League Report: Derry City 0 - 0 Shelbourne

Brian Maher celebrates his penalty save from Shane Farrell in the scoreless draw with Shelbourne,

Brian Maher celebrates his penalty save from Shane Farrell in the scoreless draw with Shelbourne, Credit: John-Paul McGinley (ETPhotos)

Derry City dropped back down to second place in the table after ceding two more points in a scoreless draw with Shelbourne. 

Ruaidhrí Higgins’ side drew a second successive blank, following last week’s 1-0 defeat to Sligo Rovers, as Shamrock Rovers jumped back to the summit.

The home side had chances but were indebted to Brian Maher for a number of crucial saves as poor home form is affects their title chances with just four wins at the Brandywell.

The Ireland under-21 keeper - who was recently called up to Stephen Kenny's senior training camp - got his fingers to a Shane Farrell penalty in the game's defining moment.

It was more frustration for the away side who failed to make the most of their opportunities to gain ground on the sides above them. 

Try as they might, Damien Duff’s Reds could not find the breakthrough, with Farrell’s missed penalty in the first half proving the most costly. 

Both managers made four changes. Higgins brought in Ciaran Coll, Mark Connolly, Patrick McEleney and Jamie McGonigle from the side who lost to Sligo Rovers last weekend. 

Duff was forced to make a late change as Gavin Molloy was injured in the warm-up and was replaced by Shane Griffin. 

Kameron Ledwidge, Andrew Quinn and Kyle Robinson also came into the side from the scoreless draw with Bohemians. 

It was a cagey opening but Derry had the first effort via the work rate of Jamie McGonigle. He rose high to flick the ball onto the on-rushing Michael Duffy. The winger took a touch before firing just wide from outside the area. 

The visitors proved to be the most dangerous, however, as Farrell’s ball ran through into the path of Jack Moylan who looked certain to score only for Ronan Boyce to produce an excellent block. 

Moments later Farrell sent in another cross towards Kyle Robinson who took a touch before he saw his shot crash against the Derry post. 

After all that hard work, Derry almost found themselves in front. Maher’s long ball over the top sent Michael Duffy through on goal. 

The winger chipped over the advancing Conor Kearns for what appeared a certain lead before John Wilson scooped it off the line. Moylan cleared off the line to deny McGonigle from the resulting corner. 

Shelbourne went straight down the other end and were given the opportunity to go in front. The away side awarded a penalty after Ciaran Coll was adjudged to have taken down Farrell in the area. 

Farrell stepped up to take it himself, but his effort was straight down the middle and tipped away by Maher. 

Ben Doherty came close to giving Derry the lead after the break from a Duffy cross but he headed wastefully over the bar. 

At the other end, Conor Kearns proved his worth with an excellent stop to deny McGonigle, the Shels keeper tipping away from the striker when his header looked certain to find the bottom corner. 

Robinson then had two chances to put Shelbourne ahead. Moylan played a clever reverse pass into the path of the attacker to put him clear on goal. 

His final shot lacked power and Maher was equal to it. He had a snap-shot following a corner but found the same result. 

The home side almost had an unlikely hero as Coll’s header met Duffy’s free kick. Kearns tipped it over the bar and Connolly was denied on the subsequent corner and it ended goalless.

Derry City: Brian Maher; Ronan Boyce, Ciaran Coll, Ben Doherty (Ryan Graydon 61), Cameron Dummigan, Cameron McJannet; Mark Connolly, Michael Duffy, Adam O'Reilly (Jordan McEneff 83); Patrick McEleney, Jamie McGonigle (Cian Kavanagh 74).

Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan, Shane McEleney, Brandon Kavanagh, Will Patching, Oliver O'Neill, Sean Patton.

Shelbourne: Conor Kearns; Shane Griffin, Kameron Ledwidge, Andrew Quinn, Tyreke Wilson, John Ross Wilson; Evan Caffrey, Mark Coyle (JJ Lunney 81), Jack Moylan; Shane Farrell, Kyle Robinson (Matty Smith 64).

Subs not used: Daithi Folan, David Toure, Lewis Temple, Luke Byrne, Jad Hakiki, Brian McManus, Sean Boyd.

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick).
Attendance: 3,560.
extratime.com Player of the Match: Brian Maher (Derry City).