Derry City declined ‘stone wall’ penalty as boss explains dugout change in draw with Longford Town


Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins said his team were denied a ‘stone wall’ penalty appeal in last night’s home draw with Longford Town, and explained the dugout change to the Brandywell.

you took a latest James Akintunde breath equalizer win a draw for Higgins’ team, who were adamant they should have had a 68th-minute penalty when Akintunde superbly managed to squeeze behind Longford’s defense, before falling under pressure from McDonnell.

Everyone in red and white screamed for a penalty but referee Rob Harvey was not interested.

“I don’t see why he would go down if he had a free shot on goal,” Higgins said. “To me it felt like a stone wall penalty. I would need to see it again but I would be surprised if it was anything other than a penalty.
“On Akintunde his performances since I arrived have been exceptional and with Will Patching tonight I thought both had a real grip on the game and were dominant.
“I felt we deserved to win the game, but on the other hand, I’m very, very proud because they could have given in.

“It was our best performance in terms of possession and chances created. They gave me everything and they deserve more than what they received.

“I could tell from them from the first minute that they had guts and guts. They go all the way. Over time, the team will get better and better.

The new manager was in the dugout opposite his first home game four days ago, and said the change was to respect the new mural of Derry City hero Mark Farren as well as try to inspire a first home win at Brandywell this season. .

“I just wanted a change,” he said. “Mark Farren’s mural is on this side. I wanted to move the canoe to this side, the changing rooms to this side. I just wanted a change of environment for the players. Home form hasn’t been great, but I’d make a big deal out of it.

Patching has been pulling the strings of Derry all season, and he was there again early on, playing a nice ball into James Akintunde in space, before the striker’s shot was blocked for a corner by Michael McDonnell.

City were so close to breaking the deadlock from that corner as Patching’s delivery tried Kelly to get out of his line, but the Longford keeper completely missed the ball and Toal headed for the open net, only to as Dean Zambra directs the ball out of the line.

Stopping Patching was the key to Longford keeping Derry away, but it was easier said than done.

City were quickly out of the blocks in the second half and Patching went straight this time, shooting in a shot that Kelly parried, but David Parkhouse couldn’t convert the rebound under pressure from McDonnell.

To add insult to injury to Derry after the dismissed penalty cry, Longford took the lead with just 15 minutes left. A hopeful ball in the City area was left untreated by the home defense and Rob Manley reacted to the loose ball the fastest to snag it point blank at Gartside.

It seemed like a lost cause for Derry until the 92nd minute, when Patrick Ferry sent the ball to Akintunde and his shot deflected past Kelly and into the net.

City of Derry: Gartside, Boyce, Toal, McJannet, Coll; Malone, Harkin (ferry 81), patchwork; Fitzgerald (McLaghlin 75 ‘), Parkhouse, Akintunde.

City of Longford: Kelly, Elworthy, Robinson (Bolger 68 ‘), McDonnell, Zambra, Grimes, Manley, O’Driscoll, Dervin, Chambers, Byrne (Thompson 60’).

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin)

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