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Derry come from behind twice to frustrate leaders Dundalk

Stephen Kenny’s side saw their slender advantage at the top of the table wiped out as they were held at home.

Aaron McEneff celebrates in front of the travelling fans.
Aaron McEneff celebrates in front of the travelling fans.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Dundalk 2

Derry City 2

Barry Landy reports from Oriel Park

DERRY CITY TWICE came from behind at Oriel Park as league leaders Dundalk were denied the chance to extend their winning streak in the Premier Division to seven games.

Kenny Shiels’ side, themselves on a seven-game winning streak in all competitions, had to make do with a point but they will make the trip north happy with their lot having become the first team in the league this season to score twice past Dundalk.

Robbie Benson’s early strike was cancelled out by Aaron McEneff’s penalty but while Michael Duffy restored the Lilywhite lead soon after, Derry’s second equaliser came via centre-back Eoin Toal.

This result, coupled with Cork’s win at Dalymount Park, means Stephen Kenny has seen his team’s narrow lead at the summit wiped out.

They looked set to continue their winning run after a strong first-half display which was bookended by two goals.

Benson converted John Mountney’s cross with just eight minutes played.

Pat Hoban and Sean Hoare went close to doubling the lead too, with the Foylesiders rarely offering a threat of note. That was until referee Ben Connolly offered them a route into the game.

Ronan Curtis and Patrick Hoban Ronan Curtis and Patrick Hoban. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

He judged Dan Cleary to have fouled McAneff, and the influential midfielder dusted himself down and beat Rogers — the first goal he has conceded in 2018.

The sparky Duffy fired in from Sean Gannon’s cross before half time to put smiles on the faces of the Oriel masses, making it 2-1 against his former club.

But, that lead was short-lived.

Less than two minutes had elapsed in the second half when Derry scored the goal to earn their point. McAneff’s free kick was headed towards goal by Ronan Curtis and although it was well saved by Rogers, Toal turned it in.

Gavin Peers was shown a second yellow card with minutes to go and Shiels seemed to enjoy his role as pantomime villain on the touchline as his improving side spoiled the day for Dundalk.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Dan Cleary, Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell (Chris Shields, 77), Robbie Benson, John Mountney (Dylan Connolly, 71), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy, Patrick Hoban (Marco Tagbajumi, 78).

DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty, Darren Cole, Jack Doyle, Gavin Peers, Eric Toal, Jamie McDonagh, Rory Hale, Nicky Low, Aaron McEneff, Ronan Curtis, John Cofie (Nathan Boyle, 72).

Referee: Ben Connolly.

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