DERRY CITY's winless run stretched to seven matches as Dean Williams earned Drogheda United a share of the spoils from the penalty spot at Brandywell.
It's five straight matches without a win on Foyleside for the Candy Stripes who looked comfortable for much of this encounter.
Matty Smith deservedly put the home side ahead on 33 minutes when he volleyed into the roof of the net from close range.
Derry had a host of chances to pull further ahead during a dominant first half but were made to pay 13 minutes from the end.
Patrick McEleney was barged into the back of Ryan Brennan inside the Derry penalty area and match referee Alan Patchell pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Williams to tuck away the equaliser from the spotkick for his fifth goal of the campaign.
It was another excellent result for the Boynesiders who held Shamrock Rovers in their last outing but for Derry, they picked up where they left off before the midseason break.
Ruaidhri Higgins' Derry team was much changed since their last outing before the break as Cameron Dummigan and Patrick McEleney returned from injury. The latter wore the captain's armband in the absence of skipper Eoin Toal who missed out through injury.
Ronan Boyce was also absent nursing a knee injury with Ciaron Coll coming in for his first start since February 28th.
Teenager, Caoimhin Porter was also handed his first start of the season at right back.
The home side squandered a gilt-edged chance to take a third minute lead when Porter crossed dangerously into the six yard box from the right but the unmarked McGonigle mistimed his shot and the chance was lost.
McGonigle was in the thick of the goalmouth action once again on 12 minutes. McEleney found the run of Patching with a lovely ball over the top and when the Englishman played it neatly into the path of McGonigle the striker's effort was charged down by Andrew Quinn.
From the resultant corner kick Dummigan rose highest at the back post but his downward header was hooked off the line. Drogheda failed to clear the danger and McGonigle was unable to steer the loose ball past Colin McCabe who saved.
Moments later Derry broke quickly with Smith on the left and his first time cross into the penalty area was taken on the volley by Patching but his effort went narrowly over the bar.
McEleney 's low, left footed drive from 12 yards following Brandon Kavanagh's corner kick was gathered comfortably by McCabe as Drogheda defended with numbers.
Porter's deliveries from the right were causing Drogheda problems and his inswinging cross just after the half hour mark found McGonigle but again the striker couldn't get enough on his shot to trouble McCabe.
Derry finally broke the deadlock on 33 minutes when McGonigle's close range strike was blocked on the line but Smith reacted quickest and rifled the rebound into the roof of the net for his second goal of the season.
The goal put the home side's nerves at ease and they comfortably took that slender lead into the break.
Patching made a yard on his marker 25 yards from the Drogheda goal with a lovely side-step before drilling his effort just wide of the post at the start of the second half.
Drogheda found themselves in behind the Derry defence on 71 minutes when Dean Williams latched onto a threaded pass from Ryan Brennan but Porter produced a terrific tackle before eventually clearing the ball.
At the other end McGonigle showed great composure inside the Drogheda penalty area but his shot was charged down by James Clarke.
The Boynesiders were awarded a penalty kick on 76 minutes when Patrick McEleney barged into the back of Brennan inside the Derry box.
Referee Alan Patchell didn't hesitate in pointing to the spot and Williams confidently sent Brian Maher the wrong way to get the visitors back on terms.
With five minutes remaining Shane McEleney found the run of McGonigle with a superb ball into the box but the striker headed over the bar.
McEleney's long ball into the Drogheda box again caused problems and as McCabe came to clear, Georgie Poynton's touch took it beyond him but McGonigle couldn't find the net with the loose ball as the visiting defence recovered well.
Derry claimed for a penalty kick in the final minute of stoppage time when Akintunde's shot struck a Drogheda defender but the referee turned the protests down.
Drogheda held on for a precious point as Derry slipped further behind second placed Dundalk.
Derry City: B. Maher: S.McEleney, C. McJannet, C. Coll; C. Porter (J. Thomson 61), B. Kavanagh (J. Akintunde 61), C. Dummigan, W. Patching, M. Smith, P. McEleney; J. McGonigle: Subs Not Used - N. Gartside, D. Lafferty, E. McLaughlin, J. Malone, O. McLaughlin, D. McCallion, L. Mullan.
Drogheda Utd: C. McCabe; E. Weir, A. Quinn, D. Grimes (A. Foley 41), D. Massey, D. Rooney, D. Williams, R. Brennan, J. Clarke (D. Markey 67), D. Nugent, G. Poynton; Subs Not Used - A. Davis K. Cowan, D. Markey, H. Salam, E. Haddock, C. Mutawe.
Referee - Alan Patchell