BLUEBELL United boss, Andy Noonan, claimed that his side’s positive tactics paid off in their shock draw against FAI Cup holders, Derry City.
Commenting after the final whistle, Noonan said: “We believed we could get something here. We spent Wednesday night going through in-depth videos and reviewing how Derry City have been playing recently.
“Derry are a very good side and I wouldn’t take anything away from them, but that was one of the best performances by a Bluebell team in quite some time.
“And it’s testament to the lads and the backroom staff. That’s as good a standard as a lot of our guys will ever get to. It’s a benchmark and they can kick on from here if they want,” he said.
“The Brandywell boasts a fantastic pitch and there’s always a great atmosphere here, but for some reason Derry have been dropping points at home. They’ve been travelling really well, so it was a calculated risk coming into the lion’s den and opting to play two up front but it paid off for us,” claimed Noonan.
“Sean Stewart had a great chance to win it at the end and Shane Stritch had a superb chance in the first half as well, so we did create chances.
“We don’t have anything to fear as we’ve nothing to lose so we played 4-4-2 in our first league game last Friday as well. I think it would have taken away from the lads if I had of shown any signs of weakness by changing to suit Derry.
“We played our own game and to a man they were excellent. Peter Sherlock got the ‘man of the match’ but he was one of 11 players that deserved it.
“My concern now is getting the lads back into shape for Tuesday. We’re a junior side and the players have work commitments. But these are massive games and I’m hoping that their bosses are going to see that and let them play.
“I’m exhausted. I’ve kicked every ball with them but that’s the spirit at Bluebell. Every sub that came on wanted to do the warm down with the rest of the team afterwards as well. We’re a really close-knit club and there’s a great spirit in this squad.”