MARK TIMLIN has grown accustomed to whipping in crosses into the path of Derry City’s front men this season, but he claims the pressure is now on the wide men to start delivering for him as he aims to take his scoring exploits into double figures!
His superb brace of goals and his ‘man of the match’ display against Longford Town went some way towards silencing Derry City’s critics on Friday night.
And the Buncrana man relished his striker’s role as he took his season’s goal tally to eight.
It was his fourth goal in two matches and he’s Derry’s leading goalscorer by some margin - Ryan Curran’s total of three goals the next best!
Peter Hutton’s decision to play him through the middle with Patrick McEleney playing in behind him proved to be a masterstroke on the night.
But he was full of praise for his strike partner, McEleney’s contribution - the Shantallow man setting up all three goals.
“I’ll try get to 10 goals now and see what happens,” he smiled. “I think all season it’s been said about the strikers not scoring goals but I’m happy enough to go in there and take it on.
“It was brilliant to be able to quiet some of the criticism. Some of the players say they don’t listen to it but it’s hard not to hear it when it comes from every angle. So it was good to get a positive result and get that feel good factor around the place.
“But we have to push on and hopefully this can be the base to turn our season around.”
Timlin could so easily have netted a hat-trick against Longford but his thunderous free-kick from the right side of the penalty area rattled back off the far post.
He admitted afterwards that he ignored pleas from the bench to cross, adding that he only ever had one intention when stood over the ball.
“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when that one came back off the post. Some of the boys said they gave up on it and then it dipped at the last minute and I couldn’t believe it when it stayed out.
“I was shaping to hit it and I think I heard ‘Pizza’ shouting or someone was shouting from the bench to cross it and set up as a corner but I just thought, ‘naw I’m hitting this’,” he laughed.
“It was different for me playing up top.
“We were working on it during the week because it wouldn’t be something I would be used to doing - getting the ball with my back to goal.But I felt comfortable enough up there and I was happy enough to do the work and it paid off with two goals.”
And he hailed the contribution of his strike partner, McEleney who was in superb form.
“I was talking to ‘Fats’ after the match and for him to drop in and get the ball, I will always make runs, but for someone like him playing behind you and making those passes is perfect because nine times out of 10 he’ll find you.
“If we get a run of games together I think we could link up really well. I never thought I would play as a striker but I suppose when you’re scoring goals I enjoy it.”