DERRY City appear to have totally dismissed suggestions that the “Candy Stripes” could have imploded this season having not only lost their manager, but four key players as well!
On the contrary, on Friday night they climbed onto the summit of the Premier Division table following victories over Bohemians and Bray Wanders and everything seems to be rosy in the Brandywell garden these days.
Undefeated in five competitive games, Derry are refusing to get carried away and on Friday night it was a job well done.
That said, there are few who can figure out why referee, Anthony Buttimer, managed to penalise Bray goalkeeper, Darren Quigley, for an alleged trip on Derry striker, Rory Patterson, in the 31st minute when Pierce Sweeney seemed the likelier culprit!
But Mr. Buttimer dismissed Quigley and Bray’s hopes of getting anything from this game died. Not that they were likely to get much anyway after Stewart Greacen and David McDaid had put the “Candy Stripes” two goals ahead after just 26 minutes. So byt the time Patterson converted the penalty, the game was up.
Not that Derry stopped. Their tempo and quality remained high and their reward came with a fourth goal, scored 23 minutes from time, when Patrick McEleney provided Patterson with a perfect ball and the striker used his strength to turn inside Dane Massey and his skill to thread a shot past substitute keeper, Brian Kane.
Indeed one player whose technique really stood out was two-goal hero, Patterson, who has hit the ground running since his close-season arrival at the Brandywell. Friday was his best performance of the season to date and after the game Brandywell boss, Declan Devine, was purring with excitement.
He said: “Rory Patterson is a senior N. Ireland international. We knew we had to bring quality to replace Eamon Zayed.
“And Rory brings that to the table. He’s a winner, he’s a leader. He works hard and now we believe we have fantastic options up front with Rory, Mark Farren, David McDaid and, to a certain extent, Patrick McEleney.
“The great thing about Rory is his work ethic. He is one of the game’s better pros. People failed to realise that everywhere Rory Patterson has been he has scored goals and I see it no different now that he’s come to Derry City.
“If we can provide the service, I’m a firm believer that the centre forward is only as good as the service he receives.
“And I felt that Rory Patterson would have been the first on Friday night to hold his hand up and say that some of the football we played at times, played right into his hands. It was a superb pass from Patrick McEleney who put him through for his second goal.”
Derry are the early season leaders of the League of Ireland, a nice morale boost – but otherwise, an insignificant statistic given that only two games have been played. “It is very pleasing that we have kept two clean sheets, we need to do that this year,” continued Devine. “We’ve got a great response from the players. They’ve worked hard and Paul Hegarty and myself are delighted with the effort we are getting off a terrific group of lads.”