Belfast Telegraph

Zayed fired up for St Pat’s showdown after cup woe

By Peter Hutcheon

Eamon Zayed will be charging out of the blocks when Derry City take on St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park tonight (7.45pm).

The Premier Division’s leading scorer was controversially left on the bench last week as Derry were dumped out of the FAI Cup by First Division Wexford Youths on a 4-1 scoreline.

He came on with City trailing |1-0 at the interval but within minutes of the restart they conceded a penalty to go two down and were left chasing a lost cause.

Zayed did find the net for his 12th goal of the season in the closing moments to continue his own rich vein of scoring form, but that was scant consolation to the Derry fans who had anticipated a good cup run this season for Stephen Kenny's exciting young side.

Kenny still insists he was right to use the cup game as a chance to give some of his fringe players a run out but after their 6-0 demolition of Galway at the Brandywell the previous week — with Zayed scoring four — it was the shock result of the season so far.

“We have to put last Friday behind us now — there's nothing we can do about it,” Zayed said.

“So we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down because the next few weeks are going to be vital and we are going to have to be at our best.”

One of the reasons Kenny gave for leaving Zayed on the bench was that the Libyan international is on three yellow cards and is running the risk of suspension with games coming up against Bohemians and Sligo, who have overtaken City in second place having played one game more.

James McClean is suspended for this evening's game in Dublin so David McDaid, who started last week, may stay alongside Zayed in a two-man attack.

Gareth McGlynn, like Zayed, could do little to turn the tide after coming on at half-time last week and will start tonight as will captain Kevin Deery, who played no part last week after recently coming back into the side following a spell out through injury.

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