Derry City 0 UCD 0
Derry’s 100% home record was ended last night as a well organised UCD left the Brandywell with a deserved point, having frustrated the Candystripes.
The home side had a number of chances to break the deadlock in the second half, but the visitors will also rue their failure to convert the chances that came their way.
City were forced into a number of changes with injuries and suspensions taking their toll. Eddie McCallion started at centre half, and Kevin Deery made his first start of the campaign in the centre of the park. However it was the visitors who started the brighter, with Langrty and Morrison forcing Gerard Doherty to make two very good stops.
Gradually the home side gained the ascendancy, with Madden and McEleney providing a real threat down the right hand side. However despite winning half a dozen corners in the first half, visiting stopper McGinley was never under any real threat. UCD were forced to reshuffle their defence when Leahy was withdrawn with what looked like a dislocated shoulder, but Hugh Douglas moved into the centre from full back and partnered brilliantly with O’Connor.
City were improved in the second period but it was still past the hour mark when McGinley was forced into the first save. McEleney curled an effort that seemed bound for the top corner but McGinley pawed it away at full stretch. However the visitors showed that they could pose a threat on the break when Ledwith’s pwoerful shot from 35 yards was well tipped over by Doherty.
Mark Farren was denied a goal by Douglas when he was sent clear and rolled the ball under McGinley. However just as the ball looked destined to cross the line, Douglas got a foot to it and cleared the ball. City countinued to forced a succession of corners, but were not able to break the deadlock as the clock ticked down in front of a jittery home crowd.
UCD had a tremendous opportunity to win it late on when Morrison met an O’Connor free, but the header drifted a yard wide with Doherty beaten. However the last drama was for the home side when Farren was flattened by Douglas in the box after a mistake by O’Connor saw the ball fall to the Derry striker. The defender appeared to jump on top of Farren, with no attempt to win the ball, as the Derry striker picked up the ball with back to goal. However referee Towmey was unmoved despite the howls of protest from the home fans and players in the Brandywell.