FEW would have predicted Derry City and Dundalk to be involved in a clash of the bottom two – and young Candystripe Ronan Boyce says his side must put points on the board.
On Friday night, Boyce’s first senior goal helped Derry to a 1-1 draw against Drogheda United.
After four successive defeats, it was a valuable goal by the Ramelton man, who was given a first Premier Division start in last Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers.
“It was nice to score my first senior goal, but I’d have preferred the three points to be honest,” Boyce said.
“It was nice to get the goal. I’d take three points all day long.”
Derry welcome Dundalk – who saw manager Shane Keegan and Coach Filippo Giovagnoli depart in recent days – to Foyleside tonight.
The sides occupy the bottom two places going into the fixture.
Boyce said: “Dundalk, like ourselves, are at the wrong end of the table. It’s a big game so hopefully we can take it to them.”
Boyce, a former Swilly Rovers schoolboy, and Newtowncunningham youngster Brendan Barr have been entrusted in the Derry XI in the last week.
Although the points haven’t followed, Derry have been shown more encouraging signs.
Boyce said: “We played alright against Shamrock Rovers and we took a bit of momentum into the game. It was a soft goal we gave away. You just can’t do that at this level.
“We got ourselves back into the game, but we struggled to break them down for the winner. It just wouldn’t fall for us.”
Derry manager Declan Devine has been impressed by Boyce’s emergence.
The 18-year-old has been given his head and is repaying the faith.
“The boys will be the first to tell you, he’s been the best player since we’ve come back,” Devine said.
“Since pre-season he’s been the best player. He’s waited for his chance.
“ It’s unorthodox for him to play right back. He’s normally a centre-back with the under-19s.
“His attitude and application coming into training every day has been second to none and for me the young lad has a brilliant future in the game.
“He continues to show the character at such a young age with his drive and determination and his bravery to get on the ball. There’ aren’t too many centre-backs who can play out in the wide areas of the pitch and he just looks so comfortable there.”Tags: