REPORT: Derry City 1-1 St. Patrick's Athletic

23rd November 2023

Derry City and St Patrick's Athletic played out a monotonous 1-1 draw at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium to maintain their positions in the middle of the table. Barry McNamee gave his side the lead with a sweeping effort just inside the 18-yard

St. Patrick’s Athletic retained their Premier Division status after a 1-1 draw in the concluding game of the league campaign at Maginn Park.

Goals from Killian Brennan and Rory Patterson meant the spoils were shared between the two sides in Buncrana. The Inchicore outfit only needed a point to avoid the dreaded drop and that point was fully deserved by Liam Buckley’s team.

St. Pats, who have never been relegated, started cautiously and the game could have been mistaken for a pre-season friendly. There was a heart-warming applause and song in honour of Ryan McBride after five minutes played, which echoed around Maginn Park.

The Candystripes secured European football for next season at Turners Cross almost two weeks ago and for large parts of the contest, City lacked intensity. Buckley’s side also lacked potency and failed to penetrate the Derry defence early on, but after a quick counter-attack, St. Pats took the lead.

Ex-Derry City player Killian Brennan linked up brilliantly with Conan Byrne before easily slotting it past Eric Grimes to give 'Pats' the lead. There was a respectable crowd in Buncrana for Derry’s final fixture at Maginn Park, as they're set to return to the new Brandywell Stadium in the 2018 season.

The opening minutes of the second half proved more fortunate for ‘The Foylesiders’ and they got an equaliser through striker Rory Patterson. The Strabane man intelligently turned his marker before firing a shot from 20-yards to get Derry level. From that point on, if anyone looked like scoring it was Derry City.

However, they failed to find the net for the second time and the game ended in a deserving draw. Huge changes may be needed at St. Patrick’s Athletic if they are to avoid another relegation dogfight next year. The final whistle brought delight for both clubs as their seasons ended on a balanced high.