Cameron McJannett pounces to clinch valuable point against Dundalk
Derry City 1 Dundalk 1
CAMERON McJannet rescued a valuable point for Derry City against fellow strugglers Dundalk in a thrilling bottom of the table clash at Brandywell Stadium as both sides remain winless after six fixtures.
Substitute David McMillan marked his 200th appearance for Dundalk with a clinical finish on 52 minutes following a superb move involving Derry men Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy.
Dundalk's lead lasted just eight minutes as McJannet netted his second goal of the season after Albanian keeper, Alessio Abibi spilled Eoin Toal's header.
Derry held off a late Dundalk onslaught as Nathan Gartside produced an excellent save to deny McMillan a second while Cameron Dummigan rattled the crossbar.
The Brandywell club have now failed to beat Dundalk in 16 games but Declan Devine will be delighted to share the spoils on this occasion.
It was an inspired performance and the club's best of the season so far but it wasn't enough to lift the Candystripes off the foot of the table.
All eyes were on Dundalk's dugout as the match kicked-off and it was clear Sporting Director Jim Magilton was making the big decisions in the post Filippo Giovagnoli era.
The Belfast man was flanked by the Italian's former assistant Guiseppe Rossi and Academy coach Stephen McDonnell in a new look, albeit temporary coaching set-up.
Derry City's 'Different League' documentary charting the club's entry into the League of Ireland and its treble winning success is a far cry from the Brandywell men's current predicament.
That's six games without a win so far with Declan Devine's troops recording just the one win in their last 11 matches in all competitions.
The inspiring documentary, however, galvanised Derry as they showed grit and character to claw their way back from that early second half setback.
The City boss admitted the absence of star man Will Patching, a loan signing from Dundalk, was considered a 'major blow' ahead of this clash.
In came David Parkhouse to replace him while Ciaron Harkin was recalled to the starting XI at the expense of Brendan Barr as Derry faced a third game in the space of seven days.
Dundalk made two changes to the team which clinched a share of the spoils against St Pat's on Saturday with former Derry players Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, scorer of the equalising goal against the Saints and Patrick McEleney returning to the fold.
Han Jeongwoo and Ole Erik Midtskogen both dropped to the bench.
Dundalk were first to threaten from Michael Duffy's inswinging cross from the left but Pat Hoban headed harmlessly wide of the target with three minutes on the clock.
The visitors really should've taken the lead on 15 minutes when Duffy did superbly to get to the byline and cross towards McEleney in space 12 yards from goal but he fired wide of the right post.
Danny Lafferty's inviting free-kick swung into the box found Akintunde who rose highest but the Englishman sent his header over the crossbar.
Dundalk were dealt a blow when Pat Hoban hobbled off injured and replaced by David McMillan for his 200th appearance for the Co. Louth club.
Derry almost capitalised on sloppy defensive play by Dundalk on 36 minutes as Will Fitzgerald chased down the ball and just as the Limerick native prepared to shoot, Raivis Jurkovski got his boot to intercept at the crucial moment as the sides went in lebel at the break.
Nine minutes into the second half Dundalk broke the deadlock following a lovely move involving Derry men McEleney and Duffy.
McEleney turned beautifully before sending Duffy racing clear down the left and when the winger crossed towards McMillan at the near post, the experienced hitman fired into the net from close range.
The goal sparked Dundalk into life and they almost added a second 60 seconds later when Sam Stanton broke clean through on goal but Nathan Gartside parried his shot superbly.
Just as the game seemed to be slipping away from the home side they capitalised from a Jack Malone free-kick to get back on level terms on 61 minutes.
Ronan Boyce kept the ball alive at the back post and when Eoin Toal headed it goalwards, Alessio Abibbi spilled the ball under pressure and McJannet was on hand to score his second of the season.
Derry were on top and pressing for the winner when Dundalk skipper Chris Shiels cynically brought down Fitzgerald who was bursting towards the penalty area on 74 minutes.
Fitzgerald stepped up to take the resultant free-kick but curled his effort narrowly over the crossbar.
McMillan fired a volley wide of the post and was then denied by a fantastic save by Gartside at full stretch as Dundalk upped the ante in the final 10 minutes.
Dummigan cannoned a powerful strike off the crossbar with two minutes remaining as Derry held on desperately.
Derry City: N. Gartside: R. Boyce, E. Toal, C. McJannet, C.Coll; W. Fitzgerald, J. Malone, C. Harkin, D. Lafferty (B. Barr 61); J. Akintunde (C. McLaughlin 77); D. Parkhouse; Subs Not Used - J. Lemoignan, M. Glynn, P. Ferry, C. Porter, M. McFadden, D. Lupano, J. Thomson.
Dundalk: A. Abibi; R. Jurkovskis, A. Boyle, S. Stanton (W. Zahibo 65) D. Cleary, C. Dummigan, C. Shields, P. McEleney (S. Murray 71), J. Ogedi-Uzokwe (O. Midtskogen 65), M. Duffy; P. Hoban (D. McMillan 35); Subs Bot Used - P. Cherrie, G. Sloggett, D. Leahy, R. O'Kane, H. Jeongwoo.
Referee: Rob Hennessy