Derry City star Will Patching should go back to England - jokes Ollie Horgan

OLLIE Horgan has suggested Derry City star man Will Patching should return to England after the ex-Man City youth produced another piece of magic against Finn Harps.

By Simon Collins
Saturday, 28th May 2022, 1:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th May 2022, 1:03 pm
Will Patching lines up his winning free-kick against Finn Harps in Ballybofey earlier this season.
Will Patching lines up his winning free-kick against Finn Harps in Ballybofey earlier this season.

Patching has netted four times in four appearances for the Candy Stripes against the Ballybofey men who twice held the lead against their North West rivals at Brandywell on Friday night before eventually succumbing to Eoin Toal's 94th minute equaliser.

Patching's latest goal against the Donegal men arrived in the 22nd minute from a 35 yard free-kick which sailed into the top corner after he saw Mark Anthony McGinley venture off his line.

It was a sensational effort which got an out of sorts Derry out of trouble and he came close with an outstanding volley in the second half.

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Eric McWoods went on to put Harps ahead once more with a goal which had shades of offside about it before Patching turned provider from a corner kick which was headed home by City skipper Toal.

Afterwards Horgan described Patching as a 'thorn in our side'. Indeed it's the fourth time Patching has found the net from a set-play against City's rivals. The Mancunian netted from the penalty spot and added a sublime free-kick in a 2-1 win in Ballybofey last June. He scored another stunning free-kick two minutes from time to ensure another 2-1 win last April in Finn Park.

And Friday's 'goal of the month' contender, who took Patching's tally for the season to eight goals, was too much to take for Horgan who, with his tongue firmly in cheek, suggested Patching should get back on a plane and resume his career in England.

"He's been a thorn in our side," said the Harps boss. "I don't think anyone in the ground, bar him, saw that opportunity. I certainly didn't. I was looking at the overload at the back post with Shane McEleney and Cameron McJannet and that's what I was roaring at. He sees something that others don't see. We unfortunately have been at the wrong end of him a number of times.

Derry City players celebrate with goalscorer Will Patching in the first half. Photographs by Kevin Moore.

"I just think he's good enough to go to England and maybe he should go," he laughed. Derry boss Higgins agreed that few players in the League of Ireland are capable of executing such a magnificent finish but he doesn't want his team to be relying on Patching to get them out of trouble.

"It's a special goal and he's one of the very few players in this league that is capable of that," said the Derry manager. "He nearly puts a volley into the top corner from 30 yards as well. He's produced a big moment for us but we can't rely on Will Patching and Jamie McGonigle, we need to chip in. Eoin (Toal) has chipped in with a goal tonight and hopefully that can be a big goal to stop this rot of defeats and move forward from here."

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