Galway United 1 Derry City 2
City slid to a third consecutive defeat when a late Stephen Folan goal secured all three points for the Tribesman in their battle against relegation.
Kenny Shiels was forced into a number a changes, particularly across the back four with both Harry Monaghan and Eoin Toal coming into the side. City were also deprived of Aaron McEneff further up the field, with the manager opting for a 4-4-2 formation.
In his programme notes Shane Keegan spoke about making it a horrible game and ensuring that Derry didn’t have time to settle. City held off a late onslaught from Galway earlier in the season and Keegan noted how his side would have to replicate that performance.
The home side started much the brighter and played with a much higher tempo than the visitors. Galway hit the front after 14 minutes as City failed to deal with a long throw and after the ball was returned into the box, a blocked shot was deflected into the path of Devaney who stroked it home.
City couldn’t seem to catch a break, with deflected passes, blocks and tackles all ensuring that their forward progress was thwarted. The home side continued to threaten and Cunningham fired wide when he should have at least forced Doherty into a save. It was to prove costly as City finally got back on level terms just after the half hour mark. A corner was half cleared and it fell to Aaron Barry. His long range shot was deflected into the path of Patterson and forced wide, the front man screwed the ball past Winn and into the corner.
Galway lost Niall Maher to a hamstring problem and introduced Alex Byrne, causing a re-organisation for the home side. The home side were not phased by the change and continued to play with high intensity in the second period. Bereft of the third man in the middle of the park, Low and McNamee were starved of possession and struggling to deal with the movement of Cawley, Holohan and Hale in the centre. The home side also pressed City very high and it denied Gerard Doherty his short kick out option, which meant that City found it difficult to build from the back.
In the second period the home side were the better side and continued to press, whereas City enjoyed possession without ever really threatening Winn. The best effort for the visitors came with a quickly taken free kick but Patterson was unable to latch onto the quick ball from Low.
As the rain showers started, Galway dug in and continued to up the pressure. City failed to clear a corner again and the ball fell fortuitously to Folan, who lashed it home from ten yards out. With just over ten minutes on the clock, Shiels tried the double change with Farren and McIntyre introduced, but the home side closed out the game with minimum of fuss.