Football/Soccer

Derry boss Higgins 'gutted' at being denied all three points in Dalymount late, late show

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
Paul McConville

DERRY City manager Ruaidhri Higgins admitted his players were devastated following their 3-3 draw at fellow European hopefuls Bohemians on Monday night.

In the action-packed entertaining affair at Dalymount Park, the Brandywell men thought they had claimed a massive three points when James Akintunde gave them the lead in stoppage time, but Georgie Kelly's wonder goal on 96 minutes earned the Dubliners a share of the spoils, much to Higgins' disappointment.

"I'm gutted to be honest," he insisted. "There were three minutes added on and we were going into the 95th minute 3-2 up but conceded, so I'm devastated that we haven't come away with the three points.

"However I have told the players that it's a really good sign that you are driving up the road gutted at taking a point against a top Bohs team."

The Limavady native admitted where referee Rob Harvey got the extra three minutes after the original added time was played was strange.

"In fairness to Rob he has explained himself but I do think five and half minutes was a bit much. And tell me I'm wrong but I think if the opposition are 3-2 up then I'm not sure we go to 50 and a half minutes.

"But listen that's part and parcel when you come to places like this, so we have to deal with it, but the players are absolutely heartbroken in the changing room.

"I think what was produced in an attacking sense, particularly in the second half, the courage and freeness of our attacking players was absolutely brilliant.

"The ambitions and the drive from the players was second to none and I'm gutted for the players more so than anything.

"I feel we have come a fair distance when our players are devastated that getting a point at Dalymount Park against a really good Bohs team."

Higgins conceded that Kelly's equaliser was something special, but he was quick to point out the goals from City trio Jamie McGonigle, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and James Akintunde were also special.

"I think if you were a neutral at the game tonight, you have seen two teams going at it and that will be a feature of this team, we won't shirk it against anybody and we'll have a go no matter who we are playing," he added.

"The players can be extremely proud of themselves, they have scored three absolutely phenomenal goals. Jamie's goal is a Jamie McGonigle type goal coming in from that side and smashing it into the top far corner.

"You look at Will Fitzgerald part in the second goal, he could have went down three, four times but stayed on his feet incredible and Junior got in by showing aggression and then James Akintunde's composure to score the third goal was super, but then you think you have three points in the bag and Georgie pops up with a wonder goal.

"However, if we go and pick up three points on Friday, which will be a very, very tough game against Longford, then we might look at Monday night's result as a decent point, but at this minute in time it's gut-wrenching."

Unfortunately after the game, Derry striker Ogedi-Uzokwe was subjected to racist messages on his social media account during Monday night's game.

The Londoner opened up his personal Instagram account after the game only to find abusive racial slurs directed at him.

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Football/Soccer