Goalkeepers shine as Derry City held to a draw in Sligo
Sligo Rovers 0 Derry City 0
GOALKEEPERS Peter Cherrie and Ed McGinty took the plaudits in the North West derby as their smart reactions ensured a goalless draw at the Showgrounds.
It was Derry City's third consecutive league draw as the Bit O'Red stretched their unbeaten run to an impressive six games.
Both teams had their chances to clinch maximum spoils with Ciaron Harkin gifted a glorious chance for Derry at the start of the second half.
Sligo stopper, McGinty was quick off his line, however, and saved superbly to keep his side in the match.
And McGinty's opposite number, Cherrie produced two outstanding saves at the other end to deny Sligo striker, Ronan Coughlan - his second a magnificent point blank stop.
So it was a case of as you were in terms of positions in the table for both teams but Derry moved back to within four points of third placed Bohemians.
Declan Devine made one enforced change with centre half, Ally Gilchrist (hamstring) missing out and replaced by Eoghan Stokes.
Jamie McDonagh began the match at right-back with Darren Cole slotting in beside Eoin Toal at the heart of the City defence with Stokes deployed on the right wing.
The in-form Sligo Rovers made three changes from the team which were held by Waterford last weekend.
Ed McGinty was preferred to Mitchell Beeney in goals while John Mahon returned from suspension and Niall Morahan returned to the starting XI at the expense of Johnny Dunleavy and Daryl Fordyce respectively.
Derry could've hit the front as early as the second minute after Jamie McDonagh was fouled on the right side of the penalty area by Lewis Banks.
Barry McNamee swung the free-kick towards the back post where Eoin Toal rose unopposed but headed wide of the target.
From a David Cawley corner kick the ball eventually came to Dante Leverock but his header was saved comfortably by Peter Cherrie.
Sligo keeper, McGinty needed to be alert to top Barry McNamee's cross over the bar on 15 minutes as it looked destined for the top corner.
The Bit O'Red were handed a promising chance from a free-kick on 25 yards but Jack Keaney curled his effort harmlessly over on 22 minutes.
The teams went in scoreless at the interval but it was a scrappy first half with clear cut chances and quality in the final third at a premium.
Derry were gifted a glorious chance to break the deadlock seven minutes into the second half when Harkin latched onto Niall Morahan's short back-pass.
The City midfielder raced clean through on goal but the out-rushing McGinty managed to charge down his shot and it went behind.
From the resultant corner, McNamee swung in a dangerous cross and Parkhouse peeled off his marker but headed narrowly wide.
SlIgo were next to threaten on 63 minutes from Regan Donelon's free-kick but Cawley directed his free header horribly wide from 12 yards.
From a long punt upfield by McGinty, Parkes flicked it on and Coughlan got in behind Cole. The Sligo striker cut back onto his left foot and his close range strike was beaten away by the outstretched hand of Cherrie.
The home side appealed for a penalty on 72 minutes when McNamee appeared to clip the heels of Cawley inside the area but the referee, Damien MacGraith waved play on.
From a Sligo free-kick wide on the right moments later, the ball fell kindly to Coughlan at the back post but his effort was saved at point blank range by Cherrie.
There was five minutes of added time at the end of a feisty second half but neither side could find a winning goal.
Sligo Rovers: E. McGinty; N. Morahan (D. Fordyce 89), J. Mahon, D. Leverock, L. Banks; K. Twardek (R. Murray h-t), J. Keaney, D. Cawley, R. Donelon; R. Parkes; R. Coughlan; Subs Not Used - L. McNicolas, S. Warde, K. Callan-McFadden, J. Russell, L. Kerrigan.
Derry City: P. Cherrie; J. McDonagh, E. Toal, D. Cole, C. Coll; J. Ogedi-Uzokwe, G. Sloggett, C. Harkin, E. Stokes (G. Bruna 64); B. McNamee (A.Delap 84); D. Parkhouse; Subs Not Used - N. Gartside, C. McDermott, S. McNamee, J. Kerr, G. Seraf.
Referee - Damien MacGraith.