In a night of high drama at Brandywell Stadium, Derry City came back from two goals down to salvage a priceless point against a Drogheda side who made a mockery of their lowly league position.
Right from the off Drogheda were harrying the City team and on the third minute were awarded a corner. This was whipped in and Brian Gannon powerfully headed into the net to give the Louth men an early and unexpected lead.
Immediately Derry went on the attack and Barry Molloy blazed one over before McGlynn got his head to a McLaughlin cross which came off the crossbar with the keeper well beaten. In the 17th minute McGlynn again found himself in front of goal and sent a delicate chip across Robert Duggan but again the post came to the rescue for the relieved net minder.
Drogheda were certainly giving Derry plenty to think about but in the 36th minute Derry broke swiftly from the back and Higgins fed McLaughlin who hit it first time only for the post to once again come to Duggans’ aid. In the 38th minute Drogheda forced a corner which Derry failed to clear properly and Gavin Brennan was on hand to lash home Drogs’ second. Derry seemed shell shocked and were glad of the half time whistle when it came.
The second half came to life in the 50th minute when Patrick McEleney went down in the box and was promptly booked for simulation by Richie Winter, a correct call. Derry were beginning to get frustrated and their captain Kevin Deery went into the book for dissent in the 55th minute.
Derry were now piling the pressure on the Drogheda goal and the breakthrough finally came in the 74th minute when a Rhuadri Higgins shot was parried only as far as Gareth McGlynn's head and he nodded home to set up a tense finish.
It was all one way traffic at this stage and in the 88th minute the visitors resistance broke when Robert Duggan palmed out a cross only for it to hit Dave Rogers’ calf and roll back past him for the equaliser. Derry continued to press for the last few minutes but although coming close, couldn’t find another goal in what was a very exciting finish to a very entertaining game.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Barry Molloy, Stewart Graecen, Shane McEleney (Ryan McBride 80), Daniel Lafferty; Stephen McLaughlin, Gareth McGlynn, Rhuadri Higgins(c), Kevin Deery(c); Patrick McEleney (David McDaid 60), Eamon Zayed.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Mark Farren, Emmett Friars, Ruairi Harkin, Eddie McCallion.
Bookings: P McEleney (50), K Deery (55).
Drogheda Utd: Robert Duggan; Robbie Clarke, Alan McNally, Dave Rogers, Robbie Gaul; Brian Gannon, Philip Hand (Mark O'Brien 78), Lee Lynch, Gavin Brennan; Peter McMahon, Jordan White.
Subs not used: Keith McCarthy, Mark O’Brien, Tiarnan Mulvenna, Tony Melis, Shane Fitzgerald, Shane Dolan.
Bookings: D Rogers (66), G Brennan (75).
Referee: Richie Winter.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gavin Brennan.