Derry City 1 St. Pat’s Athletic 1
This result helps neither Derry City or St Pat’s in their challenge for a semi-final place in the Setanta Sports Cup — and in truth probably makes Linfield boss David Jeffrey happy.
After taking the lead right on the stroke of half-time Derry failed to push on from Tommy Stewart’s opener and boss Stephen Kenny, who wanted to start the competition with a win, will feel it’s a case of two points dropped rather than one gained.
The visitors new manager Pete Mahon was an interested spectator in the Glentoran stand. The former UCD boss has taken over from Jeff Kenna until the end of the season.
He saw Derry make most of the early running. Good skill by Tam McManus in the 17th minute saw him control the ball inside the St Pat’s area, before drilling a low cross, which flashed just in front of an onrushing Mark Farren.
Former Institute man Kyle Moran went closest for St Pat’s, but his shot following a good move was easily gathered by Gerard Doherty.
Derry were awarded a penalty just when it looked like the first-half would end scoreless. Referee Richie Winter rightfully pointed to the spot after John Lester had fouled Liam Kearney inside the area and Stewart made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick.
St Pat’s were unlucky not to level things in the 50th minute when Alan Cawley’s free-kick, after Barry Molloy had brought down Steven Maher on the edge of the box, was saved by Doherty.
That Cawley shot seemed to inspire the visitors as they levelled things six minutes later when Lester caught Doherty just off his line and fired home from the edge of the box.
Derry pushed forward in search of a winner, but Ger O’Brien’s close range header from Ruaidhri Higgins inch perfect corner went off target.
The Brandywell men had the final chance to claim all three points when O’Brien centre found McManus, but he saw his powerful header, which had Clarke beaten, rattle back off the bar.
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Hutton, McEleney, O’Brien; Kearney, Molloy, Higgins, Stewart; Farren, McManus. Subs: Scullion for Farren (68); Nash for Stewart (78); Gray for Hutton (90).
St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke, Maher, Ryan, Dempsey, Leech, Cawley, Moran, Gavin, Haverty, Lester, Dowling. Subs: O’Brien for Moran (75); Ryan for Lester (83).
Referee: Richie Winter (Wicklow).