Belfast Telegraph

Derry City caught short by Shanahan

Derry City 0 Longford Town 0

Derry City had to settle for a share of the spoils against Longford Town, as they played out their first scoreless draw of the season.

However the visitors had Aaron Shanahan to thank for their point, as the keeper made a host of top drawer saves to deny Mark Farren, Mark Scoltock and Patrick McEleney.

Longford started with Dave Freeman up front on his own, as like many sides visiting the Brandywell they begun the game with a 4-5-1 formation.

Despite only playing with a lone striker it was Town on five minutes, who had the first shot on goal following a defensive mistake from Emmett Friars.

The ex-Newry City man sliced his clearance straight to Thomas Hyland, but the midfielder's 20 yard drive was saved at full stretch by Gerard Doherty.

City's first real effort came on 33 minutes but when James McClean's initial shot was charged down, Patrick McEleney's side footed effort was blocked this time by John Lester.

Soon after, a Barry Molloy free-kick found Friars but his looping header was saved right underneath his crossbar by Shanahan.

The home side started the second half on the front foot and they missed a good chance on 49 minutes when Farren's back-flick fell to Patrick McEleney, but his low drive failed to trouble man of the match Shanhan.

A minute later Shanahan came to his side's rescue this time saving well to keep out Farren's low drive, after the striker turned well inside the area.

Moments later a super through ball by Patrick McEleney released Farren, but after out-pacing Chris Deans, the striker saw his right footed shot from just inside the area whistle just past Shanahan's right post.

McEleney was in the thick of the action again on 62 minutes, but this time his drive was saved by the impressive Shanahan.

The Longford keeper kept his side in the game on 69 minutes this time denying Farren.

After defending for virtually all of the second half Longford missed a sitter themselves on 79 minutes when Mark Salmon released Lee Roche, but the substitution's tame shot was kept out by Doherty.

Six minutes from time a McClean right wing corner found Scoltock, but the big former Institute defender saw his goal-bound header saved by hero of the hour Shanahan.

Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Scoltock, S McEleney, Friars, P McEleney, McBride, Molloy, McClean; Farren, McDaid. Subs: Clarke for McDaid (61); Sweeney for McBride (79).

Longford Town: Shanahan, O'Reilly, Lee, Hyland, Deans, Lester, Brady, Salmon, McEvoy, Freeman, Mooney. Subs: Roche for McEvoy (62); Ekgnem for Mooney (79).

Referee: Mr Brendan Kelly (Offaly).

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