Derry City's Jamie McGonigle delighted to back amongst the goals

Striker Jamie McGonigle admits Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins was right to take him out of the side after he returned like a man on a mission against UCD on Friday night.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 7:00 am
Derry City's Jamie McGonigle celebrates his first goal against UCD, on Friday night. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City's Jamie McGonigle celebrates his first goal against UCD, on Friday night. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

The 26-year-old, who was on the bench at Drogheda United nine days ago, was in top form against the Students, helping himself to his first hat-trick for the Candy Stripes.

McGonigle, who is now the Premier Division’s topscorer with seven goals, had gone six games without finding the net and says Higgins was right to put him on the bench against the Drogs.

“The same happened to me last year,” he insisted, “When you are playing every minute it’s natural that you do get that bit of lull and I think it was the right time for Ruaidhrí to take me out. I feel refreshed now and raring to go again.”

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The former Crusaders and Coleraine front man was scintillating in front of goal against the Dubliners and he hopes he’s now back on the goalscoring trail as the Candy Stripes begin a series of tough fixtures, against St Patrick’s Athletic this Friday.

“We do have big games coming up but we can’t look past St Pat’s on Friday night,” he added. “We have to recover and prepare for it but every game in this league is hard.

“In fact, my Dad was just pointing that out to me. Every game is tough in this league, no one just hands out the three points so we have to make sure that we go down there and put on a good performance.

“Pat’s have a lot of quality players but we know on any given night, if we are right at it, then we’re in with a chance of winning the game.

“I actually said after the Drogheda game that a striker can go on a drought and I maybe jinxed myself because until tonight I hadn’t scored since but you just have to keep going and keep trusting yourself and thankfully tonight they flew in.”

McGonigle’s first and third goals came from superb passes from midfield duo Cameron Dummigan and Patrick McEleney with the Lurgan man’s sublime pass over the top putting him through for his opener.

“That sort of performance was coming,” insisted McGonigle. “Some of the first half performances we gave here this season were only missing the goals.

“We were told that we had to be more ruthless and we were and some of the goals were brilliant.

“Cameron has that in his locker. He has already assisted me against Drogheda with a similar sort of pass. To be honest when he gets the ball that sort of makes your mind up because once you take it down you have to hit it. It was a sublime pass from Cameron.

“Look, it takes time to gel and for everyone to get used to everyone, but I like those sort of runs and we are starting to see it more and more and hopefully it continues the way it did tonight.”