Cherrie's heroics halt Derry rise
Derry City 0 Dundalk 0
DERRY City missed the chance to move into top spot in the Airtricity Premier Division, following this hard-fought scoreless draw against Dundalk.
City went close to taking the lead after just 20 seconds when Stephen McLaughlin's pass found Patrick McEleney inside the area, but the striker's left-footed shot from the right-hand edge of the box was superbly kept out by Peter Cherrie.
Mark Griffin created a half-chance for himself inside five minutes, but his drive was easily gathered by Derry's Gerard Doherty.
Ian Foster's side suffered an injury setback on 16 minutes when the experienced Colin Hawkins had to be replaced by Nathan Murphy.
The visitors were almost gifted the opening goal on 22 minutes when the usually reliable Stewart Geracen's backpass was nowhere near Doherty, but, fortunately for the defender, his blushes were saved when the City No 1 kept out Griffin's shot.
Five minutes before the break McClean went close, but his rasping shot flashed past Cherrie's left-hand post.
Early in the second half, a poor back-header by Simon Madden nearly caught out Cherrie, but he did well to get back and push the ball away from the inrushing McEleney, who was about to slot the ball into the empty net.
A McClean cross just after the hour mark found McEleney at the near post, but his glancing header landed on top of the net.
On 75 minutes, another McClean cross found Lafferty, but his header failed to trouble Cherrie.
Eight minutes from time, substitute David McDaid missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock when his first-time shot flashed just past Cherrie's right-hand post.
Right at the death, Dean Bennett came to his side's rescue when he blocked Zayed close range shot, after Lafferty's initial header was cleared off the line.
Derry City -- Doherty, McCallion, Greacen, McBride, Lafferty; McLaughlin (Deery H-T); McGlynn, Molloy, McClean; McEleney (McDaid 78), Zayed.
Dundalk -- Cherrie, Madden, Bennett, Hawkins (N Murphy 16); McHugh, Kearns, Maher, Quigley, Bolger, Ward, Griffin (Breen 78).
REF -- P Tuite (Dublin).