Bohemians 1 Derry City 1
PETER CHERRIE came to Derry City's rescue in the final moments of a pulsating clash against Bohemians at Dalymount as the Candy Stripes returned to Foyleside with a hard earned point.
The City keeper made himself big to save bravely from Bohs substitute, Daniel Grant's close range strike on 88 minutes to deny the Gypsies all three points.
He had earlier made two superb stops to deny Keith Ward and then Robbie McCourt as an understrength Derry made it eight consecutive games unbeaten at the Phibsboro venue.
With Republic of Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy and Ireland U21 boss, Stephen Kenny in the stands, ex-Bohs striker, Eoghan Stokes gave City the lead from the penalty spot on 52 minutes to end the Dubliners' run of four straight clean sheets.
Bohemians finished strongly and deservedly equalised on 77 minutes when defender, James Finnerty got onto the end of Keith Ward's pass and slotted past Cherrie.
Bohs looked the most likely to take maximum points as they went for the jugular in the final minutes of the match but couldn't find a way past man of the match, Cherrie.
Declan Devine made five changes to the team which held Cork to a stalemate at Turner's Cross with the injured Michael McCrudden, David Parkhouse and Greg Sloggett all missing out.
Skipper, Barry McNamee failed to shake off a knock picked up during the week and started on the bench.
In came Conor McDermott and Adrian Delap for their first starts of the season while Gerardo Bruna was handed his full debut.
Ex-Bohs man, Eoghan Stokes returned to the starting line-up for the first time since the 2-0 loss at Tallaght Stadium.
Keith Long was also forced into making changes with leading goalscorer, Dinny Corcoran (groin) missing out alongside the experienced Keith Buckley (groin). In came Ali Reghba to lead the attack with Scotsman, Scott Allardice slotting into midfield to replace Buckley.
Derry started with purpose but from a quick break, Luke Wade-Slater raced in behind the City defence to get on the end of Darragh Leahy's pass but he was stopped in his tracks following a push by Ciaran Coll who was fortunate to escape with a booking.
From the resultant free-kick on the edge of the Derry penalty area, Keith Ward's curling free-kick was turned behind superbly by Peter Cherrie at full stretch on eight minutes.
Delap was causing all sorts of problems for Derek Pender on the left wing. The Donegal lad got in behind the Bohs defender and found Junior with his back to goal on the six yard box. The ball eventually found McDermott who was lurking outside the box and his well hit strike was safely gathered by Talbot - City's first strike on target after 28 minutes.
Bohs came so close to taking the lead 60 seconds later when Conor Levingston's crossfield ball found Wade-Slater at the back post and his header across the face of goal just missed Danny Mandroiu who came agonisingly close to connecting.
Pender was cautioned for a rash challenge on Bruna 25 yards from the Bohs goal in first half additional time. Up stepped Stokes to take the free-kick and his deflected effort was almost turned in at the back post by Delap. That proved the last action of a scrappy first half.
Derry were awarded a penalty kick six minutes into the second half. Junior found the run of Stokes with a clever ball in behind the Bohs defence. Stokes took a touch past Pender who recklessly left his foot in and the referee, Tomas Connolly pointed to the spot.
Stokes took possession of the ball and fired his spotkick past Talbot to give Derry the lead against his former side - the first goal scored past the Bohs keeper this season!
Junior did well to keep the ball in play beside the Bohs corner flag before finding McDermott who pulled it back to Stokes and the Dubliner's cross bounced in front of the far post before going behind.
City striker, Junior did superbly to nip past James Finnerty 25 yards from goal but ballooned his shot high and wide.
Cherrie came to Derry's rescue once again on 67 minutes with an outstanding save. Substitute, Robbie McCourt's shot was deflected fortuitously into the path of Reghba but his strike from 12 yards was beaten away by the hand of Cherrie.
The Gypsies found a way past the City keeper on 76 minutes. Ward slotted the ball through the City defence and Finnerty got in front of his man and poked it home.
Stokes found himself in space deep into the Bohs half and ran unchallenged towards goal before driving a powerful effort narrowly over the bar with six minutes left on the clock.
Cherrie made himself big to save a close range effort from Daniel Grant on 88 minutes after a scramble in the City penalty area.
From a corner kick Bohs defender, Cornwall flicked his header narrowly wide of the far post as Bohs desperately pushed for the winner but to no avail.
Bohemians: J. Talbot; D. Pender, R. Cornwall, J. Finnerty, D. Leahy; L. Wade-Slater (D. Grant 62), C. Levingston, S. Allardice (R. McCourt 57), K. Ward; D. Mandroiu; A. Reghba (S. Byrne 76); Subs Not Used - N. Corbett, A. Barry, A. Lyons, P. Kirk.
Derry City: P. Cherrie: C. McDermott, E. Toal, A. Gilchrist, C. Coll; A. Delap(J. Kerr 93), C. Harkin, D. Cole, J. Ogedi-Uzokwe; Bruna (B. McNamee 79); Stokes (G. Seraf 87; Subs Not Used - N. Gartside, E. Tweed, S. McNamee, R. McKinley.
Referee - Tomas Connolly (Dublin).