DERRY CITY: Frustrated Derry held at home to resilient Galway

Derry City's Patrick McClean with Conor Melody of Galway United at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.

Derry City's Patrick McClean with Conor Melody of Galway United at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.

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Derry City 0, Galway United 0

DERRY CITY stretched their unbeaten run in the league to nine games but Kenny Shiels will certainly be wondering how his side didn’t win this one.

The Candystripes were frustrated by the visitors but the Derry boss will no doubt be pleased the home draw against a resilient Galway side was enough to maintain a five point advantage over fourth placed Shamrock Rovers who were held at home to St Patrick’s Athletic.

It was Derry’s fifth point from a possible nine during what has been a testing six day period as they consolidated third spot.

The Tribesmen were hoping to arrest a three game losing streak but they offered little in terms of an attacking threat during a dull opening.

During the opening 20 minutes Galway were camped in their own half but Derry were unable to create any clear cut chances.

However, it was the visitors who almost capitalised on a mistake from Patrick McClean on 21 minutes as his loose pass allowed Colm Horgan to steal possession in the final third. The Galway defender played Vinny Faherty in behind the Derry defence but his low strike was blocked superbly by the alert Gerard Doherty.

His opposite number, Conor Winn was finally called into action six minutes later when McClean’s pass inside was picked up by Ronan Curtis and the winger’s deflected shot needed to be pushed away by the Galway keeper.

Aaron McEneff came close moments later with a long range free-kick which swerved narrowly wide of the target.

At the other end ex-Derry City striker, Enda Curran hit the side-netting from a cleverly worked free-kick.

In the final minute of the first half Winn reacted well to punch clear Curtis’ strike from 20 yards as Derry finished strongly.

Doherty denied Curran with a terrific save two minutes after the restart when the Galway striker blasted a shot towards goal following an excellent cross from Horgan.

The home side really should’ve hit the target on 56 minutes when McEneff’s perfect pass sent Schubert into space after Galway left back, Marc Ludden lost his footing. However, the Austrian midfielder somehow sent his shot wide of the mark from 10 yards as Winn came to close down the angle.

Derry were pressing forward and substitute, Ben Doherty’s ambitious strike from 25 yards was deflected onto the post by the outstretched leg of Patterson with Winn beaten as Galway survived with 15 minutes left on the clock.

McEneff then came close with a well executed strike from distance but his effort took a slight deflection and went the wrong side the upright.

It was one-way traffic for the final 20 minutes and Winn made a double save to deny Derry on 85 minutes when he blocked Conor McCormack’s long range drive and reacted quickly to put Nathan Boyle’s rebound behind for a corner.

Derry really should have won it in the end but Galway defended superbly and frustrated their hosts from the first whistle to take a share of the spoils.

Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, N. Vemmelund, D. Jarvis, P. McClean (B. Doherty 67); L. Schubert, C. McCormack, A. McEneff, R. Curtis (N. Boyle 67); B. McNamee (K. Ward 83); R. Patterson; Subs Not Used - S. Patton, H. Monaghan, J. Daniels,, C. Castells.

Galway United: C. Winn; C. Horgan, K. Cantwell, A. Aganovic, S. Folan; C. Melody (P. Cunningham 85), P. Sinnott (A. Byrne 83), R. Connolly, M. Ludden; E. Curran (G. Shanahan 59), V. Faherty; Subs Not Used - S. Ramsbottom, K. Devaney, G. Kinneen, J. Devers.

Referee - Graham Kelly.