COLERAINE fought their way back from a 2-0 deficit to share the spoils in Derry City’s final pre-season game of 2014.
And while it was considered a fair result in the end, the priority had been raising funds for former striker, Mark Farren, who watched the game from the Glentoran Stand.
To be fair, Derry were slightly flattered to enter the break 1-0 to the good when Rory Patterson produced a superb finish when diverting Enda Curran’s low cross high into the net in the 38th minute.
However, an improved second half display by the home side saw Derry double their lead when Mark Stewart took full advantage of a defensive lapse when gleefully crashing the ball into the unguarded net after rounding keeper, Eugene Ferry.
Derry were furious with referee, Stephen Toner, when he denied the home side what appeared to be a stonewall penalty after Patterson appeared to have been upended when inside the box.
Coleraine refused to give up the ghost and former ‘Candy Stripe,’ Ruairi Harkin, curled a free-kick into the Derry net off the upright to breathe new life into his side.
And substitute Luke McDowell levelled matters ten minutes from the end when Bradley’s shot parried out by Doherty before McDowell stabbed the rebound home.
In fact, Coleraine could have won the game near the end but Gerard Doherty did well to save from Derry GAA star, Eoin Bradley, in a one-on-one competition.
Following the game, Derry boss, Roddy Collins, said it was another good workout for his squad and he was happy with the team’s fitness levels.
“It was a good workout for us and I’m continuing to learn things about the players,” he added.
The Dubliner was also admant that while he was happy with the performance, he was now very close to identifying the players who will start next Sunday’s opening league game against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.
Derry City - G. Doherty; Collins, Byrne, Barry, Jarvis; Molloy, Ventre; Stewart, P. McEleney, E. Curran; Patterson.
Subs., D. Elebert, S. McEleney, R. Curran, Timlin, Duffy, Burke, R. Doherty.
Coleraine - Ferry, Surgeoner, McNeill, Ogilby, Watt, Harkin, Tommons, Lowry, Owens, Browne, Bradley.
Subs. Finlay, Mullan, Grisham, McDowell and Campell.
Referee - Mr. Stephen Toner (Donegal).
MARK RECEIVES GATE
Following Saturday’s game, the entire gate receipts were presented to former Derry City striker and the club’s all-time top goalscorer, Mark Farren following the final whistle.
Mark, who watched the friendly fixture from the Glentoran Stand, expressed his thanks to all those who supported the game and he continues to be in good form as he continues his recovery from brain surgery.
DERRY CITY MONTHLY DRAW
The winner of the Derry City Monthly Draw for February was Mr. John Harkin, from Woodbrook whose ticket, no. 530 earns him the top prize of £1,000.
The draw took place in the club’s Brandywell Office yesterday afternoon.