BACK IN THE FOLD
Hughie Douglas returns for UCD
IT MIGHT have been thanks to an injury to a team-mate, but Hughie Douglas is back in the fold at UCD. And he intends on staying there.
The Bray-born defender was introduced in the latter stages of the first half as centre half Ian Ryan hobbled off. At that point, Bray Wanderers led the Students 2-1 but a baffling second half saw the Belfield Bowl club pinch a 3-5 victory.
Douglas admitted that the match was a mixed bag from his side – who’s improvement coincided with his introduction.
He said: “It was a good performance. The first half, we weren’t great. Bray put a lot of pressure on us and they did well. We got a good bollicking at half time and we done well in the second half to get a few goals and get the win.
“They (Bray) were playing very, very well. They kept the ball down on the deck, played good football and we just couldn’t cope with it at stages and then we kind of got a hold of things late in the first half.”
A cameo appearance against Athlone Town was Douglas’ other outing this season but he is ready to come into the side wherever and whenever required. Douglas also expects to enjoy the now customary battle between UCD and Bray to avoid relegation, with a new addition to the pack this term.
“I’ve been here a long time so anytime I’m needed to fill in at any position or come off the bench, I’m always there and ready.
“Hopefully I did well there this evening and the manager is happy. The whole team is happy and that’s the main thing but please God I get a game.
“Defending is all about keeping clean sheets and that’s the main priority.
“Ever since I’ve been in the league, it’s always been ourselves and Bray battling it out at the bottom of the table and I don’t think this year is going to be any different. It’s going to be a good battle between the two of us and Athlone as well. The three of us will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”
Douglas’ former UCD club-mate Chris Lyons also seemed to have an upturn in fortunes as he starred for Shamrock Rovers B in their 1-1 tie with Shelbourne on Sunday.
Lyons kept his place, despite the inclusion of three first team members - the first time Colin Hawkins had called on members of Trevor Croly’s squad.
Karl Sheppard was one of the men drafted in and Lyons found himself playing in the hole behind the former Reading and Everton striker.
In the seventh minute, Lyons pulled a shot nar- rowly wide on an afternoon where he continued to cause trouble for the Shels backline before being replaced by Emeka Onwubiko with five minutes left on the clock. Fellow Rovers man Corie Treacy did not enjoy such a fruitful afternoon, leaving the field after just 35 minutes.
There was another stalemate in the Brandywell this week as Derry City failed to enforce their home advantage on league champions St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Aaron Barry found himself dropped to the bench for the 0-0 draw but he came on to see out the last 13 minutes in Ryan McBride’s place.
None of Co. Wicklow’s other League of Ireland stars made it onto a pitch.
The Longford Town crew will feel most hard done by. They travelled all the way down to Cork on Saturday evening to take on Cobh Ramblers, only to find out the pitch wasn’t playable after arriving at St. Colman’s Park.
Elsewhere, injury ruled out Danny Ledwith as Sligo Rovers succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght.
Shane Murray is still struggling with illness and played no part as Waterford United suffered a surprise 1-2 defeat in the South East Derby at the RSC at the hands of Wexford Youths.
Finally, Andy Mulligan remains unable to force his way into Owen Heary’s plans after being excluded from the Bohemians squad that drew 1-1 with Dundalk.