Derry City boss Stephen Kenny was left disappointed after his side slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dundalk in Oriel Park on Thursday night but is hopeful they will bounce back tonight against Galway.
Derry put in an impressive performance and were in command for most of the opening half. City could have gone ahead in the first half. Zayed had two golden chances to put his team ahead but was denied both times by Dundalk stopper Peter Cherrie. Gareth McGlynn’s penalty in the 14th minute was saved by Cherrie. Dundalk took the lead through a Colin Harkins header after 42 minutes.
From there Dundalk were able to seize control of the game and saw out the second half, while very little fell Derry’s way. Zayed, again, missed a chance to level the scores in the third minute of stoppage time when a Patrick McEleney’s flicked header fell to him on the six yard line but he could only drag his shot wide.
Speaking after the match, Stephen Kenny said:
“We had our opportunities in the game, but Dundalk have been very good at home recently. We had a quite a few chances which we didn’t take and we paid the price for that.”
Derry City now sit third, with 25 points, in a very congested Airtricity League table that sees the top seven clubs separted by only three points.
“That’s the nature of the game and of the league this season - anyone can beat anyone.
“We have to put this defeat behind us and focus on the game next week against Galway. The Dundalk game is gone now.
“We started brilliantly, had some good chances but their keeper sine good saves and we took a step back when they scored. Hopefully we can bounce back on Monday night against Galway.”
With Shamrock Rovers defeat to Bray Wanderers, Derry missed the chance to go joint top of the league on Thursday night but Kenny insists that Rovers aren’t the only side on the City radar.
“We’re not really concerned with Rovers. There are six other teams in there at the minute and we can’t be looking at just one.
“For us, it’s our first year up in the division and we’re just taking each game as it comes.”
Derry City host bottom of the table Galway United tomorrow night at the Brandywell. When the sides met earlier in the season at Terryland Park the Candy Stripes emerged as 4-1 victors. Kenny, however, feels that scoreline didn’t reflect Galway’s performance on the night.
“Galway have been unpredictable this season. They went and they beat Bohs at Dalymount, so they’re well capable of picking up results.
“When we met them earlier this year they gave us a right tough game in the first half. They had the lion’s share of the possession but luckily, we scored two great goals either side of half time and were able to go on and win the game by a convincing margin.
“That being said, I believe we can bounce back from the defeat on Thursday and we’ll be looking to come away with all three points on Monday night.”
Derry City will go into tomorrow night’s game with Daniel Lafferty (knee) and Shane McEleney (groin) as injury doubts. Daniel Lafferty limped off after 82 minutes on Thursday night.
City, however, can look forward to the return of midfield maestro Kevin Deery who, after what was initially feared to be a two month absence, has been declared available to play again after just three weeks.
Meanwhile, The Sunday Journal understands that Derry City released forward Stephen Parkhouse from his contract with the Brandywell club yesterday afternoon. Sources close to the player suggested that he may sign for Coleraine FC next week.