Saturday 4th August 2007, 10:14 pm
4th August 2007
Shamrock Rovers 1
Andy Myler 61
Derry City 1
Sammy Morrow 50
Derry City and Shamrock Rovers played out an intense 1-1 draw at Tolka Park in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland tonight.
The game kicked off almost fifteen minutes late after Derry were delayed on their way to the ground - the visitors only getting to start their warm-up as Rovers completed theirs. The game was played in incessant rain but that failed to dampen an increasingly heated encounter.
Rovers' Derek Pender broke in behind a sluggish Derry defence after only a couple of minutes but failed to keep his nerve as he fired wide at the near post.
At the other end Kevin Deery forced Barry Murphy to shuffle along his line quickly to grab a curling free kick.
Rovers exerted some pressure in response and Eric McGill saw his shot deflect past Pat Jennings' post before the keeper superbly tipped over from Barry Ferguson's header.
The pressure remained on Derry as they struggled to clear their lines and Jennings could only look on as Tadhg Purcell's header clipped the butt of the post before Derry eventually got the ball away.
Rovers top scorer Purcell had a frustrating night in front of goal before his eventual withdrawal. He fired over from a good position just before the half hour.
The home side weren't letting up and Myler saw a free kick just flicked away while Danny O'Connor had a header booted off the line.
Kevin McHugh and Sammy Morrow did their best to give Derry options up front and McHugh stole in at the back post but failed to hit the target after a ball bounced kindly for him.
A brilliant surging counter attack from Derry deserved more shortly before the break but Pat McCourt's shot just drifted off target.
Another Derry break forward five minutes into the second half did earn the reward of an opening goal as Morrow's speed and persistence paid off. He chased a long ball forward, outpacing the home defence and shaking off the attentions of Ferguson before firing past Murphy.
Tempers became frayed as the hour approached with a number of players from either side tangling after a couple of late tackles and reactions. As referee Alan Kelly struggled with the incidents, Sean Hargan's wild lunge at Ger Rowe produced a straight red card with the Derry side incensed by the decision.
McHugh was immediately withdrawn so that Mark McChrystal could slot into defence but Rovers were level within seconds of the red card.
Myler had just been denied by a super save from Jennings before he nipped in at the back post to turn the ball home and level at 1-1.
A Ruaidhri Higgins free kick drifted all the way through to Murphy in the home goal but Derry's effectiveness going forward had been blunted by the sending off and the subsequent reshuffle.
Purcell blazed over again as Rovers pressed for the lead goal. In a good position, he really should have scored after O'Connor's header had been saved.
David Cassidy drilled a shot across the Derry goal and the visiting defence rode its luck as the following in Myler flashed a shot back across the face of goal.
Although the draw is of little use to either side at this stage of the season, Derry may take some consolation from the fact that they are just the second team to score an away league goal against Rovers this year.
Shamrock Rovers : Murphy, G O'Brien, Pender, Ferguson, Danny O'Connor, D McGill, Cassidy, E McGill, Rowe, Myler, Purcell (Amond 87).
Derry City : Jennings, Hargan, McCallion, Oman, Hutton, Deery, Martyn, Higgins, McCourt (McGlynn 74), Morrow (Harkin 87), McHugh (McChrystal 60).