Derry City skipper Eoin Toal keen to add goals to his game

DERRY CITY captain Eoin Toal is keen to contribute more goals for the team and provide an extra attacking threat for Ruaidhri Higgins charges this season.

By Simon Collins
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 6:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 6:56 pm
Eoin Toal rises highest to meet Will Patching's corner but Sligo keeper Ed McGinty gets a touch to turn his header behind.
Eoin Toal rises highest to meet Will Patching's corner but Sligo keeper Ed McGinty gets a touch to turn his header behind.

The Brandywell club has reinforced its firepower with the signings of Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy, Will Patching and Matty Smith but Toal showed against Sligo Rovers he can also be a real threat in front of goal.

The Armagh man has watched defensive teammates Cameron McJannet and Ronan Boyce lead the goalscoring charts last season with a flurry of strikes and he’s keen to add goals to his own game.

Toal has scored just five goals in 136 appearances for Derry City and he was disappointed not to get number six against the Bit O’Red at Brandywell on Monday night.

His towering header was deflected narrowly wide of the post by Ed McGinty during a dominant first half display and he flashed a well hit strike across the face of the goalmouth and wide at the end of the second.

While content with the club’s first clean sheet of the season as a defender, it could’ve been a much more satisfying night on Foyelside for the ex-Armagh City man.

“It’s disappointing,” he said. “I thought we started off brilliantly and had a few chances. I had a few chances myself and Jamie (McGonigle) had a chance but none of them went in obviously.

“We did well in parts of the game but there weren’t many chances in the second half and that’s something we need to maybe work on.”

That first half header was a gilt-edged chance from Will Patching’s corner kick towards the near post and Toal couldn’t believe the match referee didn’t award a corner kick for it.

“He’s actually given a goal kick. I’ve done well. He (Patching) chipped it up and I headed it and the keeper saved it, he put it wide and the ref has given a goal-kick. But that’s something I need to improve on myself, getting more goals so I need to keep getting into those positions.

“The last couple of minutes of the game I saw the opportunity to shoot and unfortunately it didn’t go in. It was definitely a hard game but we’re a fit bunch and we were looking forward to the Sligo game. We take the positives out it. We kept a clean sheet and on another day a few of those chances go in. So we look forward to the next one.”

That’s against Shelbourne on Friday night of course and with Matty Smith in contention for his first start, Toal believes Derry has more than enough firepower to cause the Tolka Park side problems.

“I’m looking forward to Friday now and hopefully we can get three points down at Tolka Park.

“Matty is brilliant. I’ve played against him a few times and he’s a handful. He’s been unlucky he’s come in at the start of the season and picked up a wee niggle but hopefully that’s him back now. He’s a great player and a great lad.”

Newly promoted Shelbourne present a different challenge tonight but it’s one Toal is confident City can overcome.

“I’m looking forward to every game now. I missed football. We had two months off so we’re tight as a group and look forward to each game as it comes.

“We go there with confidence. With the quality of players we have we should be going into every game looking to win it but it will be a tough game,” concluded the City captain.

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