Dundalk’s caretaker manager, Darius Kierans was delighted with the way his side battled back to secure a draw against Derry City on Friday night.
The interim boss maintained his unbeaten start to his managerial reign as Chris Shields pounced to deny the ‘Candy Stripes’ victory with five minutes to go.
And having held reigning champions Shamrock Rovers to a share of the spoils at Oriel Park the week previous, Kierans was handsome in his praise for his team.
“I’m delighted with them,” said Kierans. “They fought their way back into the game and we maybe could have won it in the end.”
For the second week in succession, Kierans was disappointed with the manner in which Dundalk conceded but he was also delighted with the manner in which his side responded to going a goal behind.
“It was a soft goal to give away. There was probably a lack of communication between Paul Walsh and Ben McLaughlin but we showed great character.”
Lilywhites club captain, Shields forced home a close range header in the 85th minute to wipe out David McDaid’s opener but Kierans felt his side should have went on to claim maximum points.
“Chris is a leader and he leads by example. With Liam Burns out he had to fill in at centre-half and I thought he was outstanding. You know what you’ll get from Chris. He does what it says on the tin. You’ll get 110 per cent from him and he never gives anything less. He’ll play anywhere you want and I’m delighted for him.
“We could have won it in the end but we gave away a soft goal,” he added. “We contained them pretty well in the first-half but we gave away silly balls at times and our composure in the final third wasn’t great.
“In saying that they didn’t really cause us too many problems.
“There was a 20 minute period at the start of the second-half were Derry were in the ascendancy.
“They were shifting us about pretty well at that stage. We brought on Michael Rafter and I thought he opened the game up but unfortunately they scored just as he came on.”
One of the game’s talking points came in the 62nd minute when Robert Waters looked to have squeezed a header past Ger Doherty at his near post. The Dundalk midfielder wheeled away in celebration only to see the game continue.
“I thought it crossed the line and most of the players who were close to it, including the Derry City players thought it had crossed the line”, said Kierans.
“Nathan Murphy probably had the best view of it as he was taking the corner kicks.
“Nathan said he thought it was over the line but you get some decisions and you don’t get others; we got lucky when they hit the post and the bar,” he concluded.