Derry City couldn’t quite finish off the season on the winning note they wanted at the Brandywell last night as they drew 0-0 with Bohemians.
Considering neither side had anything much to play for, it was quite an open and flowing encounter.
Mark Farren, in particular, looked as though he a point of two to prove on a rare start following his return to action and certainly looks as though he has lost none of his old speed.
Bohemians may have had the advantage of the wind howling down the length of the Brandywell in the first half, but it was Derry that bossed the game from the start.
Goalless at half-time, Derry could have been at least a couple to the good by the break, but then, that’s been the story of the past month or so and that’s what cost them their shot at the league title.
That said, the first clear cut chance of the half was caused by the wind when Daniel Lafferty underhit a long back pass. Gerard Doherty only just reached the ball just outside his area before striker Aidan Downes got there.
It was all Derry as Farren and Eamon Zayed combined in the 15th minute, the Libyan’s hot slamming into the side-netting.
Two minutes later Stephen McLaughlin tried an audacious volley from 40 yards, but the ball bounced just wide.
Patrick McEleney saw a shot well saved by Barry Murphy in the 30th minute and then headed a McLaughlin corner just wide seven minutes later.
The home side also struggled to play cohesively with the wind behind them but they should have gone ahead in the 65th minute when Lafferty got on the end of a McLaughlin free kick, Murphy only just managed to tip the ball onto his post.
Two minutes later McEleney fired a free kick to the right side of goal when Emmett Friars almost got the decisive touch.
Then in the 76th minute yet again Murphy defied Lafferty at the back post, producing another great save to deny the centre half from McLaughlin’s in swinging corner.
And the season ended on something of a sour note as both Friars and Bohs sub Christy Fagan were sent off after squaring up to each other right on the final whistle.
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Friars, Molloy, S McEleney, P McEleney, McLaughlin, Higgins, Zayed, Farren, Lafferty. Subs: McNamee, McDaid, McMonagle, Bonner, Ferry, McCrudden, Henry.
Bohemians: Murphy, Heary, Cahill, Cronin, Burns, O’Brien, Forrester, Rossiter, Flood, Downes, Traynor. Subs: Burke, Fagan, Buckley, Hurley, Lopez, Feely, Sexton.
Referee: Tomas Connolly, Dublin.