St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder John Lester atoned for conceding a first-half penalty when netting a vital equaliser for the Inchicore side in this Setanta Sports Cup game against Derry City at the Brandywell.

And with the club's new management team of Pete Mahon and John Gill watching from the stands, the share of the spoils will give them a confidence booster as they set sail for Cork and a vital league match on Friday night.

Having made no fewer than five changes from the team which lost in Galway, the Saints’ defensive 4-5-1 formation told its own story in a first half that Derry City dominated.

But despite having owned the ball during that period, Stephen Kenny's men failed to seriously trouble keeper Brendan Clarke.

However, Derry’s superiority was eventually rewarded one minute before the break when Pat’s midfielder, Lester tripped Derry’s Liam Kearney just inside the area and referee, Richie Winter pointed to the spot.

Tommy Stewart drove the ball home with Clarke unfortunate after getting a glove on it.

Kearney went close to doubling Derry’s lead in the 47th minute following an Eddie McCallion cross, but Clarke did well to palm the shot clear of his upright.

But in the 56th minute the visitors stunned their hosts with the equaliser. And it was Lester who atoned for his first-half mistake when he found the net with a shot from 35 yards, the ball dipping over the head of Derry keeper Ger Doherty.

In the 73rd minute Doherty was forced into a save from Mark Leech as St Pat’s grew in confidence but two minutes later Tam McManus headed an effort off the crossbar with Clarke beaten.

Derry’s David Scullion had a shot deflected in the 87th minute as the home side finished strongly but had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Derry City: Doherty; McCallion, McEleney, Hutton (Gray, 90), O’Brien; Stewart (Nash, 77), Higgins, Molloy, Kearney; McManus, Farren (Scullion, 67).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; Dowling, Gavin, Haverty, Ryan; Maher, Cawley, Dempsey, Lester (Ryan, 84), Moran (O’Brien, 74); Leech.

Referee: R Winter (Wicklow).