Candystripes frustrated as St Pat's net point
Derry City 1-1 St Pat's Athletic
Lee Desmond's brilliant goal earned St Pat's a deserved share of the spoils against Derry City at the Brandywell last night.
It was a frustrating night for the Candystripes, who got off to the best possible start with a goal from Barry McNamee, but they could not build on it and Pat's left with a point thanks to Desmond's thunderbolt.
It all started so well for the hosts as they opened the scoring just nine minutes in and it was a brilliant move which cut Pat's apart. Greg Sloggett set Ciaran Coll away on the left and the full back played a clever one-two with Junior Ogedi before picking his head up and finding McNamee in the area, the captain in plenty of space to sweep the ball left-footed past the dive of Brendan Clarke to make it 1-0.
It was not the start that Pat's wanted, but they could well have levelled within minutes when Ciaron Harkin failed to intercept a cross by Ian Bermingham and the ball fell kindly for Conor Clifford, but with just Peter Cherrie to beat, he skied his shot over the crossbar.
Pat's were level on the half hour mark however and there was nothing Cherrie could do as Desmond sent a rocket of a shot over the Derry goalkeeper and into the top corner from all of 30 yards to silence the Brandywell.
The visitors should have taken the lead minutes later as Derry City fell asleep when defending a Rhys McCabe free kick and Gary Shaw escaped unmarked to the back post, but his close range header was somehow kept out by Cherrie when it seemed easier for the Pat's man to score.
Derry began to pick up the pace again as half time beckoned and good approach play from Darren Cole brought about a chance for David Parkhouse, who latched onto the defender's pass but shot over from the angle without troubling Clarke.
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St Pat's were not lacking in confidence following that first half display and they carved out another decent chance five minutes after the restart, Mikey Drennan's cross from the left picking out Shaw who headed just wide of Cherrie's upright.
Derry hit back with a similar chance as Sloggett did well to dig out a cross from the left and Ogedi rose highest to head at goal, but the ball just cleared Clarke's upright.
Both sides went for it in the closing stages but lacked quality in the final third, with neither goalkeeper being tested in what was a war of attrition in a poor second half at the Brandywell.
It was a missed opportunity for Derry who could not take full advantage of Bohemians' 2-0 loss to Dundalk at Dalymount Park.
Derry City: Cherrie, Cole, Gilchrist (Bruna, 77 mins), Toal, Coll, Harkin, McNamee, Sloggett, McDonagh (Stokes, 45 mins), Ogedi, Parkhouse (Delap, 74 mins).
St Pat's: Clarke, Madden, Webster, Desmond, Bermingham, Clifford, Kelly, McCabe (Lennon, 80 mins), Forrester (Markey, 83 mins), Drennan, Shaw (Walker, 90 mins).
Referee: Derek Tomney