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Derry City left to point to the win that got away

By Peter Hutcheon

Derry City 0 Shamrock Rovers 0: Taking a single point from a game they should have won is beginning to become something of a theme for Derry City this season.

City boss Stephen Kenny might have taken a draw with league leaders Shamrock Rovers before kick-off last night — but he certainly wasn't feeling that way at the final whistle.

His side were by far the more adventurous and, even if was was gratifying to take the first points off defending champions Rovers this season, they should really have had all three themselves.

Derry just about shaded the first half in terms of creating chances, although most of the activity was confined to a ten-minute spell just before the break.

They produced the best passing spell of the game with some lovely interplay around the Rovers area in the 27th minute but couldn't really force a clear cut opening.

It wasn't until the 41st minute that either side produced a real attempt on goal and it fell Derry's way courtesy of a deep Kevin Deery corner which Stewart Greacen flicked on but Eamon Zayed couldn't keep his header on target.

City continued to up the ante after the break with Gareth McGlynn drifting in from the right wing five minutes after the restart, his shot just rising over the bar.

Four minutes later Daniel Lafferty hammered a half volley from 25 yards which had Rovers' keeper Alan Mannus backpedalling furiously to tip over his crossbar.

The introduction of James McClean on the left wing for Ruairi Harkin in the 56th minute served to increase City’s attacking options.

Rovers were disappointing for a team which had arrived at the Brandywell with a perfect start to the season to protect, but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock came with a rather tame Billy Dennehy direct free kick in the 82nd minute which he hit straight at Gerard Doherty.

But City should have snatched a winner from McClean's free kick which was sent goalwards by Emmett Friars only for Dan Murray to clear off his goalline.

Shane McEleney hooked the rebound over.

Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Molloy, Greacen, McEleney, Harkin, Deery, McGlynn, McLaughlin, Zayed, Lafferty. Subs: Friars, McDaid, McClean, R McBride, T McBride, Ferry.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Sullivan, Stevens, Murray, McCabe, Twigg, Oman, Turner, O'Neill, Dennehy, Finn. Subs: Rice, O'Donnell, Sheppard, Kilduff, Kavanagh Flynn, Thompson.

Referee: Richie Winter (Wicklow)

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