DONEGAL manager Jim McGuinness pin-pointed Colm McFadden’s first half goal as the turning point in Saturday’s six point victory over Derry at Celtic Park.
Michael Wilson reports
McGuinness’ side were caught cold in the early stages as Cailean O’Boyle raced Derry into a four point lead after only two minutes before Donegal settled and slowly worked their way back into the game.
McGuinness admitted he had been surprised not to be facing Paddy Bradley but the inclusion of the young Lavey player had presented some major problems.
“It was a difficult start for us, we conceded 1-1 in the first few minutes and put ourselves under pressure,” admitted the Donegal manager.
“The aerial threat of Cailean O’Boyle caused us problems in the first few minutes and caught us a little of the hop. We were expecting and planning for Paddy Bradley, and had prepared for him and before we got a chance to adjust O’ Boyle had hit us with a goal and a point.
“But we responded well with Mark McHugh, Frank McGlynn and Kevin Cassidy getting in around him and we picked up a fair amount of breaking ball in front of him but most important of all, used it cleverly.
“They key at that stage was to hold our composure and we did that, got up the field well and broke with intent and kicked a few scores to settle ourselves.”
“We kicked a few very good scores off the floor in the first half. I think Dermot (Molloy) kicked four and Colm (McFadden) kicked a couple too and Michael (Murphy) kicked two very acute angle points. They were all important scores and of course Colm (McFadden) got the goal which was a very important score and just at the right time a few minutes before half-time and it really undid all their good work.”
McGuinness said that despite turning around in the lead with a considerable wind advantage, he knew the second half would not be plain sailing.
“We were happy at half-time given the start we had and the fact that we were playing against the wind. But we also knew the wind was not going to win the game for us. We knew were going to have to go out and work hard, play good football and while we were a little ropey for a time we regained our composure to go on and finish the game off.
“I think Dermot Molloy’s ball into Michael Murphy, just to spot him in a one on one situation and the quality of the pass and obviously the finish from Michael was class and really turned the game. I don’t think we were going to be caught after that.”
Match winner and Donegal captain Michael Murphy echoed the sentiments of his manager.
“We recovered well after they hit us on the hop. It really set us back but we did not panic and the heads did not go down and that was pleasing and showed good character,” explained Murphy
“We have two games to come against Laois and Antrim and if we can pick up two points from one of theses games we are in with a good chance of promotion. But we will be taking them one game at a time.”