BEFORE LAST Friday night’s game at Brandywell Stadium, I was slightly worried because, like most Derry City fans, I really rated St Pat’s as a good footballing side.
Judging by previous meetings this season, where we had problems dealing with their strike partnership of Kavanagh and North, added to the fact that the ‘Candy Stripes’ would be without James McClean and Gareth McGlynn and Pat’s manager, Pete Mahon must have thought they were in with a real chance of taking all three points.
However, I needn’t have worried as Derry produced a disciplined, at times skilful, and passionate display which saw them rightfully emerge victorious.
Stephen Kenny’s tactics were spot on and his five man midfield worked perfectly. With Barry Molloy as the holding player, this allowed Kevin Deery to link-up the play with Ruaidhri Higgins able to display his wide range of passing.
With the full-backs getting forward at every opportunity, Derry’s play at times was of the highest quality.
The Brandywell outfit would not have been flattered to go into the interval a few goals to the good but, with the game scoreless, there was always the worry that St Pat’s would snatch an undeserved goal.
However, Derry were even more dominant after the break and attacked Pat’s at every opportunity without getting the deserved goal. When the goal came it was credited to Eamon Zayed but whether he actually touched it or not remains open to question.
Derry’s second goal may also have been an ‘own goal’ but I, for one, didn’t care as it was just reward for an excellent display and a decent crowd, not really much more one could ask for.
It was great to see young Stephen McLaughlin begin to fulfil his undoubted talent and as an extra bonus club captain, Kevin Deery looks close to his imperious best.
Difficult games lie ahead but these players really believe in themselves so we are still very much in the mix for league honours.
Read more from the Doc in the Journal every Tuesday