St. Patrick’s Athletic and Derry City played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Richmond Park on Friday night, a repeat of the score line when the two sides met in The Brandywell earlier in the campaign. Both teams created numerous chances on the night but a draw was probably a fair result.
The game began at a quick tempo, and in heavy rainfall, with chances for both sides. St Pats had the first chance on two minutes when Derek Doyle put in a good cross from the left hand side, finding the unmarked Daryl Kavanagh, who shot over when well placed.
Derry had their first opportunity when midfielder Stephen McLoughlin created room for a left foot shot from outside the area, which tested Rogers in the Pats goal as the ball moved quickly on the greasy surface.
On 12 minutes Pats had a great chance to break the deadlock when the in-rushing David Mulcahy met an excellent cross from left back Ian Bermingham but he failed to keep his effort down.
Derry kept possession of the ball much better than the home side at times, working clever triangles in midfield; the quick surface aiding their cause. However they failed to really open Pat’s up.
St Pats posed a serious threat upfront and this was exemplified when Danny North held the ball up, turned quickly and unleashed a rasping shot from 20 yards which Derry ‘keeper Gerard Doherty did well to keep out.
The opening goal arrived just after the half hour mark, and it was Derry who took the lead as Higgins fed McLoughlin, who showed good feet to get past Evan McMillan and he expertly passed the ball past Rogers in the Pats goal.
Derry should have been two up soon after, when some neat inter-passing between McGylnn, McEleney and Higgins led to a superb through ball from Patrick McEleney to Zayed, who narrowly shot wide with only Rogers to beat.
The home side punished Derry for their profligacy in front of goal as they equalised just on 45 minutes. A deep cross from Neil Harney found the Derry defence missing in action and Danny North provided the finishing touch past Doherty to leave the sides all square at half time.
Pats returned from the half time team talk eager to build on that goal just before the break.
The in-form Danny North was proving a real handful throughout the game, as he showed again in the 48th minute when he latched on to Harney’s through ball and was in on goal only for Shane McEleney to take the ball off his toe as he was about to pull the trigger.
In the 54th minute, Derry’s ‘keeper Doherty got his body in the way of Derek Doyle’s fierce half-volley, after a fine cross from Daryl Kavanagh from the right.
Derry were under siege at this point, with Doherty working overtime to keep Pats at bay, however North went close again, this time his drive from the edge of the area went narrowly wide.
Doherty was called into action once again on the hour mark as he blocked the ball with his foot after Anthony Murphy shot at goal from Neil Harney’s throw in.
Five minutes later it was Derry’s turn to miss a golden opportunity when McGlynn found Zayed all alone in the box but the striker did not get enough on his header to test Rogers.
Derry came closest to taking all three points on 74 minutes when Danny Lafferty’s sublime curling free kick from about 25 yards out struck the post with Rogers beaten but Pat’s survived.
With five minutes of the 90 remaining Derry created another good chance, after some good build up play involving McGylnn, McEleney picked out Zayed with a cross and his header forced Rogers to claw the ball away.
Both sides applied pressure in the dying minutes, but the final whistle signalled a draw meaning both sides remain level on points in the league standings.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers; Neil Harney (Jordan Keegan, 90), Ian Bermingham, Evan McMillan, Brian Shortall; Stephen Bradley (c), David Mulcahy, Derek Doyle, Anthony Murphy; Daniel North, Daryl Kavanagh.
Subs not used: Chris Bennion, Paul Crawley, Jake Carroll, David McMillan, Shane McFaul, Ian Daly.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Barry Molloy, Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney, Danny Lafferty; Gareth McGylnn, Kevin Deery (c), Patrick McEleney (Ruairi Harkin, 62), Ruaidhri Higgins, Stephen McLoughlin; Eamon Zayed.
Subs not used: Rory Kelly, Eddie McCallion, David McDaid, Ryan McBride, Michael McCrudden, James Henry.
Referee: Alan Kelly
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Danny North. Although several players from both sides deserved consideration for this accolade, North was menacing at times and was a constant thorn in Derry’s side.