Derry City 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 1
City signed off on the emotion filled 2017 season with an entertaining home draw against St Pats. The result was warmly celebrated by the travelling support, with their team needing a point to guarantee survival. City still had the chance of third sport going into the night but the results elsewhere meant that they had to settle for fourth spot.
The emotions of the season was remembered in the fifth minute, with a round of applause from the support to mark the passing of Ryan McBride. The club also marked the end of the season with the release of five balloons into the air to remind all those in attendance of just what a loss McBride has proved to be.
City we close to full strength, with Boyle the only significant absentee. Monaghan continued his run in midfield, adding a little more physicality with Low having to make do with a place on the bench. The first half was a fairly tame affair, with clear nerves from St Pats which City didn’t appear to be playing at full tempo. Fagan was making a nuisance of himself in the front line for the visitors, whilst City trying to use the wings to generate opportunities.
City fell behind when Barker and Byrne combined down the right and the low ball into the box found it way to Brennan who finished cooly to the roof of the net. The ex-City man was impressive on the night for the Saints, just as he was when the two sides met back in July. City rarely threatened in the first half, with a tame Curtis header the best of the chance.
However the home side started the second half much more brightly, with a McEneff snap shot turned away impulsively by Skowron. However City didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser, Patterson won the ball and fed it down the left before good work from McNamee and Curtis saw the ball rolled in to Patterson. The striker rolled his man and fired home well to bring the sides level.
Pats seemed to be content to hold on for the point and the home side bossed possession for long periods of the second period. The Candystripes really should have made it 2-1 when a botched Saints corner was seized on by Jarvis. He surged forward and was joined at lightning pace by McEneff and Curtis. Jarvis laid the ball to Curtis on the edge of the box, but a superb block from Dennehy saw the call squirm away for a corner.
City continued to press but there was to be few chances as clear cut in the closing stages and so the game ended in a draw.
Derry City – Grimes, McDermott, Cole, Barry, Jarvis; McEneff, Monaghan; Schubert (McIntyre 69), McNamee, Curtis; Patterson
St Patrick’s Athletic – Skowron, Barker, Peers, Desmond, Bermingham; Kelly, Brennan; C Byrne, K Byrne (O’Hanlon 90), Dennehy; Fagan (O’Conor 65)