Sligo Rovers 1, Derry City 1
DERRY CITY fought back to clinch a share of the spoils against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds to arrest a four game losing streak.
And after three straight league defeats it was a very welcome point for Kenny Shiels' troops - a first point since that 4-0 win over Drogheda United just over one month ago!
Kieran Sadlier had put the home side in front on the half hour mark but six minutes later Conor McDermott's shot took a wicked deflection off Kyle Call-McFadden and nestled into the Sligo net.
Derry City were without midfielder, Aaron McEneff who was missing due to a family bereavement while Shiels opted for four changes from the team which were knocked out of the EA Sports in Galway last Monday night.
Skipper, Gerard Doherty returned in goals while Nicky Low, Ronan Curtis and Lukas Schubert all returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Eric Grimes, McEneff, Cathal Farren and Scott Whiteside.
Barry McNamee, meanwhile, was named on the bench following his recovery from a hamstring injury which saw him miss out the previous three matches.
Sligo striker, Rafa Cretaro presented a No. 5 Sligo jersey to Shiels prior to kick-off which was warmly received by the travelling City faithful.
And former Derry City goalkeeping coach, Declan McIntrye took charge of the home side for the final time following the appointment of ex-Cliftonville boss, Gerard Lyttle as manager, and he was unveiled to the home support.
Derry came so close to taking an early lead in the second minute when Nathan Boyle won a free-kick in a promising position on the edge of the Rovers penalty area. And Low's curling free-kick had Schlingermann scrambling towards his left hand post but it went just wide of the target.
Two minutes later and Doherty was fortunate when Dean Jarvis' back short was played short and the City keeper's clearance hit the back of Jonah Ayunga but fell kindly to Low who cleared the danger.
Curtis sent Boyle scampering clear with a ball over the top on 25 minutes and the striker stole a yard on the defender with a decent touch but from a tight angle his shot was easily gathered by the Sligo keeper.
Low found Curtis lurking at the back post from another free-kick but the City striker's looping header went narrowly over the crossbar.
Against the run of play. the Bit O'Red hit the front on the half hour mark when City failed to clear their lines after several attempts and the ball feel to the impressive Sadlier on 10 yards from goal and he blasted into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
It was a bitter blow for City who were well on top but they soon drew level as McDermott drove at the Sligo defence and his strike was deflected into the net by Callan-McFadden.
The visitors began the second half with real purpose, dominating possession and Low saw his 25 yard free-kick sail over the bar eight minutes after the restart.
Kieran Sadlier got the better of McDermott on 58 minutes and clipped the ball towards the back post where Jonah Ayunga's glancing header went wide of the back post - a real let-off for Derry.
Sadlier then flashed a shot across the face of the Derry goal and just wide of the far post as Sligo began to grow in confidence.
Substitute, Rafa Cretaro tested Doherty with a header from another Sadlier free-kick with 20 minutes to go,
Derry midfielder, Low was caught in possession inside his own half by Gary Boylan who drove towards goal but his powerful shot went wide.
Sadlier's free-kick from the edge of the area was headed away superbly by McDermott wth two minutes to go.
In the end it was honours as City ended that worrying losing streak.
Sligo Rovers: Michael Schlingerman; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Gary Boylan; Liam Martin, Craig Roddan, Daniel Kearns (Rafa Cretaro 57) , Kieran Sadlier; Chris Kenny (Regan Donelon h-t), Jonah Ayunga; Subs Not Used- Shaun Patton, Paul Doyle, John Mahon, Mathew Stevens, Mark Hannon.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Conor McDermott, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis, Ben Doherty; Lukas Schubert (Barry McNamee 64) Harry Monaghan, Nicky Low, Mark Timlin (Mikhail Kennedy 84); Nathan Boyle, Ronan Curtis (Cathal Farren 79); Subs Not Used- Eric Grimes, Josh Daniels, Scott Whiteside, Alon Netzer.
Referee - Rob Rogers.