Lauren Cregan’s delight for Derry City Women

Derry City manager Kevin McLaughlin was thrilled after his side secured their first Women’s Premiership win since July 2019.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 5:40 pm
Thumbs up from Derry City Women’s match winner Lauren Cregan. Picture by John Paul McGinley / JPJPhotography

Lauren Cregan’s goal was enough for the Candy Stripes to see off North West neighbours Sion Swifts Ladies, at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, on Wednesday night.

For boss McLaughlin, he was delighted to secure their first top flight success and has warned future opponents that they could be in for a shock if they don’t respect his team.

“If teams don’t respect us then they are in for a shock,” he stated.

“It is a case of gaining respect. I have been in now for the last two or three seasons and it has been a case of us trying to get respect. Teams just sit on top of us and feel that we cannot get out, but now we can, we are winning battles all over the park.

“The opposition are now leaving the full half of the pitch for us to run into, so if we win our one-to-one battles we will get in behind them.

“It is only the beginning. I feel satisfied but this is just a win, we have got to keep going. We are not even the finished article.

“We knew we had to fix a few things because of the goals we conceded in our first few games and we did the tonight. We battled for a win but we still have lots of things to work on and improve, which we will aim to do next week.”

Derry City Women celebrate Lauren Cregan's goal in their win over Sion Swifts Ladies on Wednesday night. Picture by John Paul McGinley / JPJPhotography

City’s Cregan, who cleverly lobbed Swifts keeper Denise McElhinney to secure the win, conceded that they went into Wednesday’s game confident that they could get a positive result.

“It took me a while to notice it went over, making sure it crossed the line because it was like in the slow motion,” she said.

“I’m just so excited and happy, I feel like we really deserved it as we have been pushing on for a couple of years now to try and get improvement with every match - we are just delighted to get the win. I think it has been a positive camp this year so far, we had tough losses in previous weeks but we can see the improvements coming every week and it is important to build on that.

“With the rivalry with Sion, everyone was 100% up for it and heart got us over the line in the end.

Derry City Women's Caroline Gallagher shows her strength during their win over Sion Swifts Ladies on Wednesday night. Picture by John Paul McGinley / JPJPhotography

“It is a lot down to the management, since Kevin took over he has been telling us to buy into it and buy into it, and I think this year a lot of players have done that. Seeing what he wants actually working has made us believe in ourselves and it is definitely due to the management.”