O'Brien gives Drogs the edge
IT'S a case of advantage Drogheda United after they secured a draw at the home of last year's beaten finalists.
On 10 minutes, Derry striker Rory Patterson let fly from 30- yard free-kick after Michael Rafter had been upended and Drogs 'keeper Gabriel Sava will be bitterly disappointed that the ball ended up in the net.
On the half-hour, Mick Cooke's side had two glorious chances to level .
First, Alan Byrne saw his header tipped over after a goalmouth scramble, and Gavin Brennan's overhead kick from the resulting corner flew over.
Some poor defending let Drogheda level on 53 minutes. Veteran striker Declan O'Brien was afforded too much space inside the Derry box and he made no mistake firing past the despairing dive of Doherty.
Derry went close to regaining the lead when Simon Madden's cross found an unmarked Patterson at the back post, but his low drive was saved by Sava.
Paul O'Connor had a chance to put Drogheda ahead but the midfielder's shot failed to trouble Doherty.
Derry City – Doherty, S McEleney, Greacen, McBride (R Curran 90), Madden; P McEleney, Higgins (Crawley 77), Deery, Rafter (Griffin 75), B McNamee; Patterson.
Drogheda United – Sava, Pendergast, O'Connor, R Brennan, O'Neill (Hynes 82), G Brennan, Grimes, O'Brien, Daly, Foley, Byrne.
Ref – R Hetherington (Dungannon).