Cork City 0 Derry City 0
On a night when the column inches will be dominated by the return of the League title to Leeside, a disciplined performance by Derry ensure the point that is required to secure European football and keeps them on the heels of Shamrock Rovers in third place.
Kenny Shiels tinkered his pack, with Lukas Schubert dropping out and Dean Jarvis restored to the starting eleven. After an impressive display on Friday Harry Monaghan retained his spot in the midfield, with Nicky Low making down with a place on the bench.
On a night when many expected little more than a procession for the home side, Derry were certainly on the back foot in the opening stages. The home side, seeking an early goal to settle the nerves, dominated in the possession stakes. However the game settled into the home side owning the ball, but lacking a threat up front.
However it took a while for Derry to settle, their first real chance coming just before the half hour mark. McNamee picked up a loose ball in midfield, and sent an early ball forward towards Patterson. The striker looked up and tried to chip McNulty, with the Cork keeper tipping it over for a corner. The visitors had the best chance of the opening period just a couple of moments later when Monaghan flashed a free header wide from a corner. Cork did well with a long range effort just on the whistle but Doherty pushed it round the post.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with the home side struggling to break down City’s shape. Gone were the flowing attacks of earlier in the season which saw the Candystripes cut open at will. A combination of ponderous possession and poor decision making marked both sides in the opening phases. Derry had a half chance as McDermott surged down the right and his deep cross was heading for Doherty before Beattie cleared the danger.
Sadlier introduced new purpose for Caulfield’s side but they were rarely able to threaten Doherty in the Derry goal. Low replaced the tiring Jarvis as City consolidated and although Cork tried to seal their title with a late goal, but City held out to secure the point that guarantees European football.
With third spot still in their sights, City head to Sligo on Saturday.