Derry unearth new star

 

DERRY CITY unearthed a new star at the Brandywell last night and Premier Division Championship chasers, Sligo Rovers, will not forget the name Thomas McCallion in a hurry.

The 19-year-old local student, who captained the Northern Ireland under-18 team last season, scored a magnificent hat-trick on his home debut - the same feat achieved by Derry's Liam Coyle back in 1989.

In truth, Derry were devastating at a windswept Brandywell and Sligo's championship challenge was severely dented. The visitors had no answer to the youngster's pace. skill and eye for goal.

Having missed the proverbial sitter against Shelbourne two weeks ago, the diminutive youngster made amends last night in the galeforce conditions.

Having been presented with a roving midfield role, he got Derry off to the perfect start in the 17th minute. Picking up the ball on the halfway line, McCallion cruised forward before unleashing a thunderous left-foot drive from 25 yards which screamed into the bottom corner of Mark McLean's net.

And seven minutes he made it 2-0. On this occasion, a superb right foot shot from the edge of the box gave the keeper no chance.

Sligo's misery was compounded during the first minute of the second half when centre-back, Ian Lynch, was shown the red card for a professional foul on - who've guessed it - McCallion.

And the disaster was complete for Sligo when left-back Robert Brunton, guided the ball into his own net after keeper, McLean had parried a Harry McCourt header in the 71st minute.

McCallion, however, had the final say. Having picked up the ball on the right flank, he made his way to the corner of the penalty area before lofting an inch-perfect chip over the head of the stranded McLean.

Derry boss, Felix Healy, presented yet another local youngster to the first team and in 16-year-old Darren Kelly, he appeared to have discovered yet another player for the future.

With Paul Doolin absent due to suspension, Kelly played alongside Paul Curran releasing Peter Hutton into the centre of midfield.

Republic of Ireland striker, Tony Cascarino, scored his 19th goal of the season to put Olympique Marselle on top of the Second Division yesterday beating Caen 1-0, in front of 40,000 home fans. Cascarino scored with a right toot shot in the sixth minute.