Fightback sees Derry City stay top
Derry City 2 Drogheda United 2: If Derry City fail to win the Airtricity League title, they may well look back on two dropped points last night as the reason why.
Two goals down at the break, they simply gave themselves too much to do and in the end were grateful to take a single point.
The draw, however, was enough to keep Derry on top of the table, one point ahead of Sligo Rovers, who beat Bray 3-0 and Shamrock Rovers, after they drew 1-1 with St Pat’s.
What will really annoy boss Stephen Kenny is that both those goals came from the same source — a deep Lee Lynch corner from the left wing.
They could be forgiven for being caught cold by the first, in the third minute, as Brian Gannon rose to head in at the back post.
Lynch’s 38th minute delivery was a carbon copy, this time it fell to Gavin Brennan on the right side of the area and he thumped it back in past Doherty.
Derry brought a new sense of urgency onto the pitch with them at the start of the second-half — although Patrick McEleney proved a little too keen to reduce the deficit in the 49th minute when he collapsed under a Dave Rogers challenge in the box and was booked for a dive.
Stewart Greacen was fortunate to remain on the pitch after hauling down Jordan White on the halfway line as Drogheda broke.
Kenny went to three at the back in desperation and that was rewarded in the 74th minute when Derry finally found a way through.
It wasn’t the prettiest of efforts, as Stephen McLaughlin found Higgins in the box and although his shot was blocked, McGlynn was there to steer the ball home.
Zayed should have equalised in the 84th minute when McLaughlin raced down the left wing and sent over a cross to the far post, but he ended up failing to make contact.
The equaliser came with just three minutes of normal time remaining. Duggan came for a McLaughlin corner, but he missed the ball entirely and could only watch as it bounced into the net off the back of Dave Rogers’ legs.
DERRY CITY: Doherty, Molloy, Greacen, S McEleney, Deery, P McEleney, McGlynn, McLaughlin, Higgins, Zayed, Lafferty. Subs: McCallion, Friars, Harkin, McDaid, McBride, Farren, Ferry.
DROGHEDA UNITED: Duggan, Gaul, Rogers, McNally, Clarke, Lynch, Gannon, McMahon, White, Hand, Brennan. Subs: O’Brien, McCarthy, Corcoran, Mulvenna, Dolan, Fitzgerald, Melis.
Referee: Richie Winter (Wicklow).