Drogheda manager Kevin Doherty and Frantz Pierrot celebrate after the game. Tom Maher/INPHO

Haitian striker's late goal leaves Derry frustrated

Frantz Pierrot has finally hit the net in a Drogheda United shirt

Drogheda United 2

Derry City 2

Barry Landy reports from Weavers Park

IT HAS felt like a long time coming but when Frantz Pierrot finally hit the net in a Drogheda United shirt, it was worth the wait.

The Haitian striker’s 86th-minute goal, a stunning, curling shot beyond Brian Maher, sent the home supporters in Weavers Park delirious. A comeback had seemed unlikely with United making three defensive changes two enforced, by the break.

Will Patching and Michael Duffy had Derry City in command but while the visitors were not at their best, they looked set for their first back-to-back wins this term.

Drogheda, though, denied them the chance to close the gap on league leaders Shelbourne in any meaningful way. They have made up just one point now after Shels were defeated for the first time this campaign at Tolka Park.

Ruaidhri Higgins had to plan without Patrick Hoban once again as the striker missed out on an on-field return to the Wee County for the first time since his move to Foyleside in the off-season.

The Derry manager was at least able to name an unchanged team as his side arrived hoping to improve on a record that had seen them win just once in six previous visits to the old ground on the Windmill Road.

Derry-born Oisin Gallagher started the game in midfield for Drogheda but Adam Foley was absent. He got married to long-term partner Nadine on Thursday so Zishim Bawa was recalled. South African goalkeeper Jethren Barr deputised once again for the injured Andrew Wogan.

Barr first arrived in the country two years ago with the help of Derry City goalkeeping coach Michael Dougherty and trained with the club last year. He was offered a deal only to miss the registration window last September.

His opposite number Maher is one of the outstanding young goalkeepers in the country. While Barr is a full international, Maher has aspirations of that variety. He was part of John O’Shea’s Republic of Ireland squad late last month.

He was beaten within three minutes. Warren Davis finished from Oisin Gallagher’s low cross into the six-yard box to set Drogheda on their way.

They suffered a double blow when losing both Andrew Quinn and Evan Weir to injury within minutes of each other in the first half. As the home side dealt with the change in personnel, Derry struck.

Daniel Kelly found Paul McMullan and he stood up a cross to the back post where Michael Duffy headed in. David Webster was introduced at half-time as Doherty further shuffled his pack but by then, his team were behind.

Patching thought he had scored the goal of the game in first-half injury time. He produced a gorgeous curling shot into the top corner. It was quite brilliant. With just four minutes remaining, Pierrot outdid him.

His first Drogheda goal was curled across Maher and inside the far post. It was a stunning goal and worthy of winning any game. The solitary point will have to do.

Drogheda United: Drogheda United: Andrew Wogan; Andrew Quinn (Conor Kane, 20), Luke Keaney, Hayden Cann, Evan Weir (Aaron McNally,
29); Gary Deegan, Oisin Gallagher; Zishim Bawa (David Webster, 46), Darragh Markey, Warren Davis (Killian Cailloce, 76); Ryan Brennan (Frantz Pierrot, 76).

Derry City: Brian Maher; Ronan Boyce, Mark Connolly, Cameron McJannet, Ciaran Coll (Jordan McEneff, 90+1); Adam O’Reilly, Will Patching; Daniel Kelly (Patrick McEleney, 77), Paul McMullan, Michael Duffy; Daniel Mullen (Ben Doherty, 85).

Referee: Damien MacGraith

First Division results:

Cobh Ramblers 2-4 Wexford

Athlone Town 1-0 Finn Harps

UCD 0-0 Cork City

Treaty United 0-0 Kerry

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