DERRY CITY: Sublime McNamee strike rescues point for City

Ronan Curtis can't believe his luck as Clarke tips his strike over the bar.
Ronan Curtis can't believe his luck as Clarke tips his strike over the bar.

BARRY McNamee's stunning second half free kick clinched a precious point for Derry City as they had to come from behind against Limerick at Maginn Park..

The Ramelton man, who made a welcome return to the starting XI after recovering from a hamstring injury, took his season's tally to five goals with a gem of a free-kick on the hour mark.

That strike cancelled out Limerick skipper, Shane Duggan's powerful 25 yard strike just 12 minutes into the first half.

The result leaves Limerick one point ahead of City in fifth and while there continues to be clear signs of improvement from the out of sorts Candy Stripes, their winless run stretches to six matches!

McNamee had registered the first shot on target when he latched onto a pass on the edge of the box from Nicky Low but his scuffed shot was saved easily by Clarke after four minutes,

City's Austrian midfielder, Lukas Schubert then took charge of a free-kick just outside the penalty area but his curling strike went harmlessly wide during a promising opening for the home side.

Limerick 'keeper Brendan Clarke unable to stop this free kick from Derry's Barry McNamee.

Limerick 'keeper Brendan Clarke unable to stop this free kick from Derry's Barry McNamee.

For all of City's dominance in the opening stages it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion on 12 minutes,

The Super Blues were gifted possession after a loose pass from Ben Doherty and when Duggan picked up the ball 25 yards from the Derry goal he blasted his strike past Gerard Doherty into the corner of the net.

Lee-J Lynch flashed a strike from distance across the face of goal and wide on 20 minutes as City struggled to get back into the match.

From a free-kick on 33 minutes the ball broke to McNamee in space just inside the penalty area. The Ramelton man tried to find the far corner but his effort sailed wide of the mark.

Goalscorer, Duggan tried his luck from 35 yards after a quick break from Limerick but his powerful drive went narrowly over the crossbar.

The home side finished the half strongly but failed to adequately test the Limerick keeper.

Derry almost capitalised from a quick counter attack 10 minutes after the restart when McNamee picked up Schubert's clearance. The midfielder found substitute, Curtis who cut inside before curling wide of the far post.

And City were back in the game on the hour mark when McNamee's beautifully executed free kick found its way over the wall and nestled into the corner of the net.

Doherty came to City's rescue twice in the space of two minutes. Firstly the City skipper saved superbly from Rodrigo Tosi's downward header on 65 minutes. And when Jarvis' back pass was intercepted by Mulhall, Doherty raced off his line to block the midfielder's shot.

And it was the turn of the Limerick stopper, Clarke to save his side on 77 minutes when he was forced to turn Curtis' powerful strike over the bar.

In a frantic finish to the game Boyle's low cross into the box found McNamee and his close range strike was bravely blocked by Tony Whitehead who threw his body at the ball.

Derry were the aggressors as the game came to a close but both sides will certainly have been content with a share of the points from a feisty encounter which saw eight bookings in total.,

Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, A. Barry, D. Jarvis, B. Doherty; L. Schubert (M. Kennedy 77), H. Monaghan, N. Low, M. Timlin (R. Curtis h-t); B. McNamee; N. Boyle; Subs Not Used - E. Grimes, S. Whiteside, A. Netzer, C. Farren.

Limerick: B. Clarke; S. Kelly, R. Williams, T. Whitehead, T. Robson; C. Mulhall (D. Clarke 69), S. Duggan, P. O'Conor, C. Ogbene; L. Lynch; R. Tosi (T. Walsh 88); Subs Not Used - F. Hall, D. O'Connor, O'Flynn, T. Rninz, B. Henry.

Referee - Paul Tuite.