It was a case of honours even at United Park as Drogheda United held Derry City to a 1-1 draw to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Michael Daly opened the scoring for the home side shortly after the interval but sustained pressure from the Candystripes was finally rewarded when Cliff Byrne fired Derry level with 15 minutes left to play.
Drogheda came close to opening the scoring early on as a 35-yard free kick from Eric Foley went narrowly wide.
Despite that effort, the visitors largely dominated the first half and Michael Duffy drifted past three Drogheda defenders on 18 minutes only for David Ryan to deflect his goal bound effort onto the crossbar.
Derry squandered another chance to take the lead a couple of moments later when a cross from the industrious Mark Stewart found the head of Rory Patterson but the striker wasn’t able to hit the target.
The final goalmouth action of the first half fell to City again as a corner kick from the right was completely missed by David Ryan but his blushes were saved by a covering Drogheda defender.
Just as they did against Dundalk, the Boynesiders started the second half in devastating fashion. Within the first minute the home side earned a corner kick, which was knocked back into the path of Michael Daly and the defender hooked the ball past Ciaran Gallagher to give United a surprise lead.
The visitors should have leveled ten minutes later as a lightning quick counter attack resulted in Duffy crossing for Stewart at the back post but the winger’s effort was only parried by Ryan with goal scorer Daly again clearing off the line.
It seemed like Derry would regret their numerous missed chances as Stewart’s pinpoint delivery from the right picked out the unmarked Patterson from 8 yards out but last season’s top goal scorer failed to test Ryan.
The Candystripes deservedly drew level on 75 minutes. A Duffy corner caused havoc in the Drogheda box as Ryan fumbled the ball and Derry captain Byrne fired low and hard into the net.
The visitors pushed for a winner late on but it was to no avail as City manager Roddy Collins still awaits his first win in charge.
Drogheda United: David Ryan; Michael Daly, Alan McNally, Ciaran McGuigan, Shane Grimes; Carl Walshe (Austin McCann 76), Eric Foley, Daire Doyle (Stephen Maher 62), Gavan Holohan, Cathal Brady; Gary O’Neill.
Subs Not Used: Dylan Connolly, Ciaran O’Connor, Paul Andrews.
Bookings: Foley (31).
Derry City: Ciaran Gallagher; Roddy Collins, Cliff Byrne, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Mark Stewart, Barry Molloy, Danny Ventre, Michael Duffy; Rory Patterson, Enda Curran (Patrick McEleney 46).
Subs Not Used: Mark Timlin, Shane McEleney, Tony McNamee, David Elebert, Raymond Foy, Ryan Curran.
Bookings: C Byrne (45), Patterson (61), Barry (63), Ventre (70).
Referee: Robert Rogers
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Mark Stewart (Derry City)