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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# drog draw
Unstoppable Timlin free-kick earns a point for Derry in Drogheda
Adam Whelan banged in his first Drogheda goal to level the tie after half-time.

Drogheda United 1

Derry City 1

WITH DERRY CITY arriving to County Louth without a league win since mid-April and Drogheda on the back of three straight wins in all competitions, you could have been forgiven this was a game in which the outcome was predictable.

Of late, Drogheda have looked a team on the up. After weeks of struggle, Johnny McDonnell looks to have found his best – or at least, most effective – team and recent performances have been testament to that.

The Candystripes meanwhile have been in freefall. They scored just 11 goals in 16 matches coming into this game. Only Bray had scored fewer. But here, it was Derry who looked full of purpose and Drogheda the ones devoid of ideas in an attacking sense, in the first half at least.

Philip Lowry celebrates scoring with Mark Timlin and Dean Jarvis Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Peter Hutton’s men had defeated Drogheda 3-0 at the Brandywell earlier in the campaign with Anthony Elding twice on the mark. His loss in midweek was not felt. Derry were much the better side and were fully deserving of their first half lead.

Ryan Curran had already gone close with a low shot before Stephen Maher fouled Mark Timlin 30 yards from goal. The winger got to his feet and dusted himself off to curl an unstoppable left foot effort past Michael Schlingermann and into the net.

Drogheda had not looked even close to troubling Ger Doherty in the other goal throughout the first half. They didn’t look any more likely in the opening stages of the second, until Adam Whelan struck his first league goal for the Drogs.

Joe Gorman delivered a cross into the box and Whelan glanced a header over Doherty. While the goalkeeper was beaten, the ball came down off the junction of post and bar and just over the line. Referee Neil Doyle didn’t see it, but assistant Rhona Daly made the call and raised her flag for the goal.

Twist

The home team were better as the match wore on but both sides pressed for the desired winner. The best Derry chance fell to Curran, but he couldn’t make the most of Dean Jarvis’ good work down the left.

In injury time, Lee Duffy did well to twist and turn his way past a couple of Derry defenders and Doherty but with the goal gaping, his shot was well blocked by Aaron Barry.

As it stands, Derry’s worrying winless run continues. With Cork City to visit the Brandywell immediately after the break, it may get worse before it gets better.

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DROGHEDA UNITED: Michael Schlingermann, Lloyd Buckley, Alan Byrne, Robert O’Reilly, Joe Gorman, Mick Daly, Stephen Maher, Sean Brennan (Tiernan Mulvenna, 87), Jason Marks, Adam Whelan (Cathal Brady 77), Lee Duffy.

Substitutes: Evin Farrell, Carl Walshe, Sam McGowan, Neil Yadolahi, Fionn Reilly.

DERRY CITY: Gerard Doherty, Seamus Sharkey, Shane McEleney, Ronan Curtis (George Kelly, 85), Aaron Barry, Philip Lowry, Barry McNamee, Mark Timlin, Ryan Curran, Patrick McEleney.

Substitutes: Shaun Patton, Shaun Kelly, Seanan Clucas, Josh Daniels, Cillian Morrison, Nathan Boyle.

REFEREE: Neil Doyle

MOTM Shane McEleney (Derry City)

Originally published Friday, 22.13

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