Shields soars to salvage share of spoils for Lilywhites
Dundalk 1 Derry City 1
CHRIS Shields' 85th-minute header rescued a point for Dundalk and frustrated Derry City at Oriel Park.
The Candystripes hit the woodwork on three occasions before David McDaid deservedly put them in front after 74 minutes.
Dundalk thought they had equalised after Robert Waters' header appeared to have crossed the line, but they did force a leveller when captain Shields beat Ger Doherty with five minutes to go.
Derry spurned a golden chance after 29 minutes when David McDaid hit the bar from six yards out. Stephen McLaughlin posed a real threat to Dundalk and his 55th-minute effort bounced off the underside of the crossbar. Four minutes later, his acrobatic attempt rebounded off the upright.
That seemed to stir Dundalk from their slumber and in the 62nd minute Derry 'keeper Ger Doherty did well to deny Waters.
From the resulting corner Waters looked to have forced a header home but Doherty palmed clear, with Dundalk players protesting that the ball had crossed the line.
The deadlock was finally broken 11 minutes later. Derry left-back Dermot McCaffrey broke and his cross was knocked home from close range by McDaid.
That looked to have secured the win for Declan Devine's side, but Dundalk picked up another vital point in their quest for safety when Shields rose to head home.
DUNDALK -- Cherrie; McLaughlin, Foran, Shields, Murphy; Walsh, Mountney, McDonnell (Thomas 80), Waters (Rafter 67), Shanahan; Griffin.
DERRY CITY -- Doherty; Madden, S McEleney, McBride, McCaffrey; Morrison (Morrison 82), P McEleney, Molloy, McLaughlin; Murphy, McDaid.
REF -- P McLaughlin (Monaghan).