Derry City’s fifth consecutive league victory came at the expense of their old manager, Stephen Kenny, on Friday evening.
Kenny, who left his job as Derry City boss to manage Shamrock Rovers in 2011, was replaced by his long-time assistant Declan Devine in January last year.
Devine led the Candy Stripes into Europe last season by winning the FAI Cup against St. Patrick’s Athletic and has guided the team to one of their most promising starts to an Airtricity League Premier Division in recent seasons.
Despite Dundalk taking the lead Devine’s men fought bravely against the team managed by their old master and ran out 3-1 winners; Rory Patterson with two penalties and Barry McNamee scoring with a 20 yard strike from goal.
Derry City finished the game with ten men when Shane McEleney was shown a red card towards the end of the game.
Derry boss Declan Devine praised his team after the game and said going on recent good performances he couldn’t ask any more of them.
“Tonight’s result is extra special because it’s the first time this season that we have come away with a win after going behind,” said Devine after the game.
“We conceded to Sligo Rovers on the first day of the season and despite our best efforts we couldn’t get an equaliser so I was always interested to see how we would react when it would happen again. It happened tonight and I was happy with how the players reacted,” he said.
Devine’s new brood of players abound in skill and ability but the Derry boss said the thing that impressed him the most was their “character”.
“We picked ourselves back up again after half-time and we got the result we wanted.
“The thing that I admire most about this team is their character. For such a young bunch of players they have shown me and the rest of the back room staff tremendous character this season.
“There’s no fear in this team and I felt that the intensity with which we started the second half was outstanding,” commented Devine.
Strabane man Rory Patterson took his goal tally for the season to seven with his two penalty conversions but Devine singled out 20 year-old Ramelton born midfielder after the game.
“Some people have said to me that they think Barry McNamee can’t play on the left side of midfield. If they can say the same thing to me after tonight’s result then there is something seriously wrong with them.
“Barry is a top young player and he was hard to keep but I am delighted to see that he is now adding goals to his game.
“We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg where Barry McNamee is concerned. Barry will attract a lot of attention and I am also excited about the other young players we have coming through at the club.”
He added: “I am delighted with how the team reacted and dragged themselves back into the game after going 1-0 down but I was disappointed with Shane McEleney’s sending off because although he was the last man, I didn’t feel it was a foul.”