Central defender James Finnerty scored his first goal for Bohemians to give them a fully deserved equaliser as goalkeeper Peter Cherrie excelled to earn Derry City a point in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Dalymount Park.

Derry had won on their last six trips to Phibsborough.

And though they took the lead from a penalty early in the second half here, there was a dogged determination about the home side who dominated thereafter and wouldn’t have been flattered with a victory. 

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With Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy in attendance, the visitors started purposefully with Aidy Delap and skipper Ciaron Harkin forcing an early corner.

But in a lively enough opening, it would be the Candystripes' Cherrie who was the first goalkeeper to see action with a sublime save at full stretch from a Keith Ward free kick seven minutes in.

It all became a little disjointed and scrappy thereafter for the remainder of the half.

Derry were edging the midfield battle with the productive Delap continuing to be a threat down the left.The winger’s guile and pace got him in behind on 26 minutes to find Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.

His shot was blocked away, but only to Conor McDermott whose dipping effort from distance was straight at JamesTalbot.

The visitors then had a let off minutes later. Conor Levingston’s diagonal ball was nodded back across goal by Luke Wade-Slater. A stretching Danny Mandroiu just couldn’t make contact with the goal gaping before him.

It was then the turn of the Bohemians goal to live a little dangerously in first half stoppage time.Former Gypsy Eoghan Stokes’ free kick took a deflection off the defensive wall.

Delap ghosted in at the far post but was just unable to get enough purchase on the dropping ball to get his effort on target.The second half began better for Derry, who were ahead seven minutes in.

Eoin Toal and Ogedi-Uzokwe worked the ball up to Stokes who was clumsily bumped over by Bohemians’ captain Derek Pender. Stokes gleefully powered his spot kick to the bottom corner of the net, sending Talbot the wrong way as the Bohemians keeper was beaten for the first time this season.

As he did early in the first half, Cherrie excelled with another stunning save on 66 minutes.

Substitute Robbie McCourt’s drive deflected through to Ali Reghbawhose shot was brilliantly batted away by the well-positioned Cherrie. But the Derry keeper was beaten 10 minutes later. Ward’s ball into the area found 20-year-old Finnerty who flicked it past Cherrie to the net.

Frantic defending was then needed by Derry in the closing stages. Cherrie saved with his feet from substitute Danny Grant before Rob Cornwall glanced a header just wide from a Ward corner.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Derek Pender, Rob Cornwall, James Finnerty, Darragh Leahy; Conor Levingston, Scott Allardice (Robbie McCourt 56);Luke Wade-Slater (Daniel Grant 62), Danny Mandroiu, Keith Ward; Ali Reghba (Sam Byrne 75).

Derry City: Peter Cherrie; Conor McDermott, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist,Ciaran Coll; Darren Cole, Gerardo Bruna (Barry McNamee 79); EoghanStokes (Gianni Seraf 87), Ciaron Harkin, Aidy Delap (Josh Kerr 90+3);Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.

Referee: Tomas Connolly (Dublin).

Attendance: 2,940