A superb second half header by Adam Whelan gave Drogheda a share of the points after a stunning Mark Timlin free kick had put the Candystripes ahead just before the break in what was a game of two halves.
It was Derry who were by far the better side in the first half, and they could have been two or three ahead at the break. The first opportunity for the visitors came just five minutes in as Patrick McEleney played the ball to Curran but his shot was easily saved by Schlingermann.
Derry continued to press and created a number of half chances, but they should have taken the lead on the half hour mark. A brilliant run forward by Patrick McEleney saw the midfielder play it out to Curran who shot wide of the near post. Ronan Curtis was in acres of space at the far post and had a tap in had Curran played it to him.
However, Derry did hit the front on 40 minutes as a stunning free kick by Mark Timlin from 30 yards left Schlingermann with no chance and so the visitors deservedly went in ahead at the break.
It was Drogheda’s turn to dominate in the second half and on 56 minutes, they grabbed the equaliser.
Marks played the ball back to Gorman on the right before the full-back played a great ball into the box where it was met by the head of Adam Whelan and the young winger watched as his superb header hit off the underside of the bar before bouncing down. The Drogheda players screamed for a goal and the lineswoman agreed, raising his flag to signal that the ball had indeed crossed the line, 1-1.
Drogheda went in search of a second but it was Derry who next came closest to scoring on 75 minutes, as Jarvis played a ball in from the right to Curran who shot wide of the far post from around 10 yards.
Drogheda almost grabbed the winner in extra time as Mulvenna won the ball back inside his own half before playing a long ball up to Duffy who beat a Derry defender and rounded keeper Ger Doherty, only to see his shot brilliantly blocked by Aaron Barry.
Patrick McEleney & Lee Duffy
It’s impossible to pick one standout player from this game. The first half was all Derry, and the influential McEleney was involved in every chance the visitors created. Drogheda were the better side second half and like in recent weeks, Duffy, who ran himself into the ground, was a part of their best chances, almost grabbing the winner late on.
The Derry right back had a poor game, making a number of mistakes and there were calls from the stands for him to see red as he picked up an unnecessary booking in the second half after reacting angrily to Lee Duffy.
Adam Whelan Equaliser
The brilliant header lifted the home crowd and gave the young winger, who played for Shamrock Rovers B side last season, his second goal in three games.
What Happens Next?
Next up for Drogheda after the mid-season break is a trip away to Bohemians, who came from behind to beat rivals Shamrock Rovers 3-1 in the Dublin Derby tonight.
Derry, on the other hand, host second place side Cork City at the Brandywell following the break in what is sure to be an important fixture for both clubs.
Drogheda United: Schlingermann; Daly, Buckley, Byrne, Gorman; Maher, O’Reilly; Whelan (Brady 76‘), Marks, Brennan (Mulvenna 85‘); Duffy.
Unused Subs: Farrell (GK), Walshe, McGowan, Yadolahi, F. Reilly.
Derry City: Doherty, Sharkey, S. McEleney, Barry, Jarvis; Curtis (G. Kelly 84’); McNamee, P. McEleney, Lowry, Timlin; Curran.
Unused Subs: Patton (GK), S. Kelly, Clucas, Daniels, Morrison, Boyle.
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena.