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Drogheda and Derry ends in stalemate following late Byrne equaliser

Goals from Mick Daly and Cliff Byrne ultimately ended in the game ending all square.

Derry boss Roddy Collins (file photo).
Derry boss Roddy Collins (file photo).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Drogheda United 1-1 Derry City

IT WAS LEFT to two defenders to show the strikers how to do it at United Park as goals from Mick Daly and Cliff Byrne saw Drogheda United and Derry City share the spoils in a lively 1-1 draw.

The home side were dealt a blow just prior to kick off when Declan O’Brien was ruled out through injury. Gavan Holohan, making his first start of the season, replaced the veteran striker, leaving Gary O’Neill to lead the Drogs line.

Drogheda went closest early on when Eric Foley, who scored a stunning free kick against Dundalk on the opening night, sent a 30-yard effort past Ciaran Gallagher’s post.

Minutes later, Derry were unfortunate not be in front. This time, Michael Duffy’s shot was deflected onto the bar by Dave Ryan. Shortly after, Rory Patterson wasted a chance from close range when he headed over from Mark Stewart’s cross.

As the first half wore on, Derry gained a foothold in the game. Stewart and the excellent Roddy Collins Jnr combined to good effect down the Derry right.

Just after the restart however, Drogheda took the lead. Foley’s corner was headed only partially clear by Duffy and right back Mick Daly acrobatically volleyed in.

Throughout the second period, the very best chances fell to Derry and almost exclusively to Patterson. First, the striker turned Ciaran McGuigan and shot wide and then failed to connect properly with a Stewart cross when unmarked in the area.

Sandwiched between Patterson’s opportunities, Stewart saw his shot squirm under Ryan’s body but McGuigan was there to hack the ball off the line.

In the 75th minute, the equaliser finally came. Ryan got nowhere near Duffy’s corner and after some goalmouth ping-pong it was Cliff Byrne, of all people, to apply a forward’s finish.

As the clock ticked down, Patterson had the ball in the net once more but after finishing from a fine Danny Ventre pass, the linesman raised his flag to deny Derry a winner.

DROGHEDA UNITED: David Ryan, Michael Daly, Shane Grimes, Alan McNally [C], Cathal Brady, Gary O’Neill, Ciaran McGuigan, Carl Walshe (Austin McCann 75), Daire Doyle (Stephen Maher, 64), Gavan Holohan, Eric Foley.
Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Paul Andrews, Austin McCann, Ciaran O’Connor, Stephen Maher.

DERRY CITY: Ciaran Gallagher, Roddy Collins Jr, Dean Jarvis, Barry Molloy, Danny Ventre, Enda Curran (Patrick McEleney, 46), Rory Patterson, Michael Duffy, Mark Stewart, Cliff Byrne, Aaron Barry.
Substitutes: Shane McEleney, Patrick McEleney, Raymond Foy, Mark Timlin, Ryan Curran, Dave Elebert, Tony McNamee.

Referee: R Rogers

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