Derry City Reserves 1-1 Cockhill Celtic
- Derry City Reserves begin new season with a draw.
- Adam Duffy’s early strike was cancelled out by an effort from Adrian Delap.
- Mark McChrystal, Jack Malone and Adrian Delap played the full 90 minutes.
- Derry also included Northern Ireland Under-17 international Matthew Walker in the starting XI.
Derry City Reserves were held to a 1-1 draw by Cockhill Celtic in the Donegal News League Cup tie played at Brandywell on Sunday.
Adam Duffy’s early strike was cancelled out by an effort from Adrian Delap midway through the first half as both sides claimed a point on the opening day of the new season.
City manager, Kevin Deery included Mark McChrystal, Jack Malone and Adrian Delap in the starting eleven and there was also a place for Northern Ireland Under-17 international Matthew Walker at left-back.
Cockhill started the brighter and fashioned the first opportunity on 5 minutes. After some slick build up play Laurence Toland was played in behind the City defence but a crucial interception from Adam Taggart adverted the danger as Toland was about to pull the trigger.
Seconds later, Cathal Farren was played in by Stephen Duffy but Jack Parke showed his quality with an excellent challenge to deflect Farren’s effort over the crossbar.
The visitors continued attacking and on 7 minutes Adam Duffy brought a smart save from Gartside, who did well to get down to his left to push away the rasping drive, following some impressive link-up play between Farren and Stephen Duffy.
Gavin Cullen’s men didn’t have to wait much longer for their early dominance to yield an opener, as Adam Duffy, a former Derry underage player, drilled home from six-yards after Derry failed to clear from a free-kick with only 8 minutes on the clock.
Derry began to play their way back into the game with Brendan Barr, Mark McFadden and Jack Malone starting to gain a foothold in midfield.
Delap fired over from the edge of the area before going on a mazy run that had the Celtic defence on edge but his final ball let him down.
The home side deservedly equalised on 28 minutes when Delap drilled home into the bottom corner after Brendan Barr’s effort was parried by Cullen into the path of the unmarked forward.
Just before the interval, Malone robbed Jimmy Bradley on the edge of the area before firing a thunderous drive narrowly over Cullen’s crossbar.
Jason Breslin headed over for the visitors just after the restart, while Toland fired in a free-kick that failed to seriously trouble Gartside.
Duffy fashioned an opening for Toland but the former Swilly Rovers man couldn’t get enough direction on his header to trouble City.
The second half was a close affair with neither side creating a serious chance of note until the dying embers of the game when Derry could have nicked it in stoppage time.
Delap went on one of his trademark runs, ghosting past three players before presenting Michael Harris with an opportunity to strike at goal but the talented 16-year-old couldn’t keep his shot down and ballooned his effort over Cullen’s crossbar.
On 93 minutes, Brendan Barr skipped past Mark Moran down the right before delivering a tantalising cross to the back post but Adam Taggart’s header was agonisingly deflected wide.
Derry created one final chance in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Jack Malone’s free-kick on the left found Taggart at the back post but the former Foyle Harps man could only direct his header straight at Cullen.
City’s next fixture in the Donegal News League Cup is away to Bonagee United.
Derry City Reserves: Nathan Gartside, Jack Parke, Adam Taggart, Mark McChrystal, Matthew Walker, Jack Malone, Brendan Barr, Mark McFadden, Jack O’Donnell, Adrian Delap, Jack Coyle.
Subs Used: Michael Harris, Shaun McDermott, Aaron McDaid.
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