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Page last updated at 21:49 GMT, Friday, 22 October 2010 22:49 UK

Derry City 2-2 Finn Harps

Patrick McEleney and Mark Brolly
Derry's Patrick McEleney battles with Harps' Mark Brolly

Derry City face a nervy final-day clash away to their promotion rivals Monaghan United next weekend after being held by Finn Harps at the Brandywell.

The Candystripes now lead the Airtricity League First Division table by four points ahead of Monaghan's clash with lowly Mervue on Saturday.

Two cracking Matt Crossan goals twice had Harps ahead with Patrick McEleney and Mark Farren levelling for Derry.

All the goals came in the first half with the pace dropping after the break.

Harps, after their surprise win over Cork City last week, looked dangerous right from the off and Stephen McLaughlin headed a great chance for the Donegal side over the bar early on.

Mark Farren looked set to notch a settling goal for Derry City after James McClean's run and cross but Packie Mailey got back to clear the danger.

The Candystripes were rocked in the 11th minute as Crossan fired in a glorious opening goal after his initial free-kick had been blocked by Derry's defensive wall.

However, Derry were on terms within four minutes as the superb Patrick McEleney beat three defenders and lofted a delightful shot over Harps keeper Gavin Cullen.

But Crossan restored Harps' lead with an even better goal direct from a free-kick three minutes later.

The frenetic action continued as Derry levelled in the 26th minutes from a close-range Farren effort after Cullen had been at fault in spilling McEleney's free-kick.

McEleney tested a nervous Cullen on two further occasions in the first half but it remained 2-2 at half-time.

On the basis of the opening 45 minutes, more goals seemed certain after the break but instead, it was a second half of few chances.

McClean did go close from a free-kick while Farren was inches away from stabbing Derry ahead after a teasing McEleney cross.

Deep in injury-time, Derry had a chance to steal a victory they probably wouldn't have deserved but McClean's cross evaded three Candystripes players.



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see also
Salthill Devon 1-5 Derry City
16 Oct 10 |  Irish
Derry City 3-0 Shelbourne
09 Oct 10 |  Irish


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