Sligo Rovers and Derry City played out an entertaining scoreless draw at the Showgrounds in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division. Both teams created enough chances to take the full quota points, however the defences came out on top as the sides earn a point a piece.
Rovers have been unbeaten at home since their opening day defeat to Shamrock Rovers, although goalkeeper Micheál Schlingermann's over eagerness to come and claim Conor McCormack's free kick on seven minutes could have seen his side fall behind early on. Niclas Vemmelund was unable to take advantage however as Schlingermann was left in no man's land, but the Dane could only nod over.
Vemmelund was involved again just two minutes later as Rovers had a decent chance of their own to take the lead during a lively opening. The tenacious Liam Martin showed good strength to push Vemmelund off the ball at the edge of the Derry area before squaring for Raffaele Cretaro who took too much time in shifting his feet in front goal. The alert McCormack nipping in and robbing the ball off the toe of the Bit O'Red veteran.
The Candystripes had to rely on more stout defending on 25 minutes. Ryan McBride displaying the superior strength as he knocked the ball away from the prowling Martin who looked like he was about to latch on to John Russell's cross to the front post.
Martin was offered another chance to break the deadlock nine minutes from the break as the half continued at a tireless pace. Cretaro did well to chest the ball into the path of Kieran Sadlier who in turn released Martin who found himself in a one-on-one situation with City keeper Ger Doherty. Having done well to spring the offside trap, the Donegal man shot straight at Doherty who parried away Martin's drive.
Schlingermann then went full stretch to gather Barry McNamee's effort from 20 yards on 42, the last act of the half.
Sadlier could only nod Cretaro's cross at Doherty during the early exchanges of the second period as Rovers continued in their search for a second league win over the Ulster side this year.
Derry struggled to threaten Schlingermann's goalmouth for the first hour of this tie but Kenny Shiels' side went close twice in succession on the hour mark. The Sligo number one pushing away a rocket from McCormack from distance before Keohane, stationed at the back post, was forced to flick a foot at Vemmelund's glancing header from the resulting corner which looked to be creeping in.
Derry striker Rory Patterson was called into defensive duty on 79 as he managed to get a leg in front of Gary Boylan's goalward volley on 79 after a scramble in the City box.
Derry substitute Josh Daniels' first act was to concede possession in the middle of the field moments from the final whistle. The ball finally making its way to Sadlier who sent his shot narrowly wide of Doherty's goal. While McNamee's free from the angle crept across the face of the target at the opposite end moments later.
The Brandywell side could have stolen the points at the death. Aaron McEneff's free from inside his own half was touched on by Patterson who guided the ball towards Lucas Schubert, who could only throw a weary foot at his volley which Schlingermann was comfortable in claiming.
Sligo Rovers: Micheál Schlingermann; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Gavin Peers, Gary Boylan, Jimmy Keohane; Daniel Kearns, John Russell, Craig Roddan, Kieran Sadlier; Liam Martin; Raffaele Cretaro.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Dean Jarvis, Niclas Vemmelund, Ryan McBride, Patrick McClean (Nathan Boyle 12); Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee, Aaron McEneff; Lucas Schubert, Rory Patterson, Ronan Curtis (Josh Daniels 87).
Referee: Robert Rogers.
Post match interview: Dave Robertson