DERRY City remain on the summit of the Premier Division table, but they had to rely on a dodgy penalty decision against Bohemians,
With Shamrock Rovers again reducing Derry’s lead to just one point following their defeat of Finn Harps, the ‘Candystripes’ will be disappointed with this result, but not down-hearted.
Indeed, Ruaidhri Higgins will now focus his charges on another fixture on Foyleside on Monday night when St. Pat’s make the trip from Inchicore for a rescheduled fixture.
While Derry will feel hard done by, the home side must admit to gaining a giant slice of luck when awarded a penalty when Patrick McEleney crashed down to earth following a shoulder barge for what appeared to be a very soft decision.
Bohemians therefore will take the point and move on, their solid support appearing happy following the final whistle.
The ‘Gypsies’ opened on the front foot, preparing to get players forward during the early stages and those tactics almost reaped early rewards.
After just seven minutes centre-back, Ciaran Kelly, headed a decent chance over the crossbar, while Liam Burt made Derry keeper, Brian Maher earn his wages when diving low to gather possession minutes later.
Derry eventually settled but it was the men from Dalymount who brought the game to life when breaking the deadlock in the 14th minute.
Brandon Kavanagh failed to control a loose ball with Derry on the attack and the alert Burt gained possession before scampering forward.
As two defenders appeared to step back, Burt dinked the ball forward into the path of the advancing Promise Omochere and the winger finished with aplomb.
That goal clearly stunned the ‘Candystripes’ but it was the visitors’ decision to commence wasting time after their goal which infuriated the big home crowd.
Derry fought back to restore equality in the 34th minute in particularly fortunate circumstances.
Kavanagh and Patrick McEleney combined with a neat combination, the latter receiving the ball inside the 18 yards box before Conor Levingston appeared to shoulder the Derry midfielder, McEleney falling to the ground and match referee Adriano Reale, immediately pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Will Patching and he sent James Talbot the wrong way, when tucking the ball into the corner of the net much to the delight of the attendance.
Four minutes from the break, Derry really should have moved into the driving seat.
A long ball from the back was superbly controlled by Jamie McGonigle but the striker opted for power when blasting the ball high over the crossbar.
Derry approached the second half in a different frame of mind and began to dominate possession.
In the 50th minute Patrick McEleney threatened Talbot with a superb curling shot from 25 yards, but the ball failed to hit the target.
And five minutes later a Will Patching free-kick was curled agonisingly wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Derry squandered a superb chance in the 66th minute when a superb pass from Patching sent McGonigle on his way and when he worked his way past Bohs sub, Max Murphy, the Derry hitman opted to go for goal with Talbot blocking and saving the shot.
McGonigle would have been better advised to set-up the unmarked James Akintunde.
With the home side enjoying the lion’s share of possession, McGonigle broke again on the left flank in the 73rd minute but his tame shot was easily dealt with by Talbot.
Bohemians were presented with a superb chance to steal the points in the 75th minute when a deep cross from full-back, Tyreke Wilson found the head of Omochere but his effort was saved by Maher from close range.
Another shot from Patching failed to find the target as Derry continued to force their way forward but the Bohs defence held out.
In the end Bohs sub, Kfis Twardek could have nicked it, but he failed to force the ball home following a deep cross from the left, with the last kick of the match.
DERRY CITY: Maher 8; S. McEleney 7, Toal 7, McJannet 7 (Thomson, 75); Dummigan 6, P. McEleney 7, Kavanagh 6 (McLaughlin, 86); Patching 7; Smith 6 (Akintunde, 64), McGonigle 7.
BOHEMIANS: Talbot 7; Packham 7 (Murphy, 64)), Doherty 8, Kelly 7, Wilson 7; Coote 6 (Finnerty, 91), Devoy 6, Levingston 7, Omochere 7; Burt 7 (Twardek, 74); Ogedi-Uzokwe 6.
REFEREE: A. Reale
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