Third-placed Sligo Rovers will have been happy watching the late, late drama unfold as they maintain their six-point cushion over Derry with Bohemians a further point behind – the latter with two games in hand – in the race for Europe.
James Akintunde thought he had won it for Derry when punishing hesitant defending from James Finnerty to lob James Talbot in the 91st minute.
And though only three minutes had been held up on the fourth official’s board, it was the fifth minute of added time when Kelly chested down Keith Ward’s cross to turn and volley into to the net for his 16th goal of the league season.
In a thrilling second half, Kelly had also equalised to make it 2-2 on 80 minutes when heading in Dawson Devoy’s cross after Derry had turned the game on its head following Bohemians’ dominant first half.
The Dubliners led from the seventh minute thanks to a terrific goal following their first foray forward.
Left-back Anto Breslin’s cross was cleverly dummied by Ross Tierney for Kelly to lay it off for Liam Burt who rifled his shot to the roof of Nathan Gartside’s net for his seventh strike of the season.
Gartside prevented Bohemians doubling their lead with a point-blank save from Burt on 28 minutes.
And though the home side continued to shade proceedings into the second half, Derry survived to strike for a stunning equaliser on 62 minutes.
Little appeared on when Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe’s diagonal ball found Jamie McGonigle out on the left.
The former Coleraine and Crusaders hitman got the ball onto his right foot to curl a majestic shot into the far top corner for his 100th senior goal.
It got better for Derry on 75 minutes when they took the lead.
Substitute Will Fitzgerald went on a marauding run past no fewer than five Bohemians players to feed McGonigle whose cross was bundled over the line at the back post by Ogedi-Uzokwe.
The pace of the game never relented as Kelly struck to level for Bohemians five minutes later before the real drama arrived in stoppage time.
Next up for Derry is a home league match against Longford Town this Friday, September 24 (kick off 7.45 pm).
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons (Rory Feely 77), Rob Cornwall, James Finnerty, Anto Breslin; Keith Buckley (Conor Levingston 77), Dawson Devoy; Liam Burt, Ross Tierney (Jamie Mullins90), Ali Coote (Keith Ward 40); Georgie Kelly.
Derry City: Nathan Gartside; Ronan Boyce, Darren Cole, Eoin Toal, Ciaran Coll; Jack Malone (Will Fitzgerald 71), Ciaron Harkin, Evan McLaughlin (Gerard Storey 90+4); James Akintunde; Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, Jamie McGonigle.
Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).Tags: