Football

Derry City stunned by last-gasp Shamrock Rovers equaliser

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Shamrock left it late to find the equaliser.
Shamrock left it late to find the equaliser..

Derry City were denied a opening day win in Dublin due to Ciaran Kilduff's last-gasp equaliser for Shamrock Rovers in what was Roddy Collins' first competitive match as Derry boss.

Both sides kicked off the new league season with a first half that failed to live up to expectation with Derry City's new striker, Enda Curran, coming closest to breaking the deadlock between the sides but the he was unable to find the target and saw his shot fired wide for the Candystripes.

Derry City debutants Roddy Collins Jnr. and Cliff Byrne both were on the receiving end of tackles as they picked up knocks to the head due to the physicality of the first half.

It was the away side who finally broke the deadlock when Mark Stewart put Derry City in the lead when his cross caught the breeze and ended up in top corner of the Rovers goal.

The tempo of the game then increased but Derry were impressive in defence as Rovers started testing the 'keeper. It was Gerard Doherty who came to his side's rescue by keeping out Ryan Brennan's low shot.

Doherty then denied a fierce Gary McCabe strike before Murphy had to get down low to stop Derry substitute Rory Patterson giving his side a comfortable lead.

The Derry defence stayed strong to block Kilduff's angled drive as Ryan McBride got in the way before the Rovers striker had a chance to level but his header went over the bar on 78 minutes.

Substitute Stephen McPhail sliced wide of the City goal while it was Patterson who squandered a late chance to win it for Derry when Murphy saved his weak shot with a rebound.

But City's defence was finally broken with four minutes of added time played, with Kilduff heading the ball into the corner of the Derry net from a floated cross.

So it was heartache for Derry City in the end but they will take a lot away from the match and will hope to build on the draw for the campaign ahead

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