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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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Red sky, red cards and a litany of bookings as early pace-setters share the spoils in Dundalk
The Lilywhites were held by the Candystripes in an ill-tempered clash at Oriel Park.

Dundalk 1

Derry City 1

DUNDALK AND DERRY CITY were level on points at the top of the SSE Airtricity League going into this game – and they remain deadlocked there after a 1-1 draw at Oriel Park that saw both sides reduced to ten men.

After David McMillan’s fourth minute goal, Chris Shields was sent off early in the second half. Shortly after Barry McNamee plundered an equaliser, Conor McMcCormack followed him when he too received a second caution.

Shields’ dismissal turned a comfortable outing into a much tighter game. While Dundalk pressed late on, Derry were resistant and even looked a danger. That couldn’t be said in the opening stages.

Just four minutes were on the clock when Stephen Kenny’s side struck first. Massey and Finn combined after Niclas Vemmelund fouled Daryl Horgan. Their ingenuity released McMillan and he did well to get the ball out from under his feet. His left foot poke had power and precision to beat Ger Doherty.

David McMillan celebrates scoring Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

For Derry, the fact that their main goalscoring threat Rory Patterson – with four goals to his credit already this season – was getting such little change from Brian Gartland and Andy Boyle meant they hardly looked like pulling level.

Gary Rogers, fresh from being pressed into international service in training at least – had little to do. But neither did Doherty after the opener in truth. Derry were well drilled and resolute.

Only when Horgan ran at the defence from deep did they look troubled. He sent a shot wide early on and then took three City defenders out with one eye-catching turn.

Brian Gartland talks to Padraigh Sutton after Chris Shields was shown a second yellow card Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

In the second half, chances were at a premium initially. It was when Chris Shields receiving a second yellow card on 55 minutes – his second booking in the space of five minutes – that Derry might have felt a reprieve was in sight.

And, Kenny Shiels did see his team engineer an equaliser against the ten men. Harry Monaghan played in Patterson whose shot beat Rogers but not the post before McNamee followed in and stuck home the rebound.

Barry McNamee celebrates scoring with Ronan Curtis Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Eight minutes later, the numbers were levelled up when Conor McCormack, a Louth man, received his marching orders after two yellows. There appeared to be little in the second challenge. In total, referee Padraigh Sutton showed ten yellows and two reds.

Stephen O’Donnell’s header could have won it late on, but Doherty was equal to it. It ended even steven.

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DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Stephen O’Donnell, Chris Shields, Darren Meenan (Patrick McEleney, 77), Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan, David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff, 78).

Substitutes: Gabriel Sava, Shane Grimes, Paddy Barratt, Robbie Benson, Ciaran O’Connor.

DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty, Niclas Vemmelund, Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis, Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee, Harry Monaghan, Gareth McGlynn (Ronan Curtis, 14), Aaron McEneff (Keith Ward, 65), Rory Patterson.

Substitutes: Shaun Patton, Rory Holden, Ryan Doherty, Patrick McClean, Jordan Allan.

REFEREE: Padraigh Sutton (Clare)

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