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Derry City Under-17s defeated Athlone Town 1-0 at Brandywell on the opening day of the SSE Airtricity Northern Elite Division on Saturday afternoon.
The only goal of the game came in the 89th minute when substitute Evan McLaughlin scored directly from a corner kick to give Gary Duffy’s troops the perfect start to the new season.
We have uploaded extended clips and a few pictures from the game.
With the first team having made their long awaited return to Brandywell Stadium in spectacular fashion during the week, this weekend sees the return of the SSE Airtricity underage season, with both Derry City Under-17 and Under-19 sides in action against Athlone Town.
The Under-19s missed out on a top four finish in the Northern Elite Division by just one-point last term, finishing behind Saint Patrick’s Athletic, and went on to suffer defeat against Shamrock Rovers in the Shield final.
A number of last year’s panel are now overage and have moved on, including former captain Sam Todd, who is currently on a season long loan at first division club Finn Harps.
City boss John Quigg has once again assembled a talented squad for the 2018 campaign with a number of players stepping up from last year’s Under-17 panel.
Goalkeeper Daniel Houghton, defender Kieran Farren and midfielder Jack Malone are schoolboy internationals and are currently involved in the Centenary Shield competition. All three are tremendous prospects and are expected to feature heavily in their first full year at this level.
It was a positive weekend for the Derry City development squads with all four sides securing wins in their respective competitions.
Derry City U19s had a fine 5-2 win over Finn Harps at Thornhill in the semi-final of the SSE Airtricity Shield competition.
Luke Neils fired Harps in front on 72 minutes before Sean McBride levelled matters with a superb 25-yard effort six minutes from time. The visitors thought they had the game won on 89 minutes when BJ Banda scored with a stunning strike from 35 yards to spark wild celebrations on the touchline.
But Harps will be bitterly disappointed they lost concentration from the restart when they failed to regroup and fell asleep. Within seconds City took advantage and were back on level terms when McBride tapped home his second from close range.
A three goal blitz in the first period of extra time stunned the visitors with City going in front for the first time when substitute Matty Doherty fired home a wonderful long range effort passed visiting keeper Jamie Bell. Moments later the game was finished as a contest when Ballybofey man McBride completed his hat-trick. McBride’s free-kick from near the touchline deceived everyone in the penalty area and ended up in the far bottom corner. 18-year-old McBride, who made his competitive debut for the Derry City first team recently against Finn Harps, brought his tally for the season to an impressive 19 goals in 22 games. Continue reading
Derry City U17s have been handed a home tie against Sligo Rovers in the Mark Farren Cup semi-finals.
The Candy Stripes have defeated Finn Harps, Monaghan/Cavan FP and Dundalk to qualify for the last four of the competition.
In the other semi-final, Waterford FC will host Shamrock Rovers. And whoever prevails in that tie will have the luxury of home advantage in the final.
Mark Farren Cup
1. Waterford v Shamrock Rovers
2. Derry City v Sligo Rovers
Dates and Times TBC
Game 1 v Game 2