Marc Walsh's late strike rescues a point for Derry City in entertaining clash with Bohemians
Derry City 1 Bohemians 1
DERRY CITY substitute Marc Walsh's 94th minute equaliser against Bohemians gave 155 delighted Brandywell supporters plenty to cheer about on their long overdue homecoming party.
Bohs' Scottish winger Ali Coote didn't read the script as he threatened to put a dampener on Derry's first game in front of fans in 15 months when he fired the Dubliners into the lead with six minutes to go.
That strike was met by a deafening silence but Derry pushed to the end and ex-Swansea man, Walsh netted the equaliser deep into stoppage time as his strike crossed the line despite the best effort of James Talbot who claimed the ball didn't cross the line.
The point moved Derry above Dundalk into seventh spot but their search for a first Brandywell win of the season goes on.
The Candy Stripes will feel they were good value for the point as Ronan Boyce had big appeals for a penalty turned down in the first half while Talbot saved superbly to deny Will Patching from a free-kick in the first half.
It was a lively start to the game and when Georgie Kelly held up the ball before playing Liam Burt into space, the midfielder didn't need an invite to shoot but his effort went wide of the target with three minutes on the clock.
Danny Lafferty attempted to lob the ball over the head of the retreating James Talbot from the edge of the area on 11 minutes but his effort went high over the bar.
When Keith Buckley fouled Patching in a promising area, the Englishman swept in a dangerous free-kick and Boyce's powerful header sailed narrowly over.
At the other end Bohs almost capitalised from a swift counter and when Ross Tierney flicked the ball into the path of Dawson Devoy, the Ashbourne native fired wide from 18 yards.
Derry appealed for a penalty when Anto Breslin's sliding tackle brought Boyce to the ground just inside the Bohs penalty area but the referee, Rob Harvey waved play on. City boss, Higgins was furious with the decision and was shown a yellow card for protesting on the sidelines.
The woodwork came to Derry's rescue just short of the half hour mark when Any Lyons crossed low into the six yard box but Toerney was unable to control it and the ball deflected off Toal and struck the foot of the post with Nathan Gartside beaten.
Bohs threated again three minutes later from a clever corner from Breslin but when Devoy peeled off his man his first time strike went the wrong side of the post.
Derry came so close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time when Patching's curling free-kick appeared destined for the top corner but Talbot got a hand to it and Akintunde sent the rebound wide of the net at the near post.
Derry's goal was living a charmed life as Bohs made a blistering start to the second half.
Tierney burst in behind the Derry defence, turned inside McJannet before finding Liam Burt but his strike from eight yards was blocked superbly by a sliding challenge from Boyce. The ball deflected goalwards but McJannet recovered to clear it off the line.
Moments later Kelly's strike from inside the penalty area was deflected behind as Bohs continued with real purpose.
Bohs striker Kelly headed wide of the near post from Coote's inswinging free-kick on 75 minutes.
There was another let-off for Derry from another Coote free-kick towards the back post as Rory Feely arrived unmarked but steered his shot into the side netting.
The breakthrough arrived on 84 minutes as Coote drilled his low shot into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards to give Bohs a deserved lead.
Substitite, Jack Malone was presented with a gilt-edge chance for an equaliser with 30 seconds remaining when Lafferty found him in acres of space with a terrific cross but the midfielder headed directly into the hands of Talbot.
All was not lost, however, as sub, Marc Walsh burst into the Bohs penalty area and his strike at the near post just about crossed the line despite the protests from Bohs keeper Talbot to rescue a share of the spoils in the 93rd minute.
Derry City: N. Gartside; E. Toal, C. McJannet (W. Fitzgerald 55) C. Coll: R. Boyce, J. Thomson (J. Malone 62), C. Harkin, W. Patching, D. Lafferty; J Akintunde, D. Parkhouse (M. Walsh 77); Subs Not Used - J. Lemoignan, M. McChrystal, P. Ferry, C. McLaughlin, M. Glynn, B. Barr.
Bohemians: J. Talbot: A. Lyons, R. Feely, C. Kelly, A. Breslin; L. Burt, K. Buckley, D. Devoy, A. Coote; R.Tierney (K. Ward 91); G. Kelly; Subs Not Used - K. Moore, R. Cornwall, S. Mallon, T. Oluwa, J. Finnerty, T. Wilson, J. Mullins, J. Moylan.
Referee - Rob Harvey (Dublin).