Derry City's Ronan Boyce is on fire as Candy Stripes make it five wins in a row

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins was delighted that his players “smelt blood” and went in for the kill to secure a deserved victory at Sligo Rovers.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 8:07 pm
Derry City's Ronan Boyce fires home their winner past Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

Ronan Boyce’s late winner secured the Brandywell men’s fifth victory in a row and moved them to within a point of third placed Sligo with the Limavady man feeling his side’s ‘never-say-die’ attitude helping them on Saturday night to secure another big win on the road.

“What I liked was that the players smelt blood. We realised that we were the team in the ascendancy,” insisted Higgins.

“The ball was in Sligo’s half for the last 20/25 minutes. The players sniffed it out and they went for it. I think we created two or three really good chances late in the game which is pleasing and we have managed to take one.”

The former Dundalk assistant manager also pointed to the fact his side have now secure six points from the Showgrounds this campaign.

“It’s a huge win for us and I’m delighted,” added Higgins, “As I said to the players after the game, the Showgrounds is a really tough venue so to come here and pick up six points this season is a brilliant achievement.

“I didn’t particularly like coming here as a player. You have to fight for every point you earn here and we have picked up six this season so we are delighted with that.”

Higgins said seeing both Joe Thomson and Boyce scoring didn’t come as a surprise to him as both players have had that potential all season.

"They were two outstanding strikes from two players who have a goal in them,” he explained.

“Joe has got that shot from distance in him and we have seen it a few times now. Ronan Boyce also has that knack of scoring goals. He kind of reminds me of when Danny Lafferty before he went to Burnley. Danny popped up with a lot of goals from defensive positions and Ronan also has that knack, so when it fell to him inside the box I fancied him.

“He has real heart, character and he’s a winner. It didn’t overly surprise me that he was the one who won us the game but, yes, I’m delighted with all the boys tonight.”

The Derry boss said he was a little disappointed his side took their foot off the pedal after Thomson’s thunderous strike which gave them an early lead and admitted the Bit O’Red, through Johnny Kenny’s goal, deserved to be level at the break.

“I felt we started very well and strangely enough when we scored I was delighted because I thought we would have built on it and get stronger but we retreated and allowed Sligo to gain a foothold in the game. They did that and deservedly got their equaliser just before half-time,” he said.

“We regrouped at half-time, came out a better side, kept going right to the end and got our just rewards.

“It’s massively important for players to get themselves into the box. I felt in the second half, as the game wore on, I felt we were going to go on and win it and we did.”