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Stalemate may suit Derry City in long run

By Peter Hutcheon

Derry City 0 Sligo Rovers 0: Derry City were grateful to settle for a point which just might make all the difference to their title bid at the Brandywell last night.

Sligo Rovers have been a thorn in Derry’s side all season and if the three games between them so far have not quite been classics, they’ve all certainly been interesting.

Rovers only trailed Derry on goal difference in third place and from the way they came at City, fully intended to return home with all three points.

And but for some last ditch defending in the closing stages by Derry, they would have done.

It was the introduction of Joseph Ndo as a second-half substitute which really sparked Sligo.

Almost immediately he sent over a telling cross in the 55th minute which Jason McGuinness could only head over.

A minute late he fed Eoin Doyle who forced Gerard Doherty in the Derry goal into a great stop.

Derry had been the brighter in the first-half and Eamon Zayed should have given them a 13th minute lead after Kevin Deery sent him clear, but Brendan Clarke was out of his goal quickly to save.

Derry’s best two chances of the match came just before the break. In the 44th minute Zayed was inches away from touching in James McClean’s ball into the box and then a minute later a great shot from Patrick McEleney only just cleared Clarke’s crossbar.

Derry did have chances after the break — notably through Gareth McGlynn in the 64th minute, but he hit the side netting.

DERRY CITY: Doherty, Greacen, Lafferty, McCallion, S McEleney, Deery, Higgins, McClean, McGlynn, P McEleney, Zayed. Subs: Ferry, Harkin, Henry, McBride, McDaid, McLaughlin.

SLIGO ROVERS: Clarke, Peers, McGuinness, Keane, Greene, Ventre, Ryan, Russell, Cretaro, Doyle, Blinkhorn. Subs: Ndo, McGoldrick, Kirby, Kelly, Horgan, Foran, Dillon.

Referee: Thomas Connolly (Dublin).

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