Bohemians reclaimed top spot in the League of Ireland Premier Division following a disciplined display at the Brandywell in what proved a thrilling encounter.

The result now sets up a titanic clash in Tallaght next Friday night when Pat Fenlon’s men travel to face Shamrock Rovers.

Indeed, with Rovers boss, Michael O'Neill, a very interested spectator, he will have noted the patience and tenacity of the current champions as they frustrated Derry throughout the final half hour having taken a first half lead.

In a free flowing game, both sides created scoring opportunities during the early stages with Derry keeper Ger Doherty doing well to parry a Killian Brennan free over this crossbar.

At the other end Ruaidhri Higgins played Mark Farren in but in the one-on-one situation the Derry striker crashed the ball into the side netting when he really should have done better.

However, it was Bohemians who drew first blood in the 17th minute and, in truth, the home side proved the authors of their own misfortune.

Farren's stray pass, following a throw-in on the right, was intercepted by Brennan and his break from well inside his own half caught the home defence out.

With Paddy Madden keeping pace with the left winger Brennan intelligently played the striker in and he netted with aplomb, giving Doherty no chance.

And while that goal stunned the home lot, Bohemians could have doubled their lead three minutes later.

A high cross from the left evaded the home defence and with Madden totally unmarked at the back post Doherty pulled off a superb stop to deny the striker a second goal.

Derry responded on the half hour when Eddie McCallion worked his way in behind the Bohemians back four and when he found Tam McManus with a low cut-back, Brian Shelley stretched out a leg to block the Scot’s goalbound effort.

In the 37th minute Derry went close again, Kearney having set McManus up but shot shot on the turn was well saved by the alert Brian Murphy from 12 yards.

Following the change of ends, Derry again lived dangerously. In the 55th minute a defensive clearance was charged down and when the ball broke to Madden in the clear, he rounded Doherty but lost control of the ball and a glorious chance went begging.

One minute later Farren's close range flick was gathered by Murphy as the game continued to swing from end to end.

However, on the hour mark it was clear that Bohemians were happy to defend their slender lead; two solid banks of four presented Derry with great difficulty in penetrating.

And, happy to allow Derry control the possession inside their own half, it was a disciplined ploy which served them well.

With 15 minutes remaining a Farren shot was deflected wide at the expense of a corner with Derry players appealing for handball but referee Richie Winters was not in agreement.

Substitute Sammy Morrow was presented with a chance in the 90th minute but he ballooned the ball over the crossbar as Bohemians reclaimed their position on the Premier Division summit.

Derry City: Ger Doherty, Eddie McCallion ( Sammy Morrow, 78), Clive Delaney (Shane McEleney, H/T), Peter Hutton, Ger O'Brien, Gareth McGlynn, Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry Molloy, Liam Kearney (Thomas Stewart 73), Tam McManus, Mark Farren.

Bohemians: Barry Murphy, Owen Hearty, Brian Shelley, Ken Oman, Conor Powell, Killian Brennan, Glen Cronin, Paul Keegan, Joseph Ndo, Jason Byrne (Glen Crowe 69), Paddy Madden (Anto Murphy 87)

Referee: Ritchie Winters (Wicklow).