League Report: Galway United 0 - 0 Drogheda United

Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United and Drogheda United shared the spoils as the sides played out a scoreless draw at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.

Conor O’Keeffe came into the Galway United starting line-up for his first appearance of the season, replacing Colm Horgan who looked to be in some discomfort towards the end of the Monday night loss to Shelbourne and didn’t make the matchday squad.

Stephen Walsh also returned to the line-up after a three-game suspension – Aodh Dervin made way for the striker on Friday night.

Kevin Doherty made just one change to his side after Drogheda United’s 2-1 win over Bohemians on Monday; Adam Foley missed out due to injury with Warren Davis taking his place.

Rob Slevin had a couple of early chances when he battled well to win headers off crosses from O’Keeffe and David Hurley in the opening couple of minutes.

United were inches away from a goal in the fifth minute when Conor McCormack played a clever pass from a free-kick into the path of Ed McCarthy – the midfielder shot first time in the box, but the ball went wide of the post.

Drogheda United’s Hayden Cann came to their rescue in the 17th minute when a Galway corner arrived at the feet of Walsh when goalkeeper Andrew Wogan flapped at the ball – the striker fired off a shot, but the defender blocked the effort.

The visitors got their first shot on goal in the 23rd minute when Darragh Markey showed some impressive skill to set up Luke Heeney, the defender fancied a long-range effort but failed to trouble Brendan Clarke in the Galway goal.

Drogheda cleared another effort off the line in the 28th minute, Walsh headed the ball towards goal from a corner kick and captain Gary Deegan just managed to deflect the ball off the line and behind.

There was chaos in the Drogheda box early in the second half as the visitors failed to clear their lines, there were bodies flying in several directions as McCarthy managed to get a shot off in the crowded area but ultimately Markey cleared the ball to safety.

The visitors had a huge penalty shout in the 54th minute when a poor clearance by Slevin came back to Markey – the midfielder rattled a shot, and it looked like the ball may have struck the hand of McCormack inside the box, but referee David Dunne kept his whistle from his mouth.

Patrick Hickey was sprung from the bench in the 58th minute and his aerial presence was felt almost immediately for Galway as he nodded on a long throw into the path of O’Sullivan who had his effort deflected behind.

The visitors nearly caught Galway on the hop when Zishim Bawa took advantage of a defensive error and rattled a shot on goal from distance with Brendan Clarke only able to push the ball behind for a corner.

Hickey went close for Galway two minutes from time as the home side searched for a winning goal, a beautiful, whipped cross by Regan Donelon found his head but his teammate failed to keep the header down and it sailed over the bar.

On a poor night for both sides Galway and Drogheda get a point each after the scoreless draw. The Boynesiders face Sligo Rovers next weekend and then there’s a tough ask for the Tribesmen as they take on Shamrock Rovers, a team they’ve lost to 23 times in a row.

Galway United: Brendan Clarke; Killian Brouder, Regan Donelon, Conor O'Keeffe, Robert Slevin; Vincent Borden (Patrick Hickey 58), David Hurley (Aodh Dervin 82), Edward McCarthy (Al Amin Kazeem 66), Conor McCormack, Karl O’Sullivan (Leo Gaxha 66); Stephen Walsh (Francely Lomboto 82).

Subs not used: Joe Wright, Jeannot Esua, Maurice Nugent, Tom Costello.

Booked: Robert Slevin (63).

Drogheda United: Andrew Wogan; Hayden Cann, Luke Heeney, Evan Weir; Zishim Bawa, Warren Davis (Killian Cailloce 90), Gary Deegan, Oisin Gallagher, Jack Keaney, Darragh Markey; Frantz Pierrot (Ryan Brennan 80).

Subs not used: Jethren Barr, David Webster, Conor Kane, Aaron McNally, Andrew Quinn, Matthew O’Brien, Emre Topcu.

Booked: Jack Keaney (3), Darragh Markey (30), Kevin Doherty (55), Zishim Bawa (70).

Referee: David Dunne.

Attendance: 3,000 (estimate)

extratime.com Player of the Match: Patrick Hickey (Galway United)