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Derry five points off pace after Dundalk draw

Derry City had to work hard to earn a 0-0 League of Ireland Premier Division draw against bottom-placed Dundalk at Oriel Park which keeps the Candystripes in second spot in the table.

Table-toppers Shelbourne's surprise 2-1 home defeat by Sligo Rovers means Derry are now five points off the pace.

Dundalk had the better of the chances although Derry went close to snatching a late victory as a shot from substitute Ronan Boyce deflected off home defender Andy Boyle on to the woodwork.

The result was Derry's second successive draw against lower-placed teams after the 2-2 home draw against Sligo Rovers last weekend.

Dundalk keeper Ross Munro denied Derry's Adam O'Reilly early on but home striker Jamie Gullan fired over the best first-half chance with a half volley after a superb move.

Not for the only time during the contest, Derry keeper Brian Maher then had to make a smart save to tip over a Cameron Elliott header after a Daryl Horgan cross.

Former Dundalk striker Pat Hoban headed into the side-netting just before the break but the home side dominated the opening 30 minutes of the second half as Derry had to hang on.

Gullan fired over in the 60th minute after Derry's O'Reilly had been dispossessed in midfield.

Dundalk then had a strong penalty shout after Ciaran Coll appeared to have handled but referee Daniel Murphy seemed to be unsighted amid the amount of bodies in the Derry box.

Maher made a magnificent save in the 75th minute to push over a fierce Gullan drive.

With Derry really struggling at that stage, Ruaidhri Higgins made a quadruple substitution in the 78th minute and it seemed to steady the Candystripes as they got a foothold in the contest again.

Derry had late chances to snatch victory as Michael Duffy sliced wide - with probably their best chance - and then Boyce's deflected effort hit a post but an away win would have been an injustice on the Lilywhites.