Derry City battle hard for share of the spoils against Bohemians

Derry City's Greg Sloggett tussles with Bohemians Keith Ward.
Derry City's Greg Sloggett tussles with Bohemians Keith Ward.

Derry City 0 Bohemians 0

Derry City remain in the touch for the all important Europa League spot, despite not be able to see off fellow contenders Bohemians, at the Brandywell.

The home side never really did enough to win the game, while Bohs' Luke Wade Slater really should have won the three points in the second half, but he blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Both sets of defenders shone throughout and was aa big reason why neither side could score that all important goal.

In the closing stages history was made as Bohemians brought on 14-year-old Evan Ferguson, replacing Wade Slater, to become the youngest ever League of Ireland player.

The Brandywell men welcomed back midfielder Greg Sloggett replacing the suspended Grant Gillespie, while youngster Jack Malone was giving his first star, replacing the injury Gerardo Bruna.

The Candy Stripes had the first half chance of the encounter on 14 minutes with Ciaran Coll’s left wing cross finding Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, but the Londoner’s header failed to trouble Bohs keeper James Talbot.

Minutes later former Derry midfielder Keith Ward went close, but his 20 yard free-kick failed to trouble Derry keeper Peter Cherrie.

On 22 minutes Derry centre-back Eoin Toal came out of defence like German legend Franz Beckenbauer, before feeding a clever defence splitting pass to find David Parkhouse, but the big striker was denied by a smart save by the alert Talbot.

Just after the half-hour mark Derry City's Kevin Deery was sent to the stand by referee Paul McLaughlin, after the Derry assistant seem to have words by the visitors bench.

At half-time one of the Brandywell club’s all-time legends Billy Cathcart, a League and Cup winner with Derry back in the 1960’s, was introduced to the supporters.

Right at the start of the second half, Talbot was called into action as he dived to keep out Ciaron Harkin’s effort, then from Barry McNamee’s resulting corner Ogedi-Uzokwe’s goal-bound header was deflected wide by Bohs defender Paddy Kirk.

Derry could have been awarded a penalty on 53 minutes as Ross Tierney seemed to bring down midfielder Malone inside the box, but referee Paul McLaughlin awarded a goal-kick, much to Declan Devine's frustration.

Ten minutes later another flowing move by Derry ended Harkin's through ball releasing Parkhouse, but the striker fired wide with his left footed strike.

The visitors missed the best chance of the game on 68 minutes as Jamie McDonagh's miss placed pass only found Andre Wright, who in turn feed an unmarked Wade Slater, but with Cherrie to beat, the winger blazed over from close range.

Derry went close themselves minutes later but McNamee's right footed strike from close range, was kept out by a diving Talbot.

Neither side created much in the closing stages despite both sets of players pushing forward for the all important winner.

Derry City: Cherrie, McDonagh, Toal, Gilchrist, Coll; Malone (Delap 77), Sloggett (McCrudden 81), McNamee; Harkin, Parkhouse, Ogedi-Uzokwe.

Bohemians: Talbot, Lyons, Cornwall, Finnerty, Kirk; Tierney, Allardice, Grant, Wade-Slater (Ferguson 89), Ward (Devoy 64), Wright (Graydon 75).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin