Derry City maintained their three-point advantage over opponents Shamrock Rovers following a 0-0 draw in this evening's Airtricity League Premier Division clash at the Brandywell.

City will feel it was a case of two points dropped rather than one gained as they missed a host of good chances, with Michael Rafter's late opportunity the best of them.

Rovers also had a chance to win it at the death but Ger Doherty tipped an excellent Ronan Finn effort over the bar.

City started the stronger and Ryan Curran got in behind Conor Powell on 14 minutes before cutting the ball back to an unmarked David McDaid, but the striker’s side-footed effort from just inside the box was easily saved by Richard Brush in the Hoops goal.

Rovers missed a golden chance on 35 minutes when Gary McCabe played in Powell but after breaking the offside trap, the left-back’s touch let him down as he attempted to round the out-rushing Doherty and the chance was wasted.

Rovers had another glorious chance early in the second-half when Pat Sullivan’s run and cross from the right flashed across the City six-yard box and the incoming Billy Dennehy could not keep his close-range effort down.

The home side went straight up the other end and had just as good an opportunity to break the deadlock when McDaid played in Mark Griffin but the substitute, with only Brush to beat, dragged his left-footed shot well wide.

Soon after City had another chance, this time Rafter got away from Derek Foran but his well-hit drive from just inside the box flew over Brush’s bar.

On 70 minutes, Dennehy’s tremendously struck 25-yard free-kick was superbly kept out by a full-stretched Doherty.

In the closing stages Finn nearly won it for the Dubliners when, following a lung bursting run, his well-hit effort was tipped over by Doherty.

Deep into stoppage time Brush came to his side’s rescue when he dashed from his goal to keep out Rafter’s close-range effort, after the ball fell perfectly for the striker inside the six-yard box.

DERRY CITY: Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, Molloy, Jarvis; P McEleney, Higgins (Griffin 51), McNamee; McDaid, Rafter, Curran.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Brush, Sullivan, Oman, Foran, Powell (Ledwith 63); McCabe (O’Connor 77), Robinson, Ryan, Finn, Dennehy; Sheppard (Stewart 69).

Referee: Mr Sean Grant (Wexford).