Sava heroics foil Derry as Drogheda nick share of spoils
Derry City 1
Drogheda United 1
GOALKEEPER Gabriel Sava was the Drogheda hero at the Brandywell.
The 'keeper made a host of saves to keep his side in the game and his hard work paid off as Michael Daly's late header earned a point for the visitors.
On 10 minutes the home side went close to breaking the deadlock but Rory Patterson's free-kick was parried away by Sava.
Patterson was in action again on 29 minutes, as a clever cut-back by Simon Madden found the striker at the near post, but the ex-Linfield man's shot was superbly tipped over by Sava.
The deadlock was broken a minute later when Kevin Deery's resulting corner was headed back into the box by Ruaidhri Higgins -- Mark Griffin's header was cleared off the line by Philip Hand only for Ryan McBride to head home the loose ball.
Right on the stroke of half-time the Brandywell men went close to adding a second. Patterson raced clear but his low drive was saved by Sava. The striker's follow-up cross found Higgins but the midfielder's effort was again kept out by the Drogs 'keeper.
Sava came to his side's rescue once again just after the hour mark when Patterson broke the offside trap to latch onto Rafter's clever through ball, but the visiting 'keeper came off his line to deny the striker.
Soon after, Drogs went close to levelling things when Shane Grimes did well to find himself some space inside the Derry box, but his low drive was superbly kept out by Gerard Doherty.
Drogheda levelled things on 81 minutes when Daly was on hand to turn the ball home, after Derry failed to clear a Graham Rusk corner.
Derry -- Doherty, Madden, McEleney, McBride, B McNamee; Molloy, Deery (Crawley 39); Higgins; Griffin (Houston 72), Patterson, Rafter (Duffy 82).
Drogheda -- Sava, Hand (Foley h-t); O'Connor, G Brennan, Grimes, Rusk, Cassidy (R Brennan 65), Gannon (Hynes 72), O'Brien, Daly, Byrne.
Ref -- D Tomney (Dublin)