Off night for Derry City as Doherty sees red
Ten-men Derry City have seen their lead at the top of the Airtricity First Division cut to just two points following last night’s hard fought 2-2 draw with lowly Athlone Town, coupled with Monaghan United's victory at Wexford Youths.
The home side pushed hard for the breakthrough and they went close on 16 minutes but Emmett Friars' drive whistled wide.
Minutes later a towering header from centre-back Mark Scoltock had keeper Michael Sliggerman well beaten, but his effort sailed over the bar.
The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes when Mark Farren again showed his class.
The frontman got half a yard in front of defender Des Hope to head home James McClean's teasing left wing centre.
Farren was inches away again when he latched onto Shane McEleney's pass, but his shot, which took a massive deflection off Hope, lobbed over Sliggerman, but the ball rattled his crossbar.
The visitors were inches away from equalising when Declan O'Brien got the wrong side of City defender Mark McChrystal and though his well hit drive had Gerard Doherty scrambling, the effort fizzed just wide.
Athlone drew level on 57 minutes when O'Brien's stinging shot could only be parried away by Doherty and the alert Austin Skelly side-footed home.
The home side's night got even worse on 63 minutes when Doherty was dismissed after he lashed out at O'Brien, off the ball, inside his penalty area, the referee's assistant Terence Moyne spotted the incident and raised his flag.
Moyne spoke to referee Phil Cashera and the Dublin official showed Doherty the red card with O'Brien converting the resulting the spot-kick past substitute keeper Eugene Ferry.
The ten men drew level on 66 minutes when David Breen bundled McClean's free-kick into his own goal but it was two crucial points dropped by City.
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Scoltock, McChrystal, Friars, P McEleney, Molloy, S McEleney, McClean, McDaid, Farren. Subs: Ferry for McDaid (63), Cassidy for P McEleney (89).
Athlone Town: Sliggerman, Nolan, Breen, Culbert, Hope, Moran, Fitzgerald, Kenna, O'Brien, Skelly, Hughes. Subs: Collins for Breen (71), Haran for O'Brien (77) Relihan for Moran (83).
Referee: Phil Cashera (Dublin).