McLaughlin keeps Derry on the title trail

Airtricity League Premier Division, Showgrounds, Sligo 3/9/2011'Sligo Rovers vs Derry City'Stephen McLaughlin celebrates scoring for Derry 'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan *** Local Caption ***
Airtricity League Premier Division, Showgrounds, Sligo 3/9/2011'Sligo Rovers vs Derry City'Stephen McLaughlin celebrates scoring for Derry 'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan *** Local Caption ***
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Mark Farren completed his remarkable return for Derry City as the team remained on the title track with a battling draw in Sligo yesterday.

The large travelling Derry support was chanting Farren’s name long before he entered the fray in the 66th minute of the 1-1 draw at the Showgrounds.

The Greencastle striker, who took to the field in a Petr Cech-style scrum cap, ran on to a rapturous reception.

Sadly, he wasn’t able to mark his return with the winning goal, but nevertheless Derry set out on the journey home last night still sitting top of the Premier Division.

And that wasn’t even on the agenda when Farren scored the goal against Monaghan which sealed Derry’s promotion from the first division just under a year ago.

A Joseph Ndo strike from 25 yards gave Sligo a first half lead but Stephen McLaughlin struck back for Derry with a cracker of his own just before half-time.

McLaughlin - who scored twice and then tucked away the winning penalty ten days ago as Derry sent Sligo tumbling out of the EA Sports Cup at the semi-final stage - is becoming a real thorn in the Rovers side and they’ll be glad to see the back of him this season.

Derry boss Stephen Kenny would have loved to have taken all three points yesterday, but he will have left the Showgrounds the happier manager.

City have games coming up against UCD and Drogheda before taking on champions Shamrock Rovers as the title race heads towards what promises to be a nail-biting conclusion.