Derry City secured their third clean sheet in a row, but that’s the only positive thing boss Declan Devine can take from the game.

For the third match on the trot the Brandywell men were disappointing in the attacking third, but defensively they looked solid.

To be fair Stephen O’Donnell’s Saints weren’t much better in what turned out to be a drab affair at a sun-kissed Brandywell.

Derry had a half chance on 10 minutes, when Stephen Mallon’s in-swinging right-wing free-kick found Ibrahim Meite, but the frontman’s header was easily gathered by St Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke.

Minutes later a Jamie Lennon left-wing free-kick found Luke McNally at the back post, but after rising well the centre-back was unable to keep his header down.

Derry started to get a better foothold in the game and they created a good opening on 23 minutes as Darren Cole’s drilled ball into the box, found James Akintunde. The Londoner’s strike was comfortably saved by a diving Clarke.

City winger Stephen Mallon created himself a chance on 38 minutes. After skipping inside the Saints box, his low drive was straight at Clarke.

Derry brought on Adam Hammill for Akintunde at half-time as they tried to up the tempo after the break, but it was the Saints who went close on 59 minutes, Chris Forrester blasting over when well placed.

The Candystripes made a second change on 68 minutes as Walter Figueira replaced striker Meite. Soon after, O’Donnell decided to bring on Darragh Markey for Billy King.

On 80 minutes St Pat’s substitute Jason McClelland went close with virtually his first touch; his free-kick flew just wide. Then Figueira did well to get away from McNally, but his 20-yard drive was easily saved by Clarke.

Honours even.

Derry City: Peter Cherrie, Darren Cole, Eoin Toal, Cameron McJannet, Ciaran Coll; Conor McCormack, Jake Dunwoody, Ciaron Harkin (Jack Malone 78); James Akintunde (Stephen Mallon HT), Ibrahim Meite (Walter Figueira 68), Stephen Mallon.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Rory Feely, Lee Desmond, Jamie Lennon, Robbie Benson, Georgie Kelly (Martin Rennie 87), Luke McNally, Billy King (Darragh Markey 72), Chris Forrester, Shane Griffin, Jordan Gibson (Jason McClelland 78).

Referee: Mr Robert Harvey (Dublin).