin did the hard work when he made room for himself down the right and his cross was perfect - but Hughes, who had slipped his marker, cushioned his header at Wayne Russell.

From then on the half was littered with half-chances as both sides scrapped it out but more often than not failed to get any rhythm going.

Fergal Harkin was unlucky that his shot on the turn fell straight to Payne and Tony O'Connor's inventive lob for the visitors tested the Derry keeper.

However if Liam Coyle had kept his composure in the 21st minute he might have done better.

Coyle was put away by Padraig Moran, who surged out of midfield and laid the ball into the striker's path in the box, but he failed to take advantage of the situation.

Bohs gained dominance towards the end of the half but couldn't make their pressure count, with Trevor Molloy forcing Payne into a save at full-stretch but then failing to do better when Glen Crowe set him up nicely in front of the target.

Dave Hill's shot for the Gypsies was also headed just over the top by team-mate David Morrison as the visitors gained the upper hand.

But after the break it was the Foylesiders who started the stronger.

After 72 minutes Coyle missed with a shot across goal, but Hughes made amends with his well taken goal.

And then in the final seconds Payne denied sub Gary O'Neill with a superb stop.

Bohs had no reply and Derry held out for another vital three points.


AWAY WOE: Stephen Caffrey returned for Bohs last night but couldn't avoid defeat; SHOT STOPPER: Keeper Russell Payne was beaten by Hughes
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2001
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