STEPHEN KENNY was left scratching his head in disbelief as he watched his Dundalk side throw away the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Airtricity Premier Division.
David McMillan’s fourth minute strike and a dominant opening 30 minutes should have given the ‘Lilywhites’ the platform to take all three points but Derry fought back to extend their unbeaten run to five games through Barry McNamee’s 67th minute leveller.
Kenny was frustrated with referee Padraig Sutton’s decision to send off midfielder, Chris Shields, in the second half and claimed Derry’s game-plan to stifle the midfield ensured there was no rhythm to the game.
“It was a difficult game to analyse - midfield was very congested and we are used to that,” he said. “It was difficult to get into a rhythm.
“Derry packed the midfield and made it very compact. They had a strategic plan to upset the whole thing and came to contain in the hope that Rory Patterson would do something and he did.
“That’s what happens. We’ve been brilliant at Oriel Park. We’ve only lost two league games here in the past two seasons and we were unbeaten here in the league in 2014.
“We just have to overcome the challenges that teams give us here. They come with a plan and can make it difficult for us. It means the game might not always be as free-flowing.
“But I never felt that our goal was under any threat at all until that chance. I don’t think Derry got a corner, did they?”
Derry didn’t manage to win a corner kick but they did have their chances and defended resolutely to frustrate their hosts.
“Derry defended well but we are kicking ourselves in the sense that we had most of the match,” added Kenny., “Obviously, with 10 men and at 1-1 ,it could go against you then. We still had the composure to get back on top and take the game to Derry, we didn’t sit back.
“We are disapppointed but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We can’t fault the players for effort. So we need to get our composure back and prepare for Longford Town. We were largely in control of the game and we then conceded a goal from their only shot in anger. So it was disappointing we conceded that goal.
“There were nine players booked and it was just stop, start, there was no flow to it. It wasn’t a good advertisement for the League of Ireland.”