Candystripes take the honours in Watt’s testimonial

Faith, Johnny and Jack Watt are applauded on to the pitch at Johnny's testimonial match between Coleraine and Derry City. photo:Derek Simpson

Faith, Johnny and Jack Watt are applauded on to the pitch at Johnny's testimonial match between Coleraine and Derry City. photo:Derek Simpson

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Derry City took the honours in Johnny Watt’s testimonial at The Showgrounds on Friday night.

A brace from Patrick McEleney just after the break was enough to seal the win for Peter Hutton’s side, before Joe McNeill reduced the arrears with a superb free kick midway through the half.

Long-serving Watt was given a standing ovation as he led the Bannsiders out on to the pitch with his children Jack and Faith.

The first half was a largely forgettable affair with neither goalkeeper forced into any serious action.

Aaron Canning came closest to breaking the deadlock as his clever flick from Higgins’ corner was cleared off the line by the covering defender.

Within minutes of the restart McEleney opened the scoring as his shot squirmed past Michael Doherty.

If his first was a bit fortunate there was complaints about his second as he picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and curled a delightful effort past the helpless Doherty.

Coleraine struck back just after the hour mark as McNeill beat Gerard Doherty from distance with a sublime free kick.

Both sides made a number of changes as the game fizzled out. Coleraine threw on old boys Michael Hegarty, Paul Owens and Ryan McIlmoyle but they couldn’t find the equaliser.