Derry were forced to settle for a draw in their Setanta Cup opener after twice hitting the woodwork at the Brandywell.
A poor first half ended with Thomas Stewart putting City ahead from the penalty spot after Liam Kearney was upended in the area.
Stewart struck the crossbar direct from a corner before John Lester levelled on 56 minutes with a curling 25-yard shot into the roof of the net.
Tam McManus headed against the bar after 75 minutes as Derry were denied.
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