There was late drama at Oriel Park as Derry City came back from two goals down to salvage a point against Dundalk.

Patrick Hoban's double had the champions on course for a sixth straight win which would have seen them cut the gap on leaders Shamrock Rovers to just one point.

Darren Cole, however, pulled one back before Hoban was sent-off for conceding the 81st-minute penalty that led to substitute Eoghan Stokes snatching an unlikely point for the Candystripes.

After playing on Monday night, both managers shuffled their respective packs, making two changes apiece. Jordan Flores, who scored a stunner in Dundalk's 3-0 win away to Waterford, was rewarded with a place in the Dundalk midfield while Daniel Cleary came in for Brian Gartland.

Declan Devine, whose side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Bohemians, named Ally Gilchrist alongside Eoin Toal at centre-back with David Parkhouse restored to the attack in place of Eoghan Stokes.

Derry looked comfortable in the first half but their only real opening arrived in the 18th minute when Barry McNamee blazed over on the stretch.

Dundalk struggled to piece together anything of note but they showed signs of stirring and Peter Cherrie made two fine saves to deny Michael Duffy before the interval.

Vinny Perth's side took the lead just six minutes after the restart. Jordan

Flores managed to pick out Hoban with a pass and he made no mistake.

The second arrived on the hour mark when Sean Gannon's brilliant delivery was met by Hoban and he beat Cherrie with a powerful downward header.

Declan Devine's men hauled themselves back into it when Cole drilled a ferocious effort into the bottom corner with 79 minutes on the clock and they snatched a point two minutes later. 

Referee Robert Hennessy adjudged that Hoban had handled a free-kick, flashing a second yellow card at the Dundalk skipper and Stokes, who came on just two minutes earlier, rolled home his spot kick.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Daniel Cleary, Dean Jarvis

Chris Shields, Jordan Flores (John Mountney 70); Daniel Kelly (Georgie Kelly 83), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy. Patrick Hoban

Derry City: Peter Cherrie;  Darren Cole, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll;

Jamie McDonagh (Aidy Delap 67), Greg Sloggett, Ciaran Harkin (Eoghan Stokes 78), Junior Ogedi Uzoke (Patrick McClean 90); Barry McNamee; David Parkhouse.

Referee: Robert Hennessy.