Gutsy Candystripes unlucky to only pick up solitary point
Derry City 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
Derry City took a point from their game against high-flying Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell last night, although it could easily have been all three.
Barry McNamee will reflect on two superb chances that came his way but he was denied on each occasion by last-gasp challenges.
Rovers, who had Keith Fahey dismissed late on for simulation, were disappointing, although they could have nicked it in added time with David O'Connor's header.
The first quarter of the game passed without a shot on goal as the tie got bogged down in the middle in what was a real battle of attrition between the two teams.
The home crowd finally found their voices on 37 minutes when Derry caused concern in the Rovers defence for the first time. It was no surprise that Patrick McEleney was the man involved as the midfielder drove towards the Rovers defence and in their panic, three players converged on him. Still, the Derry man emerged with the ball and he threaded a pass through for McNamee, but Rovers were saved by a last-gasp tackle from David Webster.
The hosts started the second half brightly with both McEleney and Anthony Elding testing Craig Hyland from distance.
In response, Gavin Brennan headed over from a Rovers free-kick.
The game's best chance came on 58 minutes and it was one that Derry should have taken.
Superb pressure from the hosts forced Webster into a poor pass straight to Elding. It was two on one for Derry as McEleney was in space but Elding, with his head down, opted for a speculative lobbed effort which landed on the roof of Hyland's net.
Just two minutes later, Rovers could have taken the lead themselves when McEleney lost the ball and Fahey's low cross was met by Ryan Brennan, who sliced his effort just past the upright.
In Rovers' growing frustration, O'Connor fired a weak effort wide on 75 minutes.
Moments later, Derry should have taken the lead as McNamee brilliantly burst through from midfield but just as he bore down on goal, O'Connor arrived to take the ball off his foot with a superbly timed challenge. The Brandywell crowd demanded a penalty but play was correctly waved on.
Fahey then saw red as the game ended dramatically, and moments after O'Connor headed over, Aaron Barry flashed an effort just wide of Hyland's goal.