Declan Devine's men moved above Dundalk by routing Shelbourne 4-0, thanks to strikes from Patterson, Rafter, Griffin and Crowley's own goal
Derry City moved back into second place in the Airtricity League thanks to a 4-0 win over hapless Shelbourne at the Brandywell. Goals from Rory Patterson, Michael Rafter, a Paul Crowley own goal and Marc Griffin's late penalty secured the victory - the Candystripes’ first home win of the season.
Shelbourne went into the game having beaten the Northerners only three times since May 2004, and were never really in contention to improve that record.
The hosts started the brighter and went close within four minutes when Rafter’s shot from the edge of the area stung the palms of visiting goalkeeper Niall Burdon.
Derry were dominating scrappy proceedings, but the away side should have had a penalty when Philip Hughes’ cross was clearly blocked by the arm of Shane McEleney but the linesman failed to raise his flag.
With Shels threatening to get a foothold in the game, City again turned to top scorer Patterson to break the deadlock after the half-hour mark. Sean Houston turned cleverly in midfield and fed the ball to Barry McNamee. The winger found Patterson, who turned his defender and curled an emphatic strike past the outstretched Burdon.
An even opening period was quickly forgotten in the second half as City began to open their opponents up at will. The impressive Houston twice went close and Rafter headed over and fired wide when he should have scored, all within 10 minutes of the restart.
But the home side’s profligacy could have easily become more apparent in the 59th minute when Robert Bayly’s cross was tamely headed at Gerard Doherty by Hughes, a chance the journeyman should have dispatched with ease.
Five minutes later the result was put beyond any real doubt when Ruaidhri Higgins’ through ball found Patterson, whose powerful cross was turned into his own net by Crowley.
Shelbourne could have pulled one back when Dean Kelly planted a header straight at Doherty who did well to turn the ball away. Two minutes from time, Higgins found Rafter who smashed a ferocious shot in off the underside of the crossbar. And in stoppage time, Simon Madden was brought down in the area, substitute Griffin squeezing the ball home from the spot to complete the scoring.
The result, coupled with UCD’s 2-2 draw at Bray, leaves the north Dublin club struggling without a win in four attempts this season. Propping up the League table with the students, Alan Mathews’ side may already be sliding into a relegation battle, making Monday’s derby against Bohemians all the more vital.