HARRY MONAGHAN opened his Derry City goalscoring account on Friday night with a goal ‘almost identical’ to the one described in the match programme notes as his best career strike.
And his powerful first half header against Shamrock Rovers had the ‘sweet’ taste of revenge as he finally got one over his former boss, Pat Fenlon.
It was a blessing in disguise that I ended up moving on (from Hibs), it really was. I went on to better things in my opinion while others are stuck in a bit of a rut.Harry Monaghan
In an ‘A to Z’ feature in the ‘CityView’ programme notes, Monaghan claimed he was ‘looking forward to playing against an ex-manager of mine, Pat Fenlon from my days at Hibs.’
A product of the Hibernian youth system, Monaghan spent seven years in the Under-17 and U20 ranks but never got his chance in Fenlon’s first team during the Dubliner’s two year stint at Easter Road from November 2011.
Now 23 years-old, the Glaswegian has emerged as a key figure in Kenny Shiels’ squad. And when he rose to meet Barry McNamee’s superb cross on 22 minutes and sent his bullet header into the top corner, he had to resist the urge of celebrating in front of the dugouts.
While the robust midfielder feels he has since gone on to ‘better things’ at Brandywell following a short stint in Iceland, he admitted it was a ‘sweet’ feeling to get one over his old Hibernian boss who, he claimed, didn’t give him a fair crack of the whip at the Edinburgh club.
“The goal was nice, it was a sweet one,” he smiled. “But the victory tops it all off. It was brilliant. It was about the team. We came into the game as underdogs again and worked hard and got the result.
“It was nice on a personal level to get the goal against him (Fenlon). I didn’t get my chance at Hibs and in a way that was down to the manager. It didn’t work out for both parties.
“I was in the first team squad but I never made my debut. I was on the bench several times and was very close to it, But it was a blessing in disguise that I ended up moving on, it really was.
“I went on to better things in my opinion while others are stuck in a bit of a rut. It’s just a great feeling to get on the scoresheet and the three points are absolutely massive.”
The Scot doesn’t score many. One of his most memorable was the goal scored in a reserve match against Rangers two years ago when at Hibs in a 5-1 win which was similar to his header on Friday night.
From the second game of the season, he’s formed a hugely effective midfield partnership with Conor McCormack.
License to Roam
However, with the Co. Louth man suspended for last weekend’s match, Monaghan was given the license to roam forward and it paid off.
He’s loving life on Foyleside and is enjoying City’s six game unbeaten streak but he’s not getting too carried away.
“It’s hard to go box-to-box but if I can add goals to my game it will benefit the team and myself so I’m delighted with that.
“We need to be careful not to let complacency slip in. We work together and play as a team but there’s quality there as well. The biggest part of it is our work rate and our desire to win.
“We know we can win these games. We’re loving the run we’re on now and long may it continue.
“We’ve got a good squad and that was evident against Rovers. We had boys out and others came in to replace them and we got another great result. I’m pretty confident, no matter what team the gaffer puts out, we’ll get a result.
“After last week, we had to come out sharp. Dundalk caught us like we caught Rovers.
“We turned the tables and came out similar to the way we came out in the Cork game and it worked brilliantly.”