Derry City earn 1-1 draw with Drogheda at United Park

Patrick McEleney
Patrick McEleney

Derry City ended their poor run of defeats when producing an improved performance to share the spoils with Drogheda at United Park on Friday night.

However, the Candystripes could and should have lost this match when a defensive howler by Aaron Barry let man of the match Lee Duffy in but his effort was blocked by Shane McEleney.

That said, Derry produced a professional performance during the opening period with Patrick McEleney pulling the strings for the visitors.

McEleney went close on two occasions to breaking the deadlock before a magnificent free-kick by winger Mark Timlin deservedly gave the visitors the lead.

Timlin won the free-kick five minutes from half-time having been fouled by Alan Byrne and he superbly curled the ball over the Drogheda defensive wall as it made its way into the top corner of Michael Schlingerman’s net.

After the break Derry continued to apply the early pressure but they were rocked back on their heels when Drogheda restored equality in the 56th minute.

A cross from the left by Joe Gorman found the head of Sean Brennan, his effort crashing off the underside of the crossbar with referee Neil Doyle awarding the goal following consultation with one of his assistants.

Moving the ball well down the left, Derry’s Dean Jarvis pulled the ball back into the path of Ryan Curran but he failed to get the necessary power into his shot, the ball screwing wide of the target.

The visitors continued to push forward in search of their first win since April but both Philip Lowry and Barry McNamee had shots charged down when well placed.

However, during injury time Aaron Barry lost possession to Duffy and while he rounded Ger Doherty, Shane McEleney got back to block the effort and the save the day for the Foylesiders.

Drogheda United: Schlingerman, Gorman, Byrne, Daly, Brennan (Mulvenna, 86), Duffy, Whelan (Brady, 77), O’Reilly, Maher, Buckley, Marks.

Derry City: Doherty, Jarvis, S. McEleney, Barry, Sharkey, Curtis (Kelly, 84) Lowry, McNamee, Timlin; P. McEleney, Curran.

Referee: Mr. N. Doyle (Dublin).