RYAN McBride admits it was an ‘emotional moment’ when leading Derry City out onto the Brandywell pitch against Dundalk on Friday night as captain, on the fifth anniversary of his late mother, Noreen.
It’s a difficult time of the year for the Brandywell lad but he claims it was a special night as his extended family gathered in the stands to watch him lead out his hometown club for the first time.
And given it was the weekend of Mothering Sunday, it was particularly poignant for McBride who had his mum in the forefront of his mind throughout the game.
“It’s a tough time of the year for me personally,” said the Derry skipper. “It was her anniversary on Thursday but it was an honour for me to lead my hometown club out onto the pitch.
“All my family were here watching me so it was a proud moment for me,” he said.
“It was a big moment for me and I think she would have been looking down on me saying ‘I’m proud of you’, so I’m over the moon about it.
“Obviously it was a pity about the result,” he added.
McBride, who returned from suspension to partner Shane McEleney in central defence, produced a typical lionheart performance on the night as City were under the cosh for the majority of the first half. His night even looked like it would come to a premature end early in the first half when he took a tumble over the back of David McMillan, but he carried on regardless.
In fact the defence as a whole, including, of course, Gerard Doherty who made two superb saves, were excellent during that opening 45 minutes as they soaked up wave after wave of Dundalk attacks.
However, McBride admitted it was a ‘stupid mistake’ from the central defensive pairing which resulted in the winning goal for the ‘Lilywhites’ in the second half as Dane Massey ran into space and drilled Ronan Finn’s pass into the far corner.
It was a big moment for me and I think she would have been looking down on me saying ‘I’m proud of you’, so I’m over the moon about it. Obviously it was a pity about the result,Ryan McBride
“They just got a lucky break. Our man didn’t follow the runner and it’s these simple things that either win or lose a match.
“I thought the gap between myself and Shane was a bit wide for the goal. It’s stupid mistakes that are costing us. And we have to learn from them in training and take that into the next match.”
McBride actually felt Derry were the better team overall but he was disappointed with their lack of ingenuity in attack as Dundalk keeper Gary Rodgers, was largely untroubled throughout the 90 minutes.
“I think first half was a bit poor from us to be honest. I think defensively we played well but in terms of creating chances, it just wasn’t good enough.
“In the second half, apart from obviously the goal, we battled well throughout the whole half. We just couldn’t get the goal in the end.
“It was a big step up from Galway definitely,” he added. “Dundalk are not champions for nothing. They have some great players and they work hard. They’re a fit team as well. Things just didn’t work out for us.”
McBride believes Derry can bounce back in Sligo.
“Drogheda beat Sligo on Friday night so we’re both going into the next game after a loss so we’ll have to go down there and give 110 per cent and make sure we get a result.”