Derry City draw comfort in St Pat’s stalemate
St. Pat’s Athletic 1 Derry City 1: Derry City had to make do with a solitary point at Richmond Park last night but in a game that could really have gone either way, they will be happy enough to have taken something from the trip to Dublin.
It was an entertaining encounter, played for large parts in a miserable downpour, but that didn’t take away from the type of attacking football both teams like to employ.
City looked to be in complete control of the game when taking a 31st minute lead after weathering an opening assault from the home side.
It was a brilliant individual effort from Stephen McLaughlin who completely fooled defender Evan McMillan with a deft touch before smacking a low shot in past keeper Gary Rodgers.
After that they looked to boss the match and St Pat’s had no real answer to their creative passing and movement.
But just as Derry looked to increase their advantage before half-time, they were caught cold by Neil Harney’s ball into the box for Danny North who got enough of a touch on the ball to send it past Gerard Doherty for the equaliser right on half-time.
North was unfortunate to have penalty claims waved away after a clumsy challenge by Shane McEleney.
And he got away a good shot which went just past the post in the 56th minute.
Doherty had to be at his best to stop an Anto Murphy shot from point blank range in the 61st minute, but then Pat’s were let off the hook by Eamon Zayed who headed wide from a similar distance. That turned the tide for Derry and in the end they looked the more likely to snatch a winner.
Daniel Lafferty hit the woodwork with a direct free kick from just outside the box in the 74th minute and Zayed saw another header saved by Rogers five minutes from the end.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Rogers, Bermingham, Harney, McMillan, Shortall, Bradley, Doyle, Mulcahy, Murphy, Kavanagh, North. Subs: Bennion, Carroll, Crowley, Daly, Keegan, McFaul, McMillan.
Derry City: Doherty, Greacen, Lafferty, S McEleney, Molloy, Deery, Higgins, P McEleney, McGlynn, McLaughlin, Zayed. Subs: Harkin, Henry, Kelly, McBride, McCallion, McCrudden, McDaid.
Referee: Alan Kelly (Dublin).