Derry City remain in pole position to claim fourth spot in the league as they preserved their three point advantage over Shamrock Rovers after a scoreless draw between the two sides.
In a match where clear cut opportunities were few and far between, there was very little difference between the two sides and neither manager could complain about the final result.
The first half began with Derry very much on the front foot, the start typified by a lazy Billy Dennehy backpass which Richard Brush only just beat Michael Rafter to. In the 15th minute Ryan Curran, who was giving Conor Powell nightmares, managed to cut a ball back to David McDaid who brought a decent save out of Brush.
At this juncture Shamrock Rovers were finding it hard to match the tempo the home side had set, and it wasn't until the 35th minute they got a real chance of note. Richie Ryan slipped Conor Powell through the middle with just Doherty to beat but he seemed to dwell a little too long allowing the covering Barry Molloy and Doherty to force him too wide to take a shot. The half petered out in midfield until half time with Rovers showing more signs of coming into the game.
The second half started with Rovers' Gary McCabe sending in a low cross which got trapped under the feet of City captain Barry Molloy but he just managed to adjust and clear from an onrushing Karl Sheppard. A Pat Sullivan cross in the 53rd minute was very nearly turned in by Billy Dennehy but he was just overreaching when he connected.
Derry City were still dangerous however and Michael Rafter sent substitute Mark Griffin clear but he somehow managed to drag his shot wide with only Brush to beat. Almost immediately after this Rafter blazed a shot over the bar after good work in the penalty box. In the 68th minute Barry McNamee went over in the box but the referee waved play on.
A minute later Karl Sheppard went down in Derrys' box but the referee booked the Rovers striker for simulation. In the 87th minute an excellent driving run and shot from Ronan Finn forced Doherty into a great save. The final chance of the game fell to Derry's Michael Rafter who brought a great save from point blank range out of Brush in injury time.
Overall a draw was probably a fair reflection of the game and Trevor Crolly will be the more disappointed of the two managers having failed to close the gap with only two games remaining.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Barry Molloy(c), Dean Jarvis; David McDaid, Ruaidhri Higgins (Mark Griffin 50), Patrick McEleney, Barry McNamee; Michael Rafter, Ryan Curran.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Conal Kelly, Paddy Kavanagh, Conor Barr, Eoghan Osbourne, Raymond Foy.
Shamrock Rovers: Richard Brush; Pat Sullivan, Derek Foran, Ken Oman, Conor Powell (Daniel Ledwith 64); Gary McCabe (Sean O'Connor 77), Richie Ryan, Shane Robinson (c), Ronan Finn, Billy Dennehy; Karl Sheppard (Thomas Stewart 69).
Subs not used: Barry Murphy, David Elebert, Jason McGuinness, Stephen Rice.
Booked: Powell (32), Oman (67), Sheppard (69), Sullivan (74), Dennehy (80).
Referee: Sean Grant.
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Ryan Curran (Derry City).