DERRY CITY: Drogheda boss rues ‘calamitous’ defensive errors at Brandywell

Drogheda United manager Johnny McDonnell was disappointed with his side's defensive errors at Brandywell.
Drogheda United manager Johnny McDonnell was disappointed with his side's defensive errors at Brandywell.
  • Drogheda United manager claims Brandywell pitch is ‘shocking’
  • McDonnell disappointed with defensive errors as Derry make them pay
  • Drogs boss blames hectic League of Ireland schedule for defensive lapses

DROGHEDA United manager, Johnny McDonnell, claims his side had been faced with an almost impossible task to rescue anything from Friday night’s game after conceding two ‘calamitous’ goals in the first half.

The Dubliner believes both Anthony Elding’s ninth minute strike and Barry McNamee’s long range volley were both preventable and came about due to defensive errors from his inexperienced backline.

In fairness to Derry, the pitch isn’t helping them. The pitch is shocking. They couldn’t get it down and play.

Johnny McDonnell

For the first goal, Elding stole a yard on his marker before his diving header while McNamee was presented with an open goal following a mix-up between Joe Gorman and goalkeeper, Michael Schlingermann.

And when ‘Drogs’ defender, Jason Marks, was given his marching orders on 75 minutes after conceding a penalty, there was no way back for the ‘Boynesiders.’

“I was just disappointed because the goals were so easily given away,” said McDonnell. It’s hard to win a match as it is but to give goals away just compounds matters,” said McDonnell.

“Barry McNamee’s strike bounced down lovely and he struck it really, really well. But from our point of view our player had the ball and the keeper was there under no pressure to clear the ball and he hits it into the last place you would want to hit it - to the last player you want it to fall to.

“There’s been positives in the game but I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded even though we could have conceded another one or two. “

McDonnell blamed those defensive lapses on the hectic League of Ireland schedule and admitted he was glad to see the back of a difficult week for his side.

“I’m glad in the end to just get this week out of the way,” he added.

“We were missing Sean Thornton and Alan Byrne and a couple of boys had just come back from injury.

“It’s been a tough week. The schedule is a bit harsh on everyone - not just us. We travelled to Galway last Friday, we had a match on Tuesday and then we had to travel again on Friday to the Brandywell.

“Some of the fellas are working part-time as well so it’s just been a hard week. We’ll have a couple of days off now and then get back into it on Monday and then we play Bohemians next week.

“We started the game really well and conceded a goal which was a ‘give away goal’ from the first attack - we just didn’t defend it properly.

“And then the second goal was a calamity. In fairness to Derry, the pitch isn’t helping them. The pitch is shocking. They couldn’t get it down and play. But even at half-time we said we were still in the match.

“And then the sending off and a few injuries in the second half disrupted the whole game which was good for Derry and they ran out comfortable winners in the end with the extra man.”