‘THE Magnificent Seven’ movies continue to be discussed many years after those fabulous old Westerns hit the big screen and Derry City’s second half display against UCD, for me, fall into that category.
Despite starting the game without so many first choice players due to injuries and suspensions, the “Candy Stripes” took the game to their opponents from the kick-off and the students had absolutely no answer to Derry’s flying winger, James McClean’s movement.
In fact, it came as no surprise when he set-up Gareth McGlynn for the opening goal. Indeed, Derry could so easily have added to that score before the break but just one goal separated the sides after 45 minutes.
I wondered if Derry would regret those missed chances in the opening period, but a superb second half display put paid to that train of thought.
And while I would accept that UCD, on the night, were poor, nothing should be taken away from the result or they style with which it had been achieved.
I felt the home side had quality all over the pitch and some of the football played was of the highest quality. From the pin-point accuracy of Gareth McGlynn’s crosses; the sheer power of McClean’s running; the passing range of Ruaidhri Higgins and the finishing skills of Eamon Zayed, Derry produced a magnificent performance on the night.
After the disappointment in Sligo, Stephen Kenny will have wanted his team to bounce back immediately and this they certainly did, exhibiting some of the best football played at the Brandywell for quite some time.
Next up is Drogheda this evening and Kenny would be the first to admit that the Co. Louth side must be treated with respect. He would also agree that his charges must repeat the same levels of skill and commitment displayed against UCD if they are to secure another three points.
I will end by stating that I’m still on a high after witnessing the quality of Derry’s play on the night and long may it continue.