Third and fourth remain separated by six points as Bohemians and Derry City played out a scoreless draw on a sunny summer's evening at Dalymount Park.

Both sides came within the width of a goalkeeper’s fingernail from snatching a late win but Bohs manager Keith Long will perhaps be the more satisfied to leave with a point at the end of the night.

Derry captain Barry McNamee will rue skying his effort with the goal at his mercy while Keith Ward will point to a fantastic full-stretch stop from Peter Cherrie in the dying minutes.

The home side were the first to threaten goal as Luke Wade-Slater won a corner before peeling away to get on the end of Keith Ward’s delivery, but his strong header just cleared the top corner.

The visitors hit back with a chance of their own when David Parkhouse touched down Jamie McDonagh’s throw-in for Ciaron Harkin, but the winger couldn’t keep his shot down.

Ward tested Cherrie with a shot from distance before another outstanding McNamee pass released Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, and his deflected shot bounced agonisingly past the post.

There were shouts for a Derry penalty when Ryan Graydon took out McDonagh on the edge of the box, but it was correctly given just outside, and McDonagh forced a save from the free-kick.

The clearest chance of the half fell to sitting midfielder Gerardo Bruna who, on a rare dart into the box, took McNamee’s pass and hit a rasping drive James Talbot did well to keep hold of.

The hosts came out strongly early in the second half but, gradually, the visitors began to impose their game with the central axis of Gerardo Bruna, Gregg Sloggett and McNamee impressive.

It was Sloggett’s pinpoint pass that led to the moment of highest drama in the Bohs box, Parkhouse’s arcing run and low shot forcing a good save from Talbot.

Even better was the recent Ireland call-up's stretching save to deny Junior from the follow-up, but even then only McNamee will know how he put the loose ball over from five yards.

Derry seemed to settle for what they had late on but it almost came back to bite them as Eoin Toal took down Ryan Swan and Ward was desperately unlucky to see his free from 30 yards saved.

And with virtually the last kick of the game, a chasm appeared in front of the Derry defence that hadn’t been there the previous 90 minutes, but this time Ward’s shot veered wide.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Michael Barker (Paddy Kirk 40), Darragh Leahy; Scott Allardice (Robbie McCourt 58), Conor Levingston, Keith Ward; Luke Wade-Slater, Ryan Graydon, Ryan Swan.

Derry City: Peter Cherrie; Jamie McDonagh, Eoin Toal, Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll; Greg Sloggett, Gerardo Bruna, Barry McNamee (Aidy Delap 72); Ciaron Harkin, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, David Parkhouse (Darren Cole 79).

Referee: Sean Grant