Derry City hat-trick hero Eamon Zayed grabbed the match ball used in his side’s 7-0 win over UCD at the Brandywell on Friday and didn’t let it out of his sight until it was packed away in his sports bag after the game.
Zayed’s trio of strikes, two from McGlynn and one a piece from James McClean and David McDaid helped Derry to perhaps their most proficient victory at Brandywell for a while. Although Zayed and McGlynn were the star performers the win would not have been possible had it not been for such a polished team display.
“The referee didn’t want to give me the match ball but he eventually did,” said Zayed laughing after the game. “I got it off him and it’s home with me in my bag.”
The first of Zayed’s goals was his 100th League of Ireland goal. Asked how he felt to have reached such a milestone and score a hat-trick on the same night the Libyan international said that he was delighted.
“It couldn’t have gone better to be honest,” he said. “After Monday’s defeat [3-0 to Sligo Rovers] we wanted to go out and win. I thought we played terrific tonight - we were missing a few of the lads through suspension and injury so for us to win like that is a massive achievement.”
He added: “Seven goals, a hat-trick and my 100th goal, I couldn’t ask for anything more - it’s like a dream.”
Although Zayed grabbed the headlines with his hat-trick team mate Gareth McGlynn played equally well. The Donegal born winger scored twice and set-up both Zayed and McClean to score in the second half.
“Gareth [McGlynn] is flying at the moment,” said Zayed. “Gareth has six goals, James [McClean] has six and my hat-trick now puts me on six too - we are doing well.
“I thought Gareth played well tonight - he scored two great goals and he set me up for one of mine. James played really well tonight too but I think that the team performed well as a unit. Hopefully we can keep it going until Tuesday when we play Drogheda here at the Brandywell.”
Also speaking after Friday’s emphatic victory over The Students was manager Stephen Kenny who said he was thrilled with the way his team performed but urged caution ahead of their game with Drogheda United on Tuesday.
“Gareth McGlynn passed a late fitness test and I think you’ll agree that it was important that he played. I thought the team performed so well tonight and I was glad to see Eaton [Zayed] scoring his 100th goal and his hat-trick. When you consider that he’s played for a while in Scandinavia and in England the accolade of 100 League of Ireland goals becomes even more impressive.”
Kenny added: “We have to keep the momentum going and prepare for Drogheda’s visit on Tuesday. They gave us a tough game when we played them down there earlier in this season but if we can play like we played tonight then hopefully we’ll emerge with a result. Drogheda are different to UCD so we have to regroup and get ready.”
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