Derry City keeper Brian Maher delighted with successive clean sheets
COME RAIN or shine Derry City can always rely on Irish U21 international goalkeeper Brian Maher for a timely intervention when his team are under the cosh.
COME RAIN or shine Derry City can always rely on Irish U21 international ‘keeper Brian Maher for a timely intervention when his team are under the cosh.
The driving rain on Friday night certainly didn't favour a 'keeper and the Dubliner claims he couldn't even see the other half of the pitch at one stage when the heavens opened during the second half as the sticky 4G surface absorbed some much needed water.
"I could barely see the other half of the pitch at one stage," he said afterwards. "It was probably good for the pitch though. It was another thing we had to deal with on the night and we came out the other side. The ball was moving a lot quicker and to break teams like them down, maybe it wasn't a bad thing.”
Despite the horrendous conditions, the cool-headed Raheny man's line of vision was unhindered when he made a stunning one-handed save to deny UCD dangerman Sean Brennan whose terrific strike was bending into the top corner during a dominant spell for the Students at the end of the first period.
It was a crucial moment in the match as Derry were able to see their precarious 1-0 lead into the break and it all changed as the teams emerged for the second half with the home side laying siege to the UCD half.
It was Maher's third clean sheet on the spin and he was delighted to play his part in an 'important' victory.
"That's what I'm there for," he said. "It was a really important night for us and we needed to get the win on the board, no matter how we did it. We're happy enough in the end.
"It wasn’t good enough in the first half. Half-time we had to be honest and the gaffer was as well and you saw a completely different second half."
Suddenly Derry find themselves back in a title race as the win moved them just four points behind Rovers who have a game in hand. It's business as usual though for Maher and his teammates.
"It was only a week ago people were writing us off. We keep our feet on the ground. It will be a very tough game here next Friday (against Bohs) but we will try and get the win.
"Honestly in the dressing room, it's just game by game. We don't look at the league that much and think we still have a chance. It's genuinely game by game and we need to keep picking up points and see what happens.
It's three points and a clean sheet. We move on and we have big games coming up. Winning becomes a habit and three wins in a week is really good.
“It was April which was Friday, Monday Friday the last time we won three on the spin. And it's great to see Mickey get his first goal since coming back. It's a real boost not just for him but the whole dressing room. Everyone is delighted for him and Sads (Sadou Diallo) who got another goal.”